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Pushkar ( ) is a town in the state of Rajasthanmarker in Indiamarker. Pushkar means born due to a 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. It is situated at 14 km North West from Ajmermarker 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 Indiamarker. 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 glimpse of Radha Krishna.

Pushkar boasts of temples, though not many can be considered very old since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mogul ruler and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity.

Pushkar lies on the shore of Pushkar Lakemarker. It has five principal temples, many smaller temples and 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. One of the primary temples is the 14th century temple dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world. Other temples of Brahma include those at Besakih in Bali, Bithoor in Uttar Pradeshmarker, Indiamarker, village Asotra near Balotramarker city of Barmer district in Rajasthanmarker and Prambananmarker in Indonesiamarker. 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

Geography

Pushkar is located at . It has an average elevation of 510 metres (1673 feet).


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 Mandoremarker, 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.

Reaching Pushkar

By Air

The nearest airport from Pushkar is Jaipurmarker. Jaipur is well connected to all the major cities which include Delhimarker, Mumbaimarker, Kolkatamarker, Indoremarker, Jodhpur and Udaipur.

By Bus

Pushkar is 11 km from main Ajmermarker bus stand. Rajasthan Roadways run very comfortable deluxe buses from Jaipur. There are buses from Jaipur to Ajmer, Indore, Nagda in every 15 minutes, some nonstop. The roads are very good, and it takes around 3 hrs from Jaipur.

By Train

A Broad Gauge track is been laid out from Ajmermarker to Pushkar. Till now, the nearest railway station for 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, Lukhnow, Patna, Bhopal, Trivendrum, Kochi etc. There are daily trains from Delhi in morning.

Places to see





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 calendarIn 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.

Other Attractions

A visit to Bhandarej, Bhangarh and Fort Madhopur from Jaipurmarker 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.

Ajmermarker 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.

Road Trip to Pushkar:

Pushkar is one of the oldest and holy cities for Hindus in India. Tourists can enjoy a road trip to Pushkar starting from either Delhi or Jaipur and ending at Pushkar. This road trip can be a great fun and experience to explore the surrounding places and culture coming on the way.

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 Rangemarker 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.

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 informations written in Hebrew almost every where.

Demographics

 India census, 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.


Access

The nearest airport is Sanganer Airportmarker at Jaipurmarker at distance of 146 km from Pushkar which is well connected with New Delhimarker, Mumbaimarker, Kolkatamarker, Indoremarker, Ahmedabadmarker, Jodhpur and Udaipur. Pushkar is well connected by road. The nearest railway station is Ajmermarker.

See also



References



External links




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