Pushkar is a small town located in central-east part of Rajasthan, on the western side of Aravalli mountains. The nearest airport from Pushkar is Kishangarh Airport in Ajmer, about 40 km (25 mi) northeast. Pushkar is about 10 km (6.2 mi) from Ajmer, connected via Pushkar road (Highway 58) which goes over the Aravalli Range mountains. Ajmer is also the nearest major railway station.
|A view of Pushkar town|
According to legends, Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe, dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake. He then decided to name the place after the flower, and thus the name, Pushkar. The city of Pushkar is home to the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world. Hindus consider a journey to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation.
Hindu mythology speaks about Panch Sarovars (Five Lakes) – Man Sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Pampa Sarovar and Pushkar Sarovar, of which, Pushkar Lake is considered to be the most sacred. Devotees believe that bathing in the waters of the lake on Kartik Poornima (during the Pushkar Fair) will nullify sins and cure all skin diseases. This artificial lake has been created by building a dam and lies nestled in the folds of the Aravalli range, surrounded by a desert and hills on all sides. The lake has 52 bathing ghats (steps leading into the water) and the water around each ghat is believed to possess special medicinal powers. The Pushkar Lake is a popular destination for pilgrims, as evidenced by the over 500 temples that dot the banks of the lake.
Pushkar is one of the oldest cities in India. Located to the northwest of Ajmer, the tranquil city of Pushkar is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees flocking to Rajasthan. Situated at a height of 510 metres, Pushkar is surrounded by hillocks on three sides. The ‘Nag Pahar’, literally meaning Snake Mountain forms a natural border between Ajmer and Pushkar. Known as ‘the rose garden of Rajasthan’, the essence of the famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.
Pushkar is a favorite travel destination in Rajasthan, as it happens to be a temple town. The town of Pushkar has developed around the Pushkar Lake.
It is an old town considered to be the only place where Lord Brahma is worshipped. Pushkar lies on the shore of Lake Pushkar and the deities Savitri and Gayatri are popularly worshipped here as they were Lord Brahma’s wives. Since it is a temple town you would likely be visiting the most important temples of Lord Brahma, Savitri and Gayatri Devi. A major tourist attraction in Pushkar is the camel fair held in November, about which there is more information below.
There are a number of hotels overlooking the Pushkar Lake with rooftop restaurants for a serene view as you dine. The town has a no alcohol and vegetarian-only policy.
Among the sightseeing places in Pushkar it would be great to watch the lake illuminated by the evening aarti lamps.
The Brahma Temple is enchanting with its evening puja (prayer) chantings of bells and lamplight aradhana. Shoes, bags and cameras are forbidden inside the complex. The Savitri temple is the next in importance to the Brahma temple. The Pap Mochini is 30 minutes away, and a temple dedicated to Gayatri, Brahma’s second consort. Tourism in Pushkar has gained importance because there are spiritual tours conducted on foot which are rejuvenating; besides there is scope for shopping memorabilia; enjoying coffee at little cafes; shopping for Rajasthani handicraft and taking camel safari to the sunset point. Visiting simple temple towns like Pushkar are a relief from the humdrum of complex city life where you can breathe at ease and give yourself a much needed break.
Pushkar fair (fair is called “mela” in Hindi)
The Pushkar Fair, also called the Pushkar Camel Fair or locally as Kartik Mela or Pushkar ka Mela is an annual multi-day livestock fair and cultural fête held in the town of Pushkar (Rajasthan, India). The fair starts with the Hindu calendar month of Kartik and ends on the Kartik Purnima, which typically overlaps with late October and early November in the Gregorian calendar. In 1998, over 1 million visitors came to Pushkar throughout the year. The Pushkar fair alone attracts over 200,000 visitors.
|Percussion Artist at Pushkar fair|
|Puppet show at the fair|
The Pushkar fair is one of India's largest camel, horse and cattle fairs. Apart from the trading of livestock, it is an important pilgrimage season for Hindus to the Pushkar lake. Pushkar fair has also become a significant tourist attraction for domestic and international travelers, given the cooler season, the abundance of colorful cultural themes. Cultural events and competitions include dances, tug of war between women teams as well as men teams, the "matka phod" (a matka is a round clay pot used for storing drinking water), "longest moustache" competition, "bridal competition", camel races and others.
Pushkar Mela is celebrated from the Kartik Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima, the full moon day of Kartik as per the Hindu calendar.
Let us learn a bit about Pushkar and the amazing fair it is host to. The Pushkar town offers tourists a wide range of rich architectural heritage, activities, and experiences. The fair is as old as 100 years and is truly a cultural retreat with various dancers, musicians, snake charmers and acrobats. Pushkar Mela pulls thousands and thousands of livestock from far and beyond. Cattle from faraway places travel on foot for business purposes. Camels are definitely the highlight of the fair. Beautifully decorated camels well adorned with jewellery participate in the fair and activities like camel dance shows, camel decoration contest. Other highlights include camel safari tours, music and dance shows and modern comfortable camps to stay.
