Pushkar also popularly recognized as ‘Teertha Raj‘ implies one of the most important pilgrimage spot in India after ‘Char dham’ i.e. set of four pilgrimage spot in India named as ‘Badrinath’ situated in Uttarakhand (Northern part of India), ‘Dwarka’ situated in Gujarat (Western part of India), ‘Jagannath Puri’ situated in Orissa (Eastern part of India) and ‘Rameshwaram’ situated in Tamil Nadu (Southern part of India). Among hindus, there’s a belief that in order to achieve ‘Moksha’ i.e. ultimate relief or reliberation from the birth and death cycle it is important to visit these 4 places as it completes the chakra (the circle). Coming to the sacred Pushkar, it is very well known among hindus as well as sikhs as there are more than 400+ temples and one very renowned gurudwara named as ‘Gurudwara Guru Nanak Darbar Saheb‘.
The town Pushkar is as fascinating as its name and history. The name Pushkar is a set of two words ‘Push’ meaning flower (Pushp in hindi) and ‘kar’ meaning hand, so together they signify fall of the flower lotus from Lord Brahma’s hand (‘Lord Brahma’ is a hindu deity who’s considered as the creator of the universe in hindu religion). According to some known scholars as well as hindu scripture Padma Purana, Lord Brahma saw the asur(demon) Vajranabha tried to kill his children that led him attack Vajranabha with his sword (Lotus Flower) that immediately killed him. This incident was the reason of formation of Pushkar Lake as three petals from the flower lotus fell on the earth forming lake in three section: 1) Pushkar lake (Jeyshta Pushkar, the first lake) 2) Madya Pushkar (the middle lake) 3) Kanishta Pushkar (the last or lowest lake). With this Lord Brahma arrived on earth, named this place as ‘Pushkar’ and decided to perform a ‘yajna'(A ritual named as fire sacrifice) on Kartik Purnima. To perform the yajna with zero obstacle and peace, he created hills around the Pushkar i.e. Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and also positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance. However, this yajna cannot be completed without the presence of his wife. While performing this yajna, his wife Savitri (called Sarasvati in some versions) couldn’t reach on the scheduled time to perform the essential part of the yajna as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani.
His wife’s absence outraged him as without her the yajna would remain incomplete, he therefore asked for Lord Indra’s help (Lord Indra is known to be the heaven’s Leader/King) to bring a suitable female that he would marry and who would help him successfully complete the yajna. Indra found a milkman’s daughter, who was sanctified by making her passing through a holycow and as Lord Shiva and Vishnu gave the clean chit of purity to her, she was reborn and they named her as Gayatri. Lord Brahma then married her and completed the yajna with Gayatri sitting beside him and Gayitri performing her part of ‘yajna’. When Savitri reached the banks of river Pushkar where the yajna was held, she saw Gayitri sitting in her place and was performing all the tasks that she had to perform. This made Savitri furious and she cursed Lord Brahma that he will never be worshipped by any human beings, she cursed Lord Vishnu that he will get separated from his wife when he will be born as a human, she cursed Indra that he will be defeated in every battle and cursed others too. Savitri then left the place and decided to reside in Ratnagiri hills where she emerged as a spring named as Savitri Jharna and a temple is also been built in her honor.
Gayitri possessed the powers of yajna, she therefore reduced the curse of Indra being retaining his title as King of heaven, Lord Vishnu will meet his wife as a human later and the priests will be known as a scholar and will be respected. It is also said that Lord brahma himself selected the place for his temple. The temple has been described to have been built by sage Vishwamitra however it has been destroyed many times, also under the time of Aurangzeb’s rule (1658-1707). In fact during 8th century it was being renovated by hindu philosopher Adi Shankara and in the medival period the responsibility of its maintainence was taken by Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam. (Sources: The Free Press Journal, Shree Brahmaji Mandir)
Well apart from Pushkar lake, this town is famous for Pushkar fair happens mostly during the month in October or November every year specially when Kartik Purnima is approaching near. This fair is all about demonstration of domesticated cattles, camels, horses and in the evening, the Mela.
The streets are completely busy with the most beautiful accessories for women, children famous in Rajasthan as well as street food too. It not only attracts people from nearby villages but also tourists around the world usually the number goes upto five million.
Apart from fair, you can definitely head to Pushkar lake where you can get a feel of morning prayers, the rituals performed by saints, and ofcourse participate in it too if you wish. And if you enjoy street shopping, you should definitely explore the Pushkar streets near the fair ground.
So if you would like to explore more of Pushkar, then here’s the list for it:
- Savitri Mata Temple
- Paap Mochani Temple (also known as Gayitri Mata Temple)
- Jain Temple
- Gandhi Ghat
- Brahma Ghat
- Old Rangji Temple
- Naya Rangji Temple
- Varaha Temple
- Foy Sagar Lake
- Gau Ghat
- Sri Panchkund Shiva
- Sunset Point
- Historical Park
- Jaipur Ghat
- Art Gallery (Shiv Shakti Art & Handicraft)
- Shri Rama Vaikunth Nath Swami Temple
- Ati Prachin Shri Atamteshwar Mahadev
- Raghunath Temple
- Budha Pushkar Lake
- Ajaypal Temple
Travel Route to Pushkar: Board flight to Jaipur and book a cab for Pushkar. Another route is by train, travel to ajmer and from there head to Pushkar by cab.
Where to stay: To enjoy the utmost hospitality, stay at Regenta Royal Orchid (Pushkar Fort).
Hope you found this blog on Pushkar informative. See you with the next blog!