Pushkar

Pushkar

Pushkar

Pushkar  is situated 14 km (8.7 mile) northwest of Ajmer. 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 Brahma with its creation. Pushkar in Sanskrit means blue lotus flower. Hindus believe that the gods released a swan with a lotus in its beak and let it fall on earth where Brahma would perform a grand yagna. The place where the lotus fell was called Pushkar. It may be derived from word Pushpa means flower and Kar means hand. During this process the parts of flower fell on three places which were later known as Jyaistha, Madhya and Kanistha Pushkar. After this Brahma performed a yagna to protect this place from demons. The consort of Brahma, Savitri, were needed to offer Aahuti for the yagna but she was not there at that time so Gayatri, a Gurjar girl, was married to brahma and performed yagna. This act made first wife of Brahma, Savitri, angry and she cursed Brahma saying that he would be worshipped in Pushkar only. Subsequently, Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple of Pushkar built during the 14th century CE.

 

According to Hindu theology, the pond has a theological association with 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, Shiva cried so much and for so long, that his tears created two holy ponds – one at Pushkar in Ajmer in India and the other at Ketaksha (Pakistan), which literally means raining eyes, in Sanskrit. Pushkar is often called "Tirth Raj" – the king of pilgrimage sites, According to Hindu religion, after visiting all the Hindu pilgrim towns and temples (Four Dhams), if Pushkar is not visited for worship, then salvation is not achieved. The Pushkar lake has 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. Several other supporting folklores exist and prevalent among the locals regarding the importance and creation of Pushkar as a major pilgrimage.

 

Besides national tourists, In recent years Pushkar has also become a popular destination for international(foreign) tourists. Although tourism persists here round the year but most favourable time to visit Pushkar is during rainy season and post-monsoon winter season. Also, during this season a colourful and lively fair, which is one of the largest cattle fairs in the country, held every year at Pushkar- The Pushkar Fair (October- November) . The fair continues for five days and these five days are a period of relaxation and merry-making for the villagers. Trading is brisk as several thousand heads of cattle exchange hands. 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). The fair has a religious significance too. The whole town comes alive with vibrant folk music and dances, magic shows, horse and camel races and various other traditional entertainment competitions.