Pushkar City Information

Quick Overview:

There is general belief among Hindus that no pilgrimage to the four principal pilgrim centres (Char Dham), namely, Badrinath, Jagannath, Rameshwaram & Dwarka would bear fruit unless one bathes in the holy waters of Pushkar Lake.

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Pushkar Tour Guide

The description of pilgrimage places in the Tirtha-Yatra section of India's great epic, the Mahabharata, suggests a grand tour of the entire country. The pilgrimage begins in Pushkar, sacred to the god Brahma, and continues in a rambling clockwise direction throughout the subcontinent, ending in Prayaga (modern day Allahabad). As indicated by Pushkar's position as the starting point of the grand pilgrimage, the worship of Brahma was considered highly important at the end of the 1st millennium BC.

The common assumption of there being only one temple to Brahma is untrue. There are at least four major temples of the god still in use today. These are at Pushkar in Ajmer, Rajasthan; Dudhai in the state of Madhya Pradesh; Khed Brahma in Kerala; and Kodakkal in the Malabar region of Kerala-Karnataka. Other deities have long eclipsed the cult of Brahma, and this waning of importance may be attributed to the fact that the function of Brahma - creating the world - has been completed, while Vishnu (the preserver) and Shiva (the destroyer) still have relevance to the continuing order of the universe.

Mythological literature describes Brahma as having sprung from the lotus originating in the navel of Vishnu. Brahma then becomes the source of all creation, the seed from which issues all space, time and causation. His consort Saraswati was manifested out of him and from their union were born all the creatures of the world. He is the inventor of theatrical art, and music and dance were revealed by him. He is sometimes depicted with four heads representing the four Vedas and the four Yugas (great epochs of time), and other times as Visvakarma, the divine architect of the universe. Saraswati is the wife of Brahma. Literally her name means 'the flowing one'. In the Rig Veda she represents a river deity and is connected with fertility and purification. She is considered the personification of all knowledge - arts, sciences, crafts and skills. She is the goddess of the creative impulse, the source of music, beauty and eloquence. Artists, writers and other individuals involved in creative endeavors have for millennia come on pilgrimage to Pushkar to request the inspiration of Brahma and Saraswati. According to the theory that shrine myths are often metaphorical expressions of the specific power of a pilgrimage place, the lake, hill and area of Pushkar have a spirit or presence that awakens and stimulates the human capacity of creativity.

There are five principal temples in Pushkar, all of relatively recent construction since the earlier buildings were destroyed by the Mugal emperor Aurangzeb in the late 17th century. Numerous bathing areas, known as ghats, surround the lake and pilgrims immerse themselves in the holy waters for a cleansing of both body and soul. During most of the year Pushkar is a small, quiet town. Each November, however, more than 200,000 people arrive, along with 50,000 cattle, for several days of pilgrimage, horse dealing, camel racing and colorful festivities

Places to See

Pushkar Lake - The prime attraction of Pushkar is the Pushkar Lake which is considered sacred like the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet. Pushkar has become a place of Hindu pilgrimage because of this holy lake. Legend has it that this lake was consecrated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe when a lotus dropped from his hand into the vale and a lake emerged in that place. The picturesque lake is encircled by 500 temples, 52 palaces, and 52 ghats. Devotees take a religious dip in the spiritual water of the lake which is said to have miraculous powers.

Brahma Temple - The most important temple in Pushkar is the Temple of Lord Brahma, one of the holy trinity of Hinduism. In fact it is the only Hindu shrine in the world where Lord Brahma is worshipped. The temple enshrines a life-size idol of Lord Brahma.

Savitri Temple - This temple that is located at the top of the Ratnagiri Hill is dedicated to Savitri, the wife of Lord Brahma. The temple houses a magnificent statue of Goddess Savitri.

Other Temples - Other noteworthy temples of the pilgrim place are the 19th century Mahadeva Temple that id dedicated to Lord Shiva, Rangaji Temple that is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and the Varaha Temple that is also dedicated to a deity who is one of the incarnations of Vishnu. All these temples exhibit outstanding art and craftsmanship.

Other Attractions

Pushkar Bazaar-The colorful and vibrant Pushkar Bazaar is a shopper's delight. One can buy great souvenirs like silver jewelry, embroidered shoes, wall hangings, shoulder bags, embroidered fabrics, decorative items and so on.

Pushkar Fair- The Pushkar Fair is the largest cattle fair in Asia and is held in the month of November during the Kartik Purnima (day of full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartik) when hundreds of thousands of pilgrims take a holy dip in the sacred Pushkar Lake. This spectacular event is worth witnessing when the cold November nights are lit up by the lurid campfires and the folk dance and music performances cast a magical spell!

How To Reach

Air - The nearest airport is the Jaipur Airport from where regular flights to Udaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Aurangabad are available.

Rail - The nearest railway station is Ajmer from where direct trains for Jaipur, Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Mumbai and destinations are available. The Shatabdi Express connects Ajmer with Delhi.

Road - Pushkar is connected with Ajmer through road. Buses, taxis and jeeps are also available. Best time to visit Pushkar- The best time to visit Pushkar is during October-November when the world- famous Pushkar Fair is held.