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Holy Destinations of India

Pushkar

Pushkar is 13km. from Ajmer. A winding road among the hills leads to Pushkar. The way is full of natural scenes. There are the rows of beautiful flower plants on either side of the road and the travellers get refreshed while travelling this place. One can see the buses, tongas, taxis and pedestrians on the road coming to and going from Pushkar. The road is always busy. The pedestrians enjoy their walk. They can have rest under the shady trees too. When a tourist or a pilgrim reaches Pushkar, he finds himself among the nature.

The town of Pushkar is far from the noisy environment of the city. When he reaches the Ghats, particularly the Ghats near the Sarovar Tourist Bungalow, he gets refreshed and loses his tiredness of his journey. Pushkar is situated at the foot of the hills which add to its beauty. Five rivers, Suprabha, Kanaka, Prachi Nanda, and Saraswati flow here and make the place more beautiful. The climate here is balanced. It is not as cold as the Himalays and not as hot Madras is. It has neither the dryness of Sindh nor the wetness of Bengal.

History of Pushkar

All the important and sacred places have been named after some important persons. Pushkar was also named like that. Once Brahma was worried over the matter of having a place in his name on the earth as the other gods have so he also had a desire to have a place in his name in the mortal world(earth). Having such thought in mind and saying 'Mangal Ho'   He threw a lotus flower upon the earth. The flower fell at three places and the holy water sprang out from all these three places. Then Brahma said that these three places would be known as Pushkar.

The place where the flower first fell is called Jestha Pushkar(Senior Pushkar), the second place is called Madhya Pushkar(Middle Pushkar) and the third place is called Kanistha Pushkar(junior Pushkar). And further he added that these three Kunds(Lakes)would be famous for removing the sins of the sinners. As Brahmaji threw the Pushpa(flower) with his Kar(Hand) so he gave the name of Pushkar to this place. It is semicircular lake around which there are 52 "Ghats". The depth of the lake is 10 metre.The lake is a holy place and is known as the king of the "Trithas".
There are four holy places of the Hindus in India(i.e. Badri Narayan, Jagnnathpuri, Rameshwaram and Dwarikapuri) but the bath at Pushkar is thought to be more important than at any other place. The holy dip in this lake on Kartika Purnima is thought to be salvation giving. Pushkar is very dear to Lord Brahma. The place is famous in His name. So it is blessed by Him in every way. In olden times the people who took a holy dip at Pushkar were relieved from all the sins and went to heaven after their death by the grace of Lord Brahma.


General Information :-

Area : 5 sq.km.
Altitude : 486 meters
Climate : Mean Max. Mean Min.
Summer : 37.7 C 23.3 C
Winter : 15.5 C 3.7 C
Rainfall : 38 to 51 cms.
Clothing :
Summer : Light Tropical
Winter : Woollen
Best Season : July-March
Languages : Rajasthani, Hindi, English.

 

Attractions of Kedarnath

BRAHMA TEMPLE :
Pushkar boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an  important pilgrimage site, since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mogul ruler and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. It stands on a high plinth with the Marble steps leading up to it. A silver turtle is set on the floor facing the Sanctum-Sanctorum or Girbha-griha. Around the turtle the Marble floor is inset with hundreds of silver coins. Coins engraved with donors names are also embedded in the walls. Peacocks adorn the temple walls as they are supposed to be the vehicle of lord Brahma's consort Saraswati. A small image of the milkmaid Gayatri, flanks the four-faced image of lord Brahma and is called Chaumurti The sanctuary has silver doors inside a carved marble gateway.

SAVITRI TEMPLE:
The one-hour trek up to the hilltop Savitri Temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning; the view is magical.

VARAH TEMPLE:
Originally built in the 12th century, Varah Temple was, like many others, destroyed by the bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb (who, it is said , was particularly upset by the huge idol here of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of the boar.) Reconstructed BY Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1727, the temple has an interesting and richly ornamented image house.

