Pushkar India Tour
- History of Pushkar
- Climate of Pushkar
- Tourist Attractions
- Eating in Pushkar
- Shopping in Pushkar
- Hotels in Pushkar
A small enchanting town situated just 11 kms from Ajmer Sharif, the holy town of Pushkar along with those of Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram, and Dwarka is among the five Dhams that are held in high esteem by Hindus. An important pilgrimage town for the Hindus, Pushkar is always thronged by a plethora of sadhus and devotees, especially during the annual Pushkar Fair held in the month of October- November. The site of the Brahma temple, Pushkar is the only place in the world, where Lord Brahma is worshipped. The Creator of the Universe is not worshipped anywhere in the country due to a curse by wife Savitri, the Goddess of Dawn which held that he will not be worshipped anywhere in the world except Pushkar.
Besides the Brahma temple, there are also a large number of other temples like the Savitri temple, Varha temple and the Apteswar temple which are highly revered by the Hindus. The Pushkar Lake surrounded by 52 Ghats is yet another attraction. It is said that each of its Ghats has some magical properties. For instance, a dip in the Naga Kund is believed to give fertility, Roop Tirth gives beauty and charm, Kapil Vyapi Kund water helps in curing leprosy while a dip in the Mrikand Muni Kund grants the boon of wisdom.
A sacred site for the Hindus, the town of Pushkar is considered to be as old as the creation itself. A sleepy, lakeside settlement, the town has said to have captured the imagination of the great Indian Sanskrit poet Kalidas, who mentioned it in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam. The great epics The Ramayana and The Mahabharat also make frequent references to this religious place as the Adi Tiratha. According to legends, Pushkar means a pond created by flower and the town of Pushkar came up when a lotus flower fell on the earth from God Brahma hand. A lake sprang up on the very place where the flower landed. This was the Pushkar Lake around which 52 more Ghats sprang up.
There is yet another legend which describes why Pushkar is the only place where Lord Brahma is worshipped. According to folklore, Lord Brahma after killing the demon Vajra Nabh wished to absolve his sins by performing a yagna. Preparations for the yagna were underway when it was discovered that his wife, the Goddess Savitri whose presence in the yagna was important was not there. As the auspicious time was running out, Lord Brahma married Gayatri, a local milkmaid and performed the puja. Meanwhile Savitri landed on earth and, upon finding someone else in her place , cursed him that he would never be worshipped anywhere else on earth expect Pushkar.
Pushkar Fair : Surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on the fourth, the small picturesque town of Pushkar forms a fascinating location and a befitting backdrop for the annual religious and cattle fair. One of the most popular and colorful fairs, the annual Pushkar Fair which, begins on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi & goes on for five days till Kartik Purnima, sees the town reverberate with various joyous festivities.
During this five day festivity, Pushkar, considered to be one of the holiest pilgrimage sites in India pulsates with vibrant energy and activity. The only town in India, which has a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma -Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir, the place teems with thousands of devotees and holy men in various garbs who come to the temple to pray and take a holy dip in the sacred waters of the Pushkar Lake on the day of the Kartik Purnima full moon night of the Kartika month. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed at the Gandhi ghat. The water of the Pushkar Lake is considered to be sacred and the ritual of taking dips in the holy water is believed to bestow salvation. Also, the believe that all the 330 million Gods and Goddesses visit Pushkar during this period is yet another reason why so many people visit the five day fair. At Pushkar, it is customary to float lighted lamps on pattals plates made of leaves on the waters of lake in honor of the gods. This creates a spectacular view when the sacred lake takes on a mystical tint sprinkled with twinkling spots of light.
Along with the religious fair, a livestock fair is also organised. The Pushkar Cattle Fair is one of the largest in India and the only one of its kind in the entire world. During the fair, lakhs of people from all over Rajasthan come to Pushkar, along with their Camels and Cattle for several days of live stock trading and dealing. A number of cultural and sporting events also take place. Rows of make shift stalls display a large variety of items that range from objects of art to daily utility stuff. Definitely a feast for the eyes and a lifetime experience for tourists and visitors alike, the Pushkar fair is one unforgettable event that should never be missed.
Situated in Eastern Rajasthan, the pilgrimage town of Pushkar has a hot and humid climate. Summers are usually hot with the temperature rising upto 45 degree Celsius while winters are chilly at 8 degree Celsius. The monsoon season is from July to Mid September when the weather becomes very humid, so the best season to visit the town is from October to February when the annual Pushkar Fair also takes place.
