Pushkar is a
sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 kms. to the
north-west of Ajmer. About 400 temples and shrines are
located at Pushkar around its holy lake, which finds a
mention in the Padma Purana. Legend has it that Lord Brahma
in search for a spot to hold his 'yagna' (religious ritual),
dropped the lotus from his hand, the three spots touched by
this flower were turned into lakes. These are today known as
the 'Jyeshtha Pushkar' (main Pushkar), the 'Madhyam Pushkar'
(medium Pushkar) and the 'Kanishtha Pushkar' (little Pushkar).
A temple dedicated to Lord Brahma is located at Pushkar; the
other important temples are those of Gayatri, Savitri, Shiv
and Badri Narayan.
Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 flights of steps, called 'ghats',
many having special legendary importance. Lord Vishnu is
said to have appeared at the Varah Ghat in the form of a
boar. Brahma took a bath here and performed Yagna at the
Brahma Ghat, accompanied by Vishnu and Mahadev. Guru Gobind
Singh choosen this site for reciting the sacred Guru Granth
Sahib. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed at the
Gandhi Ghat, which was previously called Gau Ghat.
There is a steady flow of pilgrims throughout the year to
Pushkar, which is among the five principal places of hindu
pilgrimage. It is, however transformed into a bustling
fair-ground in the month of Kartik (October-November) when
the annual Pushkar Fair and a cattle fair are held
simultaneously. The fair starts from Kartik Shukla Ekadashi
and goes on for 12 days, till Kartik Purnima. Both the
religious fair and the cattle fair are now internationally
renowned tourist attractions. A small fair is held in the
month of Baisakh, which is primarily a local event.
THE HOLY DIPS ( SNAN )
consider the water of the Pushkar Lake to be very sacred and
the ritual of taking dips in the holy water is believed to
bestow salvation. The holy dip is most auspicious on Kartik
Purnima. Even before sunrise, people descend the ghats,
aided by the 'pandas' (Brahmin priests) to take the sacred
bath. Offerings of coconut flowers and cash are made to
the lake and the priests.
VISITING THE TEMPLE
After bathing at the lake, people proceed to pay homage to
the creator of the Universe, Lord Brahma, at the Brahma
Most pilgrims perform the oblations at the Jyeshtha Pushkar
while some opt to visit all the three Pushkar and this is
called the Panch-Kosi-Parikrama. Many pilgrims visit all the
shrines at Pushkar in seven days and this is called the
FLOATING LAMPS ( DEEP DAN )
It is customary to float lighted earthen lamps after placing
them on 'pattals' (plates made of leaves) on the waters of
the lake. This creates a spectacular view in the evening
when the sacred lake takes on a mystical tint sprinkled with
twinkling spots of light. 'Aarti' is offered at the lake in
the morning and evening.
world-famous fair is held in the sacred and peaceful town
of Pushkar, 11 kms north-west of Ajmer. It transforms
into a spectacular fair ground for twelve days during the
month of Kartik (Oct-Nov).
Pushkar Fair, a major tourist attraction draws people from
all over the globe to the ancient and secluded environment
of Pushkar town. Pushkar Fair is perhaps the largest
cattle fair in the world. Rajasthan which is enriched by
cattle wealth is the home for many recognized breeds of
In conjunction with the religious fair, a cattle fair is
also organized in the month of Kartik at Pushkar
Cattle-breeders bring a large number of cattle of various
popular breeds such as Nagauri, Haryanvi, Mewati, Kankrej
etc. to the fair to be sold to the rural folk who appreciate
well-bred animals. The cattle are decorated by their owners
during Pushkar fair and also participate in the races and
are paraded on the sand dunes.
The ancient town of Pushkar is transformed into a
spectacular fair ground in the month of Kartik. The fair
attracts a great number of tourists from far and wide. The
fair-grounds reverberate with festivity, as rows to make
shift stalls display a bewildering array of items that
compete with each other for the visitors' attention. But the
highlight of Pushkar fair is the trading in 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 draw huge attendance. Body tattooing
is yet horse race Pushkar another favourite activity that
attracts a large number of enthusiasts.
The Pushkar fair brings together a large number of villagers
from different parts of the state. Some come here to sell.
Some come here to buy. Some come here on a pilgrimage. Still
others come here just to enjoy the festivities. The days are
filled with fun and activity. The evenings are filled with
music and dance. Come dusk, and the rich strains of haunting
music are carried across the desert sands as the merrymaking
continues deep into the night. The profusion of colours that
run riot in the desert sands, the glee and the contagious
enthusiasm of the village folk are a unique experience for
11km North-West of Ajmer, Rajasthan.
Feature: Hindu Pilgrimage.
Attraction: Pushkar Lake,
Brahma Temple, Cattle Fair.