|Location:||11-km From Ajmer, Rajasthan|
|Tourist Attractions:||25 Bathing Ghats, Cattle Fair|
|Significance:||Houses The Only Brahma Temple In India.|
|Best Time To Visit:||Mid-October To Mid-March.|
Pushkar is a small, mellow town with no vehicle traffic on the main street. There are over 400 temples in Pushkar. Some of the important temples are dedicated to Brahma, Raghunath, Varaha, Savitri ,and Gayatri. It is famous for the Camel Fair, which takes place here in Oct/Nov. Alcohol and meat are supposed to be banned here. Pushkar is on the edge of the Rajasthan desert, ten km northwest of Ajmer, 400 km southwest of Ajmer, 400 km southwest of Delhi, and 145 km southwest of Jaipur.
It is said that Lord Brahma’s lotus flower fell in three separate places in the Pushkar area, and water came from the ground at each place. They are located within a radius of six miles. Senior Pushkar, where the hotels are located, is considered the most holy place, because the lotus fell here first. Middle Pushkar is 3 km down the road and has a small Hanuman temple and a 200-year-old banyan tree. New (Junior) Pushkar, 3 km further north, has a small Krishna temple. As Brahma threw the pushpa (flower) with his kar (hand), so the place received the name Pushkar.
It is said that while Lord Brahma was passing this spot he dropped a lotus flower. From the spots where the petals fell, water sprang out and lakes were formed. There is a rectangular lake here surrounded by temples. According to the Padma Purana, Brahma, the lord of creation, killed a demon with a lotus flower here. He dropped the lotus at this place to kill the demon. Petals fell in three spots, where lakes emerged.
Brahma wanted to perform a yajna on the full moon day in Kartika (Oct/Nov). Lord Brahma, the creator, was in search of a suitable place to perform the yajna. The lotus from his hand fell down, rebounded, and fell at three places, from where water sprang. Thus Brahma decided to perform the yajna at Pushkar (push-lotus; kar-hand). But the yajna could not take place without his wife, Savitri, by his side, and she was late. Brahma therefore for him, so that he could fulfill the religious obligations. So the priest manifested a daughter called Gayatri. Because she was an untouchable, to purify her, she was put into the mouth of a cow and removed from the other end, which totally purified her. When Savitri arrived, she saw Brahma married without her permission. So she cursed Brahma that he would only be worshiped at Pushkar.
Enraged, Savitri went and established a temple at Rathkagir, on top of the hill a little south of Pushkar. It is said to be due to Savitri’s resentment that Brahma is mainly only worshiped at Pushkar.
- Brahma Temple
A beautiful and one of the most important temples in Pushkar. This temple is the only temple dedicated to Bramha in India. Bramha, the Hindu god of creation, is four headed facing in all four directions, symbolizing his presence everywhere. A four-armed life-sized statue of Bramha is enshrined inside the temple. Another interesting attraction are the coins studded in the floor of the temple, placed by devotees from all over India to commemorate the births and deaths of their loved ones.
- Mahadeva Temple
This temple was built in the 19th century and is well-known for its white marble image of Mahadeva with five faces. Also praiseworthy is the structure and the incredible ornaments with which the statue is adorned.
- Ramavaikunth Temple
In 1920, this temple was built with great taste and delicacy, and is also one of the largest temples in Pushkar. A team of masons from south India were specially called to build the outer gopuram (arch) over the entrance. Another stone gopuram bears beautiful sculpted images of not less than 360 different deities
- Varah Temple
Being built in the 12th century, the Varah Temple was one of the many temples destroyed by Emperor Aurangzeb. It is said that he particularly detested the life-size image of Varah, the god with the head of a wild boar and the body of a man. Later in 1727, it was reconstructed by Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur. The temple has elegant carvings and sculptures, besides the richly ornamented image house.
- Savitri Temple
It is situated on the hill behind the Bramha Temple, and a long series of steps has to be climbed to reach it. It gives a beautiful panoramic view of the Pushkar lake, and the surrounding sand dune villages. According to a legend, while Bramha was performing a sacred ritual his wife Savitri was not present. Since the presence was essential for the ritual, Bramha hastily married a local maiden, Gayatri. When Savitri heard about this, she flew into a rage and cursed Bramha that he would not be worshipped anywhere accept Pushkar.
There are two Raghunath temples in Pushkar-the old and the new one. The Deities in the New Raghunath Temple are Vaikunthanath and Laksmi. The Deities in the Old Raghunath Temple, build in1823, are Venugopal, Narasimha, and Laksmi. In India I saw many sign saying “non-Hindus not allowed” at temples, but these temples had signs that said “Foreigners not allowed”.
- Nag (Yajna) Hill – A Unique Attraction
It is said to be one of the oldest hills in the world. Its height is said to have been ten crores yojanas in Satya-yuga, ten lakhs yojanas in Treta-yuga, and ten thousand yojanas in Dwapura-yuga. In Kali-yuga its height is decreasing day by day because it is sinking into the earth. By the end of Kali Yuga it will almost disappear. It is said that if you visit this hill on your pilgrimages to Pushkar you will not have any interference or difficulties.
On this hill is Nag Kund. The story of this hill is that Rishi Chyavan cursed Vatu, the grandson of Brahma, to become a snake on the second day of the sacrifice performed by Brahma. Vatu was cursed because at the sacrifice he released a snake that coiled around Bhrigu Muni, the father of Rishi Chyavan. After vatu begged for forgiveness, Brahma blessed him to live near this natural kund (lake) on Nag Hill. Vatu did austerities here. People who worship here on the 5th day in Krishna Paksha of Sravana (July/Aug) are said to get their desires fulfilled. Agastya Muni’s residence is said to be a cave on Nag Hill. It is about 2 km from Senior Pushkar. You cross Nag Hill to go from Ajmer to Pushkar.
The closest airport is 131 km away in Jaipur.
The nearest railway station, in Ajmer (10 km), has trains to Jaipur, Delhi, Udaipur, and Ahmedabad. From Ahmedabad you can get a train to Bombay or Dwarka. You can have a travel agent in Pushkar arrange your train a day or two in advance for a Rs. 30 charge, rather than going to Ajmer yourself. The best way to get to Delhi is to catch an overnight train from Ajmer. It is much better than taking an overnight bus, but it takes a little advance planning.
There are two bus stands in Pushkar-the Marwar bus stand, in the north of town by the post office, which services some long distance places, and the Ajmer bus stand, east of town by the Pushkar Hotel, which has buses to Ajmer and Jaipur. There are regular buses from Pushkar to Ajmer. The buses from Ajmer to Pushkar depart every hour from 6 am to 10 pm from near the Ajmer railway station.
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