Facts and Figures about Pushkar :
- Population : 1.8 millions
- Altitude : 413 meters
- Languages : Rajasthani, Hindi and English
- STD code : 0145
How to reach Pushkar :
Pushkar lies at a distance of 11 km from Ajmer, which serves as the base for the most of the long-distance journeys to and from Pushkar. It is also 305 km from Bharatpur, 210 km from Jodhpur, 303 km from Udaipur, 200 km from Kota, 140km from Jaipur and 390 km from Delhi.
- By Air : The nearest airport from Pushkar is Jaipur, which is well connected to all the major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. Recently, flights to Dubai have also been started from Pushkar by Indian Airlines.
- By Train : Ajmer Sharif which is situated at a distance of 11 km from Pushkar is the nearest railway station. It is connected to all the metro cities of India and daily trains regularly ply from Delhi in morning.
- By Road : The holy town of Pushkar has to two bus stands to meet the ever increasing flow of tourists. The Marwar bus stand situated to the north of the town has buses to some long distance places including Delhi, Jodhpur and Bikaner while the Ajmer bus stand located east of the Pushkar town offers bus services to Ajmer and Jaipur. 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. Besides travelling by buses, one can also hire private cars and taxis.
Brahma Temple : The only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma, the Brahma temple constructed in the 14th century stands on a high plinth. Marble steps lead up to the temple where a silver turtle lies embossed in the floor facing the sanctorum. The marble floor around the turtle is littered with hundreds of silver coins engraved with the donor’s name. Images of the peacock, the vehicle of Brahma’s consort Saraswati, adorn the temple walls. A hans or goose, the official carrier of Brahma spans the gateway to the temple which is crowned with a red spire. Inside the temple, the idol of Lord Brahma is shown in a life-size form with four hands and four faces, facing four different directions. A small statue of the milk Goddess Gayatri called Chaumurti sits near Brahma’s idol. Steps within the silver-door sanctuary lead down into a small cave which is a temple of Lord Shiva.
Savitri Temple : The Goddess Savitri, wife of Lord Brahma also has a temple dedicated to her. Her Temple located on top a hill behind the Brahma temple offers a panoramic view of the beautiful lake and the picturesque surrounding of the villages. One has to climb a long series of steps to reach the shrine.
Saraswati Temple : The Goddess of learning, Saraswati is the wife of Brahma. Her name means 'the flowing one' and in the Rig Veda she is represented as a river deity 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.
Rangji Temple : The gracious temple is very conspicuous, due to its south Indian style of architecture. It has a high rising 'Gopuram' typical of southern India.
Varah Temple : The Varah temple Boar Temple along with the Brahma is considered as an important temple. The temple has an interesting and richly ornamented sanctum sanctorum and houses an image of Lord Vishnu in the incarnation of wild boar. According to Indian mythology, Lord Vishnu came on the earth in the incarnation of Varah wild boar to kill the demon Hirnayaksh and liberate the land from his atrocities. This ancient temple believed to be constructed by King Anaji Chauhan 1123-1150 was later reconstructed by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1727.
Apteshwar Temple : Another important temple of the town, the 12th century Apteshwar Templeis dedicated to Lord Shiva.
A holy pilgrimage town bursting with thousands of pilgrims and the site of the annual cattle fair, a riot of colours greets you the moment one enters the town of Pushkar. A town full of vibrancy, Pushkar, besides its plethora of temples and the Pushkar Lake is also known for its bazaars. The shopping centres are Sarafa Bazar, Baza Bazar and Kedalganj bazaar. Visitors can shop here for souvenirs which may include textiles, embroidered fabrics, bed and cushion covers , ethnic and costume jewellery, miniature paintings, leather goods, brass utensils, puppets and pottery besides the lovely colorful bangles and beads. Moreover, one can also shop here for some rare second hand books.
Being an important pilgrimage town bursting with thousands of pilgrims, the town of Pushkar has a number of hotels and restaurants to cater to the accommodation and dining needs of its visitors. Being a holy place, vegetrarian fare is the norm with alcohol, meat and even eggs strictly banned. Most of the hotels and restaurants are reasonably priced and one can enjoy a leisurely buffet style meal for 30 - 40 bucks. German bakeries are the rage and Sunset Café is the place to hang out if you want some tasty dosas and sizzlers. Also being located near the lake, it also offers and amazing view of the setting sun. Venus Restaurant, a part of the Hotel Venus has a multi-cuisine restaurant on the rooftop and offers a wide range of cuisine. For Indian, Mexican, Italian, and Continental and Thai dishes, Moon Dance and Raju Garden Restaurant are the place to be while the Sun-n-Moon Hotel, located in the vicinity of the Brahma Temple has tables around a Bodhi tree and is a peaceful place to one's food.