Pushkar (पुष्कर) is a town in the Ajmer district in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is situated 14 km (8.7 mt) northwest of Ajmer at an average elevation of 510 m (1,670 ft) and is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage site) for devout Hindus. According to Hindu theology , the pond at the Katas Raj temple Near choa saidan shah in Chakwal District of Pakistan has a theological association with Lord Shiva; it was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva which he is believed to have shed after the death of his wife, Sati. The story goes that when Sati died, Lord Shiva cried so much and for so long, that his tears created two holy ponds - one at Pushkara in Ajmer in India and the other at Ketaksha, which literally means raining eyes, in Sanskrit. It is from this name that the word Katas is derived. It is often called "Tirth Raj" - the king of pilgrimage sites – and has in recent years become a popular destination for foreign tourists.
Pushkar is one of the oldest existing cities of India. It lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. Pushkar has many temples. Most of the temples are not very old because many temples were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently, the destroyed temples were rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century CE. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the World. Pushkar is also famous for its annual fair (Pushkar Camel Fair) held in November. The natural environment of Pushkar and the sacred lake has become increasingly degraded in the last few decades.
Places To See:
- The Sri Sawai Bhoj Temple
- Jagat Pita Shri Brahma temple
- Varaha temple
- Apteshwar Mahadev temple
- Savitri Temple
- Baba the Cosmic Barber
- Temple of Rangji (New and Old) or Shri Vaikunthnathji
- Man Mahal
- Gurudwara Singh Sabha (Patrons: Jaswinder Singh & Harmeet Bhatti)
- Varah Temple. This temple is to God Vishnu. It is one of the most visited temples in Pushkar city.
Pushkar fair continues for five days and these five days are a period of relaxation and merry-making for the villagers. This fair time is the most busy time for them, as this is one of the largest cattle fairs in the country. Animals, including over 50,000 camels, are brought from miles around to be traded and sold. Trading is brisk as several thousand heads of cattle exchange hands. All the camels are cleaned, washed, adorned, some are interestingly shorn to form patterns, and special stalls are set up selling finery and jewellery for the camels. Camels at the Pushkar fair are decorated with great care. They wear jewellery of silver and beads. There are silver bells and bangles around their ankles that jangle when they walk. An interesting ritual is the piercing of a camel's nose.
According to the Hindu calendar Pushkar Fair commences in Nawami (ninth day of fortnightly phases of moon) and ends in Purnima (Full Moon) in the month of Kartika (October or November according to the lunar calendar). In Pushkar, one of the biggest Cattle Fair is also held for trading purposes and the best cattle in all categories are awarded. Countless people in their colourful attire gather to take a dip in the Holy Lake and pray to the deities. The whole town comes alive with vibrant folk music and dances, magic shows, horse and camel races and various other traditional entertainment competitions. Pushkar, with more than 12 local fairs and festivals of 10–15 days duration is a year round destination. It is a mellow town by the great lake of Pushkar amidst the perfume of jasmine and rose flowers. About 4,000 to 6,000 visitors from all over the world come to Pushkar everyday.
- 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.
- 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 statue of Goddess Savitri.
- Old Pushkar: Old Pushkar lake is rebuilt and is located around 5 km from Pushkar lake. According to the ancient texts, Old Pushkar has equal cultural and religious significance for the pilgrims.
- Air, The nearest airport from Pushkar is Sanganer Airport at Jaipur at distance of 146 km (91 mi). Jaipur is well connected with all the major cities in India.
- Road, Pushkar is 11 km (6.8 mt) from main Ajmer bus stand. Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Jaipur. There are buses from Jaipur to Ajmer, Indore, Nagda every 15 minutes. Pushkar is about 2:30 hour drive from Jaipur.
- Rail, Pushkar has a railway station that started operations in January 2012 and connects to the nearest large railway station, Ajmer. Ajmer railway junction is connected to almost all cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, Bhopal, Trivandrum and Cochin.