Pushkar -A sacred Hill Retreat:
Pushkar, the tranquil pilgrim city, nestles amidst the majestic Aravalli hills and along the banks of the picturesque lake on the edge of desert. It is just 11 kms from Ajmer. Nag Pahar (Snake Hill) forms a natural barrier between Ajmer and Pushkar. The town is considered to be on of the most sacred pilgrimage for Hindus and is referred as ‘Tirth Raj’ PUSHKAR or the ‘King of pilgrim centres’. It is believed to incomplete pilgrimage, without having a holy dip in the sacred waters of Pushkar.
There is a fascinating mythological significance attached to Pushkar. According to ‘Padam Puran’, the Hindu religious text, Lord Brahma was on his way in search of a suitable place to perform a ‘Vedic Yojna’. While contemplating, a lotus fell down from his hand on the earth and water spurted from three places, one of them, is now Pushkar Lake and Brahma decided to perform his yojna over here. The temple town has withstood the test of time and has been a mute witness to the demo of history from the time of Rama, the hero of the earliest Hindu epic Ramayana, to Fa-Hien’s accounts of Pushkar in 14th century A.D. and to the time of Muslim invasion. The holy land is dotted with over 400 sacred shrines of immense religious importance, the most important being the temple of Lord Brahma, which is only one of its kind in the country. The beautiful Pushkar Lake is surrounded by bathing ghats, which is another most important site of the town.
The sluggish town comes to life during the annual Pushkar fair held on Kartik Purnima. It has emerged as a major tourist attraction of the region, as
tourists from all parts of the world gather here for the colourful fair.
How to get there
Airways : Nearest airport is at Jaipur (146 km).
Railways: The nearest railhead is Ajmer (11 km).
Roadways: It is well connected by Road. Regular bus service available from Ajmer.
Particulars About Pushkar
Area : 5 sq. km.
Languages : Rajasthani, Hindi & English.
Rainfall: 50 cms
Temperature : Summer 40.7C-25. 9 0C, Winter 23.3- 6.3 0C.
Clothing : Summer : Light Tropical, Winter : Woollen.
Best Season : July-March.
Discovering Pushkar :-
Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir
The exclusive memorial of Lord Brahma, the ‘Lord of Creation’ is the most imperative attraction of the town. It is the only existing temple of Lord Brahma in the India. The 14th century shrine placed on a high plinth is marked by a red spire. It is approached by marble steps and over the main entrance is a beautiful statue of a ‘Hans’ or swan or goose, the celestial carrier of Lord Brahma. The chamber sanctorum or the garbha griha enshrines a four faced image of Lord Brahma, known as Chaumurti. The sanctuary has silver doors inside a carved marble gateway. Steps in the corner lead to a small cave dedicated to Lord Shiva. A beautifully carved silver turtle is set on the floor in front of the garbha griha. Silver coins, having the names of the donor’s are also set in the temple walls. The temple walls are also decked with graceful peacocks, the celestial vehicle of Goddess Saraswati, the Goddess of Wisdom and consort of Lord Brahma.
The consecrated shrine along with the famous Brahma temple is the two most important temples of the town. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Vishnu in the form of Warah, the wild boar. It is said to be built by Chauhan King Anaji
(1123-1150 A.D.), but was destroyed by Muhammad Ghauri, after his victory over Ajmer. It was renovated in 1806 A.D., by Gokul Chand Parikh, a Scindia minister.
Apteshwar Mahadeo Temple
The 11th century holy place of Lord Shiva is yet another important temple of the town.
The shrine dedicated to first wife of Lord Brahma’s, is situated on the hill behind the Brahma temple. The temple is approached by a flight of steps and affords a bird’s eye view of the lake and surroundings areas. Temple of Rahgji or Shri Vaikunthnath ji, magnificent shrine is noted for its south Indian style of architecture. It has a high towering ‘Gopuram’ (gateway), which is typical of southern Indian temples.
Other important temples of Pushkar are- Baiji ka Mandir and Man Mandir etc.
The religious Pushkar lake amidst Aravalli hills, is dipped in mythological legends and is said to be created by the falling of lotus petal from the hand of Lord Brahma. The lake is considered to be as old as the creation and is one of the sacred ‘Panch Sarovar’ or Five Lakes of Hindu mythology. The other four are Man Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Bindu Sarovar and Pampa Sarovar. It is considered to be one of the most sacred spots for Hindus and a dip in the waters of the lake on Kartik Poornima, is comparable to performing yojnas for several hundred years. A dip in the water of the lake washes away the sins of the devotees.
There are 52 bathing ghats around the lake, the water around each of them is said to possess special powers. The Naga Kund is believed to give fertility, Roop Tirth gives beauty and charm, Kapil Vyapi Kund water helps in curing leprosy and a dip in the Mrikand Muni Kund grants the boon of Wisdom. Some other important ghats are Warah Ghat, Brahma Ghat and Gau Ghat. The Warah Ghat is considered very sacred as Lord Vishnu is believed to appeared here, in the from of a Warah (wild boar).
Photography is prohibited on the ghats of the lake, while devotees are bathing in the lake.
Glorious Man Mahal, built by Raja Man Singh I of Amber, is located to the east of the sacred lake Pushkar. It is the largest royal house in Pushkar and was built for Raja Man Singh I on his trips to the holy town. The royal guest house has been now converted into a RTDC hotel Sarovar, provides a fine view of the ghats and the surrounding areas and accommodation to the visitors.
The 400 year palace was built by the Mharaja of Kishangarh. It is situated on the edge of the lake and a beautiful and panaromic view of the temples, bathing ghats, sand dunes, and the magnificent Aravali hills can be enjoyed from her. It has also converted into a hotel.