Location: 11km North-West of Ajmer, Rajasthan
Feature: Hindu Pilgrimage
Attraction: Pushkar Lake, Brahma Temple, Cattle Fair
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.
The 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 Yajna at the Brahma Ghat, accompanied by Vishnu and
Mahadev. Guru Govind Singh chose 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
THE HOLY DIPS ( SNAN )
People 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 Poornima. 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 Temple.
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 Chaubis-Kosi-Parikrama.
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.
The world-famous Fair is held in the sacred and peaceful town of
Pushkar, 11 kms. north-west of Ajmer. It transforms into a spectacular
for twelve days during the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov).
The 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 to many recognized breeds
In conjunction with the religious fair, a cattle fair is also organised
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
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 of 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 favorite 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 every visitor.