MAHADEVA TEMPLE:
A Beautiful temple built in the 19th century, it was described by a British traveler of the time as "by far the most remarkable, for the elegance of its structure and the nature of its ornaments, of all the temples Pushkar boasts of." It is also noteworthy for its white marble Mahadeva image, with its five faces (and its traditional tufts of hair).

RAMAVAIKUNTH TEMPLE:
One of Pushkar's largest and most intricate temples, the Ramavaikunth Temple was built in the 1920's and has beautifully sculpted images of no less than 361 different deities. The ornate outer gopuram over the entrance is said to have been built by a team of masons specially brought here from south India.


Lake and its many Ghats:
Many Ghats run down to the Holy Lake where pilgrims
are constantly bathing in the holy waters. Joining people at the ghats has to be with some respect for their culture and privacy. And for this reason, removing shoes before approaching the ghats, no smoking and restraining from photographing bathing people is well avoided. The Pilgrims here are sensitive about comments by non-Hindus. The famed waters of the Pushkar lake wash away the sins of a lifetime.

The mystical water is also believed to cure skin diseases, making Pushkar the Lourdes of the East.

Photos of Pushkar

Ariel View of Pushkar Pushkar Lake and Temples
Ariel View of Pushkar Pushkar Lake and Temples


How to Reach Pushkar :

Pushkar is a sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 kms. (7 miles) to the North-West of Ajmer.

Air - Jaipur, the nearest airport is 138 kms. (86 miles).

Rail - Ajmer is connected to Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Abu Road and Jodhpur by regular trains. Two of the best trains of the Indian Railways, Pink City Express and Shatabdi Express connect Ajmer to Delhi and Jaipur.

Road -
A dense network of bus service operates from Ajmer to key destinations around. Distances from important tourist centres are: -

Jaipur: 138 kms. (86 miles).
Delhi: 392 kms. (244 miles).
Ahmedabad: 526 kms. (327 miles).
Jaisalmer: 490 kms. (304 miles).
Bikaner: 233 kms. (145 miles).

 

ACCOMMODATION

During the special occasion of the Pushkar Fair, accommodation is arranged in special tented accommodation in a tourist village, which is self-sufficient and specially designed to complement the natural beauty of the site. It has a coffee shop and dining hall that can cater to 1,500 guests at a time.The village is arranged on blocks of tents, each with its own identity, named after the famous dances of Rajasthan. The village also has huts with attached western style toilets and running water. It can sometimes be difficult to find accommodation in Pushkar, especially if you arrive late in the day. Most hotels are nothing fancy, but they are generally clean and freshly white-washed. You should ask to see a few rooms before deciding, as many have a cell-like atmosphere owing to the tiny or non-existent windows. The mozzies can be a real nuisance here, so come armed with insect repellent. Be warned that most hotels tariffs skyrocket during the Camel fair, when demand for rooms is exceptionally high.

Pushkar Fair (Information)

In the month of Kartik each year, a staggering number of camels amble their way across the golden sands of Rajasthan to congregate at Pushkar for the week-long fair devoted to them. Coming in from all directions, their masters astride them, they flick the sand at every step with casuals' ease. The horses that march to this site find the sand-trot an exacting exercise. Numerous cows and sheep all come to the animal fair. Completing the scene are thousands of men, women and children, come with their beasts, suddenly inhabiting the barren plain. Providing a backdrop, the camels in the distance camouflaged, scarcely discernable. The contrast to the blank desert is the riot of Colours - the large gaudy turbans of the native males arriving here to trade their animals or to set up the stalls to cater to the booming captive market, and the loud hues of the pleated ghagaras (ankle-length skirts) of the belles bangled by the armful, bejewelled from head to toe- adding charm and zest to the massive affair. At Mela time, Pushkar is Rajasthan under one roof, a complete exhibition of its culture.

The Ttrading:
Over the first five days of the fair, camels, horses, cows, goats, and sheep are sold and purchased. There may be protracted negotiations, or sometimes, a quick transaction. Hard bargains are struck, the vendor extolling the long list of virtues of his camel to the prospective buyer.