Activities at Pushkar fair
Some of the activities to watch out for at the Pushkar Mela are as follows. The thrilling hot air balloon is one of the most interesting activities. Watching the entire city and the scale of the mela from air is simply breathtaking. Others include LangriTaang with foreigners, Kabbadi Match, Voice of Pushkar, Mandana Competition, Kite Flying Competition, Jeep Safaris and a lot many camel related contests and competitions.
Watching sunsets during the safari is a not-to-miss experience.
Camp Stay and Contests at Pushkar Fair
Booking the perfect accommodation can really make your trip a unique experience. Pushkar Mela offers an off-the-beaten-path range of camps for stay where one can hope for a unique experience. Comfortable and cozy, these camps are quiet and offer an authentic experience.
|Tented accommodation at Pushkar fair|
One of the preferred accommodations is the Skywaltz Pushkar Camp. One can stay in Deluxe Tents Non Air Conditioned and Luxury Tents Air Conditioned. You can take a one night package at Luxury Air Conditioned tents and this will include stay in a Luxury tent at the camp for a couple, all meals and local transfers at the Pushkar Mela Ground. It will also include full day access to the elevated sitting area at the stadium and VIP seating for evening concerts.
|Luxurious tent accommodation|
The packages vary in cost from about Rs 10,000 to 20,000 per night, depending upon number of days of stay.
It is advisable to get your accommodation booked in advance as the fair witnesses numerous travelers, both domestic and international coming from various parts of the world. Also, make sure to make bookings for activities like camel and jeep safaris, quad biking, para-motoring & hot air balloon flights beforehand.
Please visit https://www.pushkarmela.org/packages for details and booking of packages
PLACES OF INTEREST
According to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in in the holy Pushkar Lake. Semi-circular in shape and about 8-10 metres deep, Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.
|Temple of Lord Brahma|
|The sanctum sanctorum of Brahma Temple|
The ancient structure is about 2000 years old, although the current structure dates to the 14th century. Pushkar has over 500 temples, some very old, but the Brahma temple is the most important among them. Legend has it that Brahma came down upon earth to perform a yajna and chose this site for his temple. In the 8th century, Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara devoted himself to renovating the temple, but the current structure is credited to Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam, who repaired and slightly modified it. The inner sanctum of the temple is dedicated to Lord Brahma and his second wife, Gayatri. The temple is made of marble and stone stabs. Its red pinnacle (shikhara) can be seen from a distance and the temple has a distinct hamsa (bird) motif. On Kartik Poornima during Pushkar Fair, the town celebrates a festival dedicated to Brahma. Devout pilgrims visit the temple after bathing and cleansing themselves in the sacred Pushkar Lake. The Brahma temple has been recognized as one of the ten most religious places in the world and is considered to be one of the five sacred pilgrimage destinations for Hindus.
Dedicated to Lord Brahma's first wife, Goddess Savitri, this temple is situated on a hillock right behind the Brahma temple. While climbing the long series of steps leading to the temple, one can catch a panoramic view of the lake, surrounding temples and sand dunes. The presence of the only Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the outcome of Savitri’s curse to Brahma for marrying another Goddess, Gayatri, while starting his yagna in Pushkar.
|Old Rangji Temple|
|New Rangji Temple|
PAP MOCHINI TEMPLE
|Paap Mochini Temple|
Presided by the deity Ekadashi Mata, the Pap Mochini temple is believed to provide respite to followers from their cardinal sins. Located in the northern section of Pushkar, the temple is like a pearl in the crown of Pushkar. Having a great spiritual importance as well as boasting a splendid architecture, the Pap Mochini temple is one of the most popular temples in Rajasthan.
This beautiful 12th century temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and has an underground component. The intricate Hemadpanti architectural style carvings give this temple a magnificent appearance. Thousands of devotees flock here to pay their respects during the auspicious time of Shivaratri, when Lord Shiva is ritually respected.
Varaha temple is the largest and the most ancient temple of Pushkar. Constructed by the 12th century ruler, King Anaji Chauhan, this temple is dedicated to the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a wild boar. Legend has it that Varaha rescued the earth from depth of the primeval water, where it was dragged down by a demon (Hirnayaksh). It is one of the most visited temples in Pushkar.
Among the most popular and vibrant bazaars in Pushkar is the Sarafa Bazaar, attracting thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. All the stuff in a way exhibit the real culture and tradition of India. In fact, any tour to Pushkar is incomplete without visiting this famous bazaar.
Pushkar is revered as one of the most pious towns in Rajasthan, with several sacred ghats and shrines. From famous attractions to lively bazaars, Pushkar has a lot keep you engaged. Whether it is a local market or a showroom, the town doesn’t seem to disappoint you in any aspect.
Some of the unique buys of Sarafa bazaar include best quality of garments (stitched or readymade), beautiful shimmering fashion accessories, amazing fabrics, stony bead bangles and excellent leather goods. The town also boasts of intricately designed camel covers. Do not miss the most stunning and attractive statues of different Hindu Gods and Goddess.
The nearby Baza bazaar also offers unique shopping opportunity to both domestic & international tourists.
Rajasthan tourism site link: https://www.pushkarmela.org/