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Pushkar
panoramic view of Pushkar lake
Pushkar
Location of Pushkar
in Rajasthan and India
Coordinates 26°30′N 74°33′E / 26.5°N 74.55°E / 26.5; 74.55
Country  India
State Rajasthan
District(s) Ajmer
Population 14,789 (2001)
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Area
Elevation

510 m (1,673 ft)

Pushkar (Hindi: पुष्कर) is a town in the Ajmer district in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is situated at 14 km North West from Ajmer 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. Pushkar lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin 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 a glimpse of Vishnu.

Pushkar boasts of many temples. Most of the temples are not very old, since many were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently the destroyed temples were re-built. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century AD. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world. Other temples of Brahma include those at Besakih in Bali, Bithoor in Uttar Pradesh, India, village Asotra near Balotra city of Barmer district in Rajasthan and Prambanan in Indonesia. The Pushkar lake 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. Pushkar is also famous for its annual Pushkar Camel Fair.

The natural environment of Pushkar and the sacred lake has become increasingly degraded in the last few decades. The problems stem mainly from overdevelopment of tourist facilities and the deforestation of the surrounding area[1]

Contents

Etymology

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.

Geography

Pushkar is located at 26°30′N 74°33′E / 26.5°N 74.55°E / 26.5; 74.55.[2] It has an average elevation of 510 metres (1673 feet).

Pushkar seen from Saraswati temple

History

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’s 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 Pratihara (They are called Gurjara-Pratiharas in one late inscription) 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.

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 Rajputana Agency had a population of 3,831.[3]

Places to see

  • Pushkar Bakshi & Ankur Mahajan Lake
  • Jagat Pita Shri Brahma temple
  • Varaha temple
  • Apteshwar Mahadev temple
  • Savitri temple
  • Temple of Rangji (New and Old) or Shri Vaikunthnathji
  • Man Mahal
  • Gurudwara Singh Sabha (Patrons: Jaswinder Singh & Harmeet Bhatti)

Varah Temple: This temple is to God Vishnu. It is one of the most visited temples in Pushkar city. It is said that Lord Vishnu gave a visit to this area to kill an atrocious Hirnayakashyap.

Fairs

Pushkar Fair

Pushkar fair continues for five days and these five days are a period of relaxation and merry-making for the villagers. This fair time is the most busy time for them, as this is one of the largest cattle fairs in the country. Animals, especially camels, are brought from miles around. Trading is brisk as several thousand heads of cattle exchange hands. All the camels are cleaned, washed, adorned, some are interestingly shorn to form patterns, and special stalls are set up selling finery and jewellery for the camels. Camels at the Pushkar fair are decorated with great care. They wear jewellery of silver and beads. There are silver bells and bangles around their ankles that jingle-jangle when they walk. An interesting ritual is the piercing of a camel's nose. It has more than 400 temples including the only one temple in India dedicated to the Hindu God Lord Brahma, the Creator of the Universe.

According to Indian Mythology, after visiting all the Hindu pilgrim towns and temples (Four Dhams), if Pushkar is not visited for Pooja, then salvation is not achieved. According to the Hindu calendar Pushkar Fair commences in Nawami (Ninth Moon) and ends in Purnima (Full Moon) in the month of Kartika, which can be in October or November depending on the Moon calendar In Pushkar, one of the biggest Cattle Fair is also held for trading purposes and the best cattles in all categories are awarded. Countless people in their colourful attire gather to take a dip in the Holy Lake and pray to the deities. The whole town comes alive with vibrant folk music and dances, magic shows, horse and camel races and various other traditional entertainment competitions.Pushkar, with more than 12 local fairs and festivals of 10 –15 days duration is a year round destination. It is a mellow town by the great lake of Pushkar amidst the perfume of jasmine and rose flowers. More than 4,000 to 6,000 visitors from all over the world come to Pushkar everyday.

Hot Air Ballooning in Pushkar

The best time to go for ballooning in Pushkar is at the time of Pushkar Fair when the climate in Rajasthan is at its coolest.

Winter months provide the most reliable conditions, though ballooning is offered September through March in India. However seat in basket ballooning passenger flights are offered at Pushkar only during the Pushkar Fair. At other times, the balloon needs to be chartered.

