Ghats and Old City of Pushkar, Pushkar
The holy town of Pushkar is one of the most revered places by the Hindus and is often called as the ‘King of pilgrimage sites’. The lake is said to have been created by the blessings of Lord Brahma and the surrounding city is one of the oldest in India. The city of Pushkar is also known for its Brahma temple, one of the few sites in the world dedicated to the Hindu god of creation.
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.
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.
Haven’t we all dreamt of an escape from the everyday din of the metropolitan cities to a place that allows you to break away from routine and immerse yourself in self-discovery? Well, the journey to the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan allows you to do just that.
In Pushkar to attend The Sacred, a festival of music, yoga and meditation, we happened to experience the otherwise calm town in its full glory.
Located near Ajmer district of Rajasthan, Pushkar among Hindus, is often referred to as the fifth holy dham (pilgrimage site) apart from Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram. It is often said that even if you visit the four dhams and miss out on Pushkar, your journey towards attaining moksha is only half complete.
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The journey to the town of Pushkar from Jaipur airport takes about four hours, in case you decide to take a flight. The more convenient and recommended travel mode though, will be taking a train as the nearest railway station is the Ajmer junction, which is merely half an hour away from Pushkar.
Once in Pushkar, one can almost instantly feel the serenity of the town taking over your senses. The drive from Jaipur to Pushkar makes you easily feel the the urbanisation of Rajasthan being left behind, as the western outfits make way for the dhoti clad men, and the cars make way for those dhoti clad men on bikes.
Pushkar houses one of the very few Brahma temples in the world, the directions to which every local is willing to enthusiastically share with you. The path to the temple premises reeks of the history that the town is known for, and lets you delve in the culture of India while occasionally bumping into a chillum-smoking sadhu.
Said to be one of the oldest cities of India, Pushkar has of late emerged as a hub for foreign tourists who come to the city in search of moksha and peace, both of which the town supposedly has in abundance. The town however is most lively during the month of November, which is when the Pushkar Fair is organised. The world-renowned festival that chiefly celebrates camels, also gives way to the organisation of several cultural events circling around, music, arts and culture. Constant efforts in forms of cultural festivals are soon becoming a regular feature at Pushkar, which are being hailed as a medium of attracting more revenue and tourism.
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The Pushkar lake houses 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to bathe in the sacred waters. A dip in the Boodha Pushkar lake, is said to ward off black-magic and supernatural elements from one’s life.
Bathe at the Pushkar ghats, mesmerise yourself with the resonating sound of the aartis, please your senses with the local Rajasthani cuisine, and if you’re still left with some time in hand, do not miss out on visiting the holy Ajmer Sharif, which is just 30 minutes away from Pushkar. Ajmer Sharif is considered to have magical healing powers, and the reputation of making heartfelt dreams turn into a reality.