Pushkar has a rich historical and cultural heritage. The history of Pushkar cites its importance and significance down the ages of the history of India.
Pushkar is situated in the state of Rajasthan in India. Famous for the annual cattle fair, which draws an enormous amount of traders and tourists, Pushkar is a great place for travel. The Pushkar lake and the temples of Pushkar are revered among religious pilgrims.
Legend has it that the lake in Pushkar was created from the petals of a lotus flower which fell from the hand of Lord Brahma. Brahma is the residing deity in Pushkar and has a temple dedicated to him. The Brahma Temple in Pushkar is one of its kind in India. The legendary significance makes the lake of Pushkar an immensely holy place for pilgrims.
The city of Pushkar is also closely associated with the times of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. In later times, Pushkar was an important place of rule during the reign of the Mughal empire in India. It was the favored place of residence of many important Mughal rulers. Later Pushkar was annexed by the British empire, and it became one of the very few states in Rajasthan to be ruled directly by the British, the rest being princely states.
Therefore, the history of Pushkar speaks of its consistent importance and significance. It still is an important place in Rajasthan, India, and receives a large number of tourists and religious pilgrims every year.
The well-known and marked with largest participation of all the festivals of Rajasthan, Pushkar is an important pilgrimage as well as the venue of a mammoth cattle fair. Bazaars, auctions, music and sports are highlight of this event. Recommended.
Pushkar is a sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 kms. to the North-West of Ajmer. The charm of this sleepy, lakeside settlement so captivated the great Indian poet, Kalidas,that it found a place in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam. The Great Hindu epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana make references to this religious place regarded to be Adi Tiratha. Evidence points to its having existed during the fourth century B.C. lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is no less than a miracle.
The legend about the Creator God, Bramha describes the creation of this lake. When the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma's children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where a lake sprung into being. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima (the full moon day of the Kartik month), hallowing the place. Sacred to Brahma, Pushkar boasts of its temple dedicated to him, which is the only one of its kind in the world. A dip in the waters of Pushkar and worship at his temple ensure salvation. So thousands flock to Pushkar to observe the ritual on kartik Purnima, or on any of the four days preceding it.
Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mogul ruler and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. It stands on a high plinth with the Marble steps leading up to it. A silver turtle is set on the floor facing the Sanctum-Sanctorum or Girbha-griha. Around the turtle the Marble floor is inset with hundreds of silver coins. Coins engraved with donors names are also embedded in the walls. Peacocks adorn the temple walls as they are supposed to be the vehicle of lord Brahma's consort Saraswati. A small image of the milkmaid Gayatri, flanks the four-faced image of lord Brahma and is called Chaumurti The sanctuary has silver doors inside a carved marble gateway.
The one-hour trek up to the hilltop Savitri Temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning; the view is magical.
Originally built in the 12th century, Varah Temple was, like many others, destroyed by the bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb (who, it is said , was particularly upset by the huge idol here of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of the boar.) Reconstructed BY Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1727, the temple has an interesting and richly ornamented image house.
A Beautiful temple built in the 19th century, it was described by a British traveler of the time as "by far the most remarkable, for the elegance of its structure and the nature of its ornaments, of all the temples Pushkar boasts of." It is also noteworthy for its white marble Mahadeva image, with its five faces (and its traditional tufts of hair).
One of Pushkar's largest and most intricate temples, the Ramavaikunth Temple was built in the 1920's and has beautifully sculpted images of no less than 361 different deities. The ornate outer gopuram over the entrance is said to have been built by a team of masons specially brought here from south India.
Lake and its many Ghats:
Many Ghats run down to the Holy Lake where pilgrims are constantly bathing in the holy waters. Joining people at the ghats has to be with some respect for their culture and privacy. And for this reason, removing shoes before approaching the ghats, no smoking and restraining from photographing bathing people is well avoided. The Pilgrims here are sensitive about comments by non-Hindus. The famed waters of the Pushkar lake wash away the sins of a lifetime.
The mystical water is also believed to cure skin diseases, making Pushkar the Lourdes of the East.
Things to Do
Camel Fair of Pushkar is known worldwide for its colorful atmosphere. Most of the people plan a trip to Pushkar at the time of the fair. Besides, it is also visited as a pilgrimage by the Hindus. The town also claims to have the world's only Brahma Temple. If you're pondering over what to do and see in Pushkar, don’t worry as this article is solely dedicated to things / fun activities to do in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
Pushkar Camel Fair is usually held in November. People, who breed camels and horses, assemble here from all over the country. Now as it has become a major attraction, hordes of national and international tourists come here to enjoy the fair. In fact, Camel Fair is one of the biggest festivals in India and is worth visiting.
Check out the colorful bazaars
Of course, Rajasthan is recognized for its graceful culture, colorful clothing and amazing hospitality. Markets (bazaars) in Pushkar revive the complete charm of Rajasthan. Here you can get lot of things (puja paraphernalia, hippy clothes, silver jewellery, painting, fruits, vegetables, etc, are just to name a few) at good rates, if not exactly cheap.
Along the banks of the holy lake in Pushkar, one can see a number of ghats and temples which are revered by pilgrims whole-heartedly. If you wish to pay a visit, you are welcome but keep in mind that your clothes must not be offensive or hurting the sentiments of anyone. Before going into a temple, remove your shoes outside.
Visit the world's only Brahma Temple
Pushkar is celebrated for this temple which is dedicated to Lord Brahma. Thousands of pilgrims come every year to visit this revered temple. If you wish to trek a little, then you can trek up the hilltop and visit the Saraswati Temple overlooking the lake.
Cherish sunset by the Lake
Sunset by the lake sounds beautiful. And Pushkar actually observes this spectacular sunset every evening. Here tourists usually gather at the Sunset Cafe in the evening, to watch the sunset. The Sun going down amid mountains, lakes and ghats appears beautiful.
Enjoy Hot Air Balloon Flight
This is the best thing you can experience in Pushkar. Savoring a kaleidoscopic view of the holy town is just beautiful. In October - December at the time of Camel Fair, a specialized company organizes hot air balloon flight, offering another viable reason for the people to visit Pushkar.
How to Reach
The nearest airport from Pushkar is Jaipur. Jaipur is well connected to all the major cities which includes Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jodhpur, Udaipur. Recently, flights to Dubai has also started from Pushkar by Indian Airlines.
Pushkar is 11 km from main Ajmer bus stand. Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Jaipur. There are buses from Jaipur to Ajmer every 15 minutes, some nonstop. The roads are very good, and it takes around 3 hrs from Jaipur. You can also come by hire private cars.
The nearest railway station for Pushkar is Ajmer, which is on the Broad Gauge and hence connected to all the metro cities of India. There are daily trains from Delhi in morning (Shatabdhi Exp).