One of the most sacred sites for the Hindus, Pushkar is a very ancient place. The antiquity of the place can be gauged from the fact that circumstances leading to its origin have been extensively dealt with in the ancient scripture of the Padma (Lotus) Purana. According to the text, Pushkar came into being, when Lord Brahma, Creator in the Hindu Trinity, dropped petals of lotus flower (pushpa) to earth from his hand (kar) to kill a demon. This resulted in the formation of three lakes in the desert land. The largest of these lakes is today revered as one of India’s most sacred sites and bounded by temples and bathing ghats.
Though Pushkar attracts devotes all round the year, it is during the five-day Kartik Purnima festival which witnesses a seething sea of humanity pouring out into the streets of this sacred town. Devotees take a dip in the redemptory waters of the lake and worship at the Brahma Temple. It is interesting to know that the shrine is the only one in the world dedicated to Brahma who otherwise occupies a very important place in the Hindu pantheon of gods.
A pilgrimage to the holy town of Pushkar with India Profile is an unforgettable experience. The place abounds with many temples, which are must-visits for any devout Hindu. Apart from the Brahma Temple, other shrines of importance are Savitri Temple, Rangji Temple, Warah Temple and Apteshwar Temple. Thanks to the extreme sacredness of the place, it is advisable for those who travel to Pushkar, to respect the town’s holy status and not to eat meat or consume alcohol. In fact it is an earnest desire for every pious Hindu to make a Pushkar pilgrimage.
Places of Interest
Brahma Temple –
The Brahma temple is an important pilgrim center for the Hindus. It is nestled in the Pushkar valley, which lies beyond Nagaparvat and the Anasagar Lake. This place, full of natural beauty, holds a special place in the hearts of Indian for it is believed that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses, performed a Yagya here. Legends also has it that the ancient lake Sarovar had appeared miraculously, when a lotus fell from the hands of Lord Brahma and dropped into this valley. Brahma Temple The most famous temple in Pushkar, this is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma (the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology) in the entire country. You can identify it by its red spire and by the image of a hans (the goose considered sacred to Lord Brahma). This temple built with marble is decorated with silver coins and there is a silver turtle on the floor of the temple.
Savitri Temple –
This is the temple dedicated to Lord Brahma’s first wife. It is located on the hill behind the Brahma temple, and one has to climb a long series of steps to reach the destination. It gives a panoramic view of the lake and surrounding sand dunes.
Rangji Temple –
The gracious temple is very conpicuous, due to its south Indian style of architecture. It has a high rising ‘Gopuram’ typical of southern India.
Varaha Temple –
The Varaha temple houses an image of lord Vishnu in the incarnation of wild boar. The temples of Brahma and Varaha are considered equally important. This ancient temple believed to be constructed by King Anaji Chauhan (1123-1150). Mythologically a very important temple and is believed that Vishnu came on the earth in the incarnation of Varaha(wild boar) to kill the demon Hirnayaksh and liberate the land from his atrocities.
Apteshwar Temple –
Another important temple of the town, the 12th century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
Pushkar boasts temples, through few are as ancient pilgrimage site many were destroyed by Aurangzeb and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is what is said to be the only temple in India dedicated to Brahma. It’s marked by a red spire and over the entrance gateway is the hans, or goose symbol, of Brahma, who is said to have personally chosen Pushkar as its site. The Rangji Temple chosen is also important. The one – hour trek up to the hilltop temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning,the view is magnificent.
Pushkar Lake –
Anything even remotely related to Pushkar Lake has a halo of sacredness and divinity. Legend has it that a dip in its waters cleanses all the sins and is the surest way to achieve salvation from the cycles of life. Circled by some five hundred odd temples, the lake has 52 ghats, which connect the temples to the water. These ghats were constructed by the rulers of the different erstwhile princely states of Rajasthan and some of them are aptly named after the states.
Getting there and Around
By Air –
The nearest airport is at Jaipur, which is 131 km away.
By Rail –
Ajmer, situated at a distance of 11 km from Pushkar, is the nearest railhead. Ajmer an important destination on its own right, Ajmer is well connected with major places in Rajasthan.
By Road –
Pushkar is home to two bus stands. The Marwar bus stand, in the north of town by the post office, has buses to some long distance places including Delhi, Jodhpur and Bikaner while the Ajmer bus stand is located east of the Pushkar town and offers bus services to Ajmer and Jaipur. Pushkar is well connected to Ajmer by bus.
The holy town of Pushkar offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and traveling style. Luxury star hotels, small hotels and luxury tented safari camps – all can be found in this small town.
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