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 event.
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
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 fair ground 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 of cattle.
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 sand
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