At present licensed commercial ballooning is offered only by Sky Waltz at Pushkar. Licensed ballooning means the pilots hold commercial aviation licenses recognised by the DGCA, the Civil Aviation authority of India. Further passengers are insured as per international norms. Flights are early morning and evening. The flights are free flying flights and last for about an hour. The duration of ballooning flight can change at the pilot's discretion, taking into account the winds, temperature and weight carried on the day. Tethered flights may be available on request.

Camel Safari in Pushkar

Tourists can explore the rugged terrain of the Great Indian Desert of Thar using camels. The Aravalli Range here is one of the world's oldest mountain ranges, and has sandy fields, small dunes, beautiful hills and mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets.

The camel safaris in Pushkar will take Tourists to destinations where they will witnesses small villages along the way and during crop harvesting, the views are exceptionally enticing.

Other Attractions

A visit to Bhandarej, Bhangarh and Fort Madhopur from Jaipur via Dausa Town by an Indica or Ambassador taxi would cost about Rs 2,000. Expect rates to go up considerably in the high season.

Ajmer is the nearest tourist attraction that lays outside the city boundaries of Pushkar.

Located 27 kilometres away from Ajmer, there is Kishangarh, famous for its miniature paintings, more popularly known as Bani Thani.

Pushkar Lake- 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.

Brahma Temple- 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.

Savitri Temple- 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 magnificent statue of Goddess Savitri.

Warning for false Brahmin's at lake

When visiting the lake or even the city, you will be confronted to many bad people. This people are saying they are brahmin's and want help you to worship the lake; finishing, they will ask you lot's of dollars or euros for this. You must ignore them and do not to collabore in this malpractice.

Hebrew

Due to Amazingly huge presence of Israeli tourists it seems like Hebrew has become second language in Pushkar, you can see many sign boards, hoardings and information written in Hebrew almost every where.

Demographics

As of 2001 India census,[4] Pushkar had a population of 14,789. Males constitute 54% of the population and females 46%. Pushkar has an average literacy rate of 69%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 77%, and female literacy is 60%. In Pushkar, 14% of the population is under 6 years of age.

Transport

Air

The nearest airport from Pushkar is Sanganer Airport at Jaipur at distance of 146 km from Pushkar which is well connected with all the major cities which include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Indore, Jodhpur and Udaipur.

Road

Pushkar is 11 km from main Ajmer bus stand. Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Jaipur. There are buses from Jaipur to Ajmer, Indore, Nagda for every 15 minutes.

Rail

The nearest railway station from Pushkar is Ajmer, which is on the Broad Gauge and hence connected to the metro cities of India like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, Bhopal, Trivandrum, Cochin etc. A Broad Gauge track is being laid from Ajmer to Pushkar.

See also

References

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Pushkar is a holy city in Rajastan, India famous for its Brahma temple, lake, ghats, and bazaar.

The Lake in Pushkar
The Lake in Pushkar

Understand

Meat, alcohol and drugs are forbidden in Pushkar.

During the annual Pushkar camel fair held in October and November, the city is awash with tourists. At other times, the town is peaceful and calm.

Please respect the local culture and dress reasonably.

By plane

No airports at Pushkar. Nearest airport is in Jaipur.

By bus

Take a taxi or rickshaw from Ajmer. Frequent buses are available from Ajmer main bus station (rs 8/-)

By train

From Delhi, regular trains are available till Ajmer. There are direct trains from Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai & Bangalore.

Get around

Most of the sights center around the lakefront which can be seen on foot.

To go further a field you can hire a bike (push/motor) and take in the surrounding beautiful countryside and hidden temples.

