Pushkar (The Holy City) is a town in the Ajmer district in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is situated at 14 km North West from Ajmer at an average elevation of 510 metres, and is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage sites for devout Hindus). 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 cities of India. The date of its actual founding is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. It is mentioned that Brahma performed penance here for 60,000 years to have glimpse of Radha Krishna.
The Ramayan mentions Pushkar and says that Vishvamitra performed tapa here. It further says that the Apsara Menaka came to Pushkara to bathe in its sacred waters.
The Mahabharata says that while laying down a programme for Maharaja Yudhishthara travel, “Maharaja after entering the Jungles of Sind and crossing the small rivers on the way should bathe in Pushkara”. And, as per Vaman Purana, Prahlada on his pilgrimage to holy places visited Pushkarayana.
A Gurjara Pratihara (Gurjar) ruler of Mandore, Nahadarava, restored this tirtha in the seventh century. He got the place cleared and the lake restored by making an embankment on the side of the river Luni. He rebuilt old palaces and built twelve dharmashalas (resting places) and ghats on three sides of the lake.
According to Rajputana Gazetteer Pushkar was held by Chechi Gurjars (Gujjars) till about 700 years ago. Later Some shrines were occupied by Kanphati Jogis. There are still priests from Gujar community in Pushkar temple, known as Bhopas.The sage Parasara is said to have been born here. His descendants, called Parasara Brahamanas, are found in Pushkar and the surrounding area. The famous temple of Jeenmata has been cared for by Parasara Brahmans for the last 1,000 years. Pushkarana Brahamanas may also have originated here.It is also the venue of the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. In 1901, the town was part of the had a population of 3,831.
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.
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.
Varah Temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. One of the various incarnations of Lord Vishnu was that of Varah (boar). The temple worships the Varah form of Lord Vishnu.
You would find ample references of Vishnu in the Hindu myths and legends. In several incarnations which numbers up to as many as 10, Vishnu has appeared on the earth and saved the earth from the hand of the evil.
The temple has a significant historical past. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb destroyed much of the temple because he could not stand with the rather bizarre idol of human body with the head of a boar, housed in the temple.
Later Sawai Jai Singh II, the Maharajah of Jaipur reconstructed the temple. Lord Vishnu is seen as one of the Hindu trinity – Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswar. Vishnu represents the Sustenance of creation while other two gods represents Creation and Destruction.
Mahadeva Temple in Pushkar is dedicated to Lord Mahadeva. The god is one of the Hindu Trinity that represents Creation, Sustenance and Destruction. According to the Hindu Puranas, Lord Mahadeva is the god of destruction.
There are several myths and legends centering round Lord Mahadeva. Ash-smeared and clad in tiger Skin, He holds a Trishul in his hand and a bull is his pet. According to the legends, the river Ganges has been created from His locks of hair.
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.
Pushkar becomes a bustling and colorful fairground in the month of Kartik (October-November) when the annual Pushkar Fair is held. The highlight of the fair is the Camel Fair, the trading of camels. Camels are bought, sold, decked up and paraded on the sand dunes, presenting a picturesque sight. The camel, horse and donkey races are events that are hugely popular with the tourists. The Pushkar Fair has become a major cultural event in the state of Rajasthan bringing together a large number of villagers from different parts of the state of Rajasthan who display their traditional ware and also make the evenings colorful and festive with music and dance.
Distance from major cities
- Jaipur 140 Kms
- Jodhpur 216 Kms
- Udaipur 311 Kms
How to reach there
- Jaipur Airport is the nearest Airport to Pushkar.
- Ajmer Railway Station is the nearest station and well connected with all major cities.
- Ajmer Bus Stand is well connected by road with Jaipur, Jodhpur & Udaipur with Luxury AC Coaches.
- The Third Eye, Pushkar
- Sanjay Restaurant, Pushkar
- Sunset café, Pushkar
Hotels in Pushkar
|Luxury Hotels||Medium Hotels||Budget Hotels|
|Pushkar Bagh||Jagat Singh Palace||Master Paradise|
|Pushkar Resort||Pushkar Palace||Pushkar Heritage|
|Ananta Spa & Resorts||Pushkar Fort||New Park|
|Pushkar Royal Camp||Gulaab Niwas Palace||Teerth Palace|