  • Bramha temple - The only temple for Lord Bramha in the world.
  • Rangji temple - This is a Vishnu temple built in south Indian style.
  • Chamunda temple - This is one of the 51 Shakti peeths. It is also known as Manibandh.
  • Pap Mochini temple
  • Panchkund Shiva temple - It is around 2-3 kms from the pushkar lake. The shiva temple is said to have been built by Pancha pandavas.
  • Savitri temple - It is located on top of a hill near the lake. This temple is dedicated to the goddess savitri, wife of Hindu god Brahma. This temple is the second most religious temple in Pushkar.
  • Pushkar Lake- Pushkar Lake is a beautiful, sanctified spot to visit in Pushkar. This lake is considered to be very old and of the time when the earth was created. This lake is a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. Lake is surrounded by 52 different ghats to take bath, where Hindus and other tourists come to take a dip in the month of karthik.
  • Man Mahal-
  • Gurudwara Singh Sabha-
  • Shri Vaikunthnathji-
  • Pushkar Fair: Every year thousands of domestic and international tourists come to be a part of this amazing Pushkar Fair. This fair is organized in between October-November. Tourists come to take a holy dip in the pushkar lake at the time of karthik purnima, which is basically a full moon day. Pushkar fair is also famous as colourful and huge cattle fair. Pushkar is well known for it’s camel safari and other adventures activities.
  • Try to book room in a guest house having view of Holy Lake Pushkar.In Pushkar it is the lake that is most important religiously and mythologically.It will cost you something around €5 to €6 in tourist season.
  • Enjoy rooftop candle dinners at the restaurant of the guest house.
  • The small market of Pushkar is good for buying clothes of interesting designs and patterns at very cheap price of €2 to €3.
  • Visit Savitri temple on small hill which is about one hour climb but view of lake from top is wonderful.
  • If you find water clean take a holy dip in the pond.
  • You can perform worship of pond through priest but fix up a price beforehand lest he hassles for it.
  • In the evening there is prayer at Varah Ghat with huge lamps and chimes of bell. Attend it, it is mesmerizing.
  • Bhaang(cannabis) is local herb sold on authorized shops of government. You may try bhang lassi.
  • Try mint tea. It has exotic taste.
  • Go for a camel safari in nearby villages.Pushkar is famous for camel safari. Tourists can visit small villages, crop harvesting during their camel safari ride. The view from camel safari comes exceptionally enticing. Camel safari in Pushkar is always a memorable experience for tourists.

Camel safari tour in Pushkar is an amazing experience to have. This is the trips where tourists can easily explore the desert of India. Aravali range is near to Pushkar, which is among the world’s oldest heavy sandy fields. View of sunset and sunrise is amazing over here. This camel safari trip cantake tourists to the destination where one can easily witness the beauty of rajasthani villages, their culture and tradition.

Desert Safari: Desert safari is one of the best ways to explore the beauty of world famous desert of Rajasthan called “Thar Desert”. This is an adventure journey, which should be enjoyed by everyone , coming to Pushkar, to have a view of beautiful range of Aravalli mountains, amazing sunset and sunrise view, beautiful sandy field and small dunes. [1]

  • Take a round of holy pond known as parikarma.
  • Don't take the photographs of ghats, it is prohibited.
  • Take off your shoes at stairs if you are going near the pond.
  • Be polite, but do not be pressured to put flowers in the lake or make prays by the many people at the ghats. They will usually demand money.
  • Hotel Sanjay, Main Market, 0145 2773831. breakfast,lunch,dinner. 20-50 for a main meal.  edit
  • Hotel Sunset, Main Market.  edit

Drink

Alcohol and Nonveg forbidden in Pushkar.

  • There's a wonderful palace to stay at the entrance of the city, but the price is high.
  • Several hotels have swimming pool.
  • Plenty of budget places, advance booking is recommended during the fair period. When not during the fair, you'll have no difficulty finding a place to stay.
  • For camping at a rural farm with with modern facilities, see http:/www.kampsite.org/stay
  • Princess Trails [2] offers tented accommodations during the Camel Fair in Pushkar.
  • Green Park Resort, Vam Dev Road, Near Gurudwara (Near Gurudwara, Ajmer Bus stand, Pushkar), 0145-2773532, [3]. checkin: 12:00 Noon; checkout: 12:00 Noon. 18 rooms and a large swimming pool. Rooms have balconies and modern amenities. 800. (1800,) edit

Stay Safe

(Female Tourist)

  • If you want to hire local travel guide, do not go with him alone.
  • Find safe accomodation. If you are solo female tourist, safety is more important than price.
  • Avoid wearing western style casual clothes such as mini-skirt, shorts, tanktop, camisole, and tight-fitted t-shirts.
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PUSHKAR, a town of British India, in Ajmere district, Rajputana, 7 m. N. of Ajmere town. Pop. (1901), 3831. It derives its name from a small lake among the hills, 2389 ft. above the sea, in which Brahma is once said to have bathed as a penance. It contains oneof the very few temples, in all India, dedicated to Brahma. At the annual celebration (Oct. - Nov.) about too,000 pilgrims come to bathe in the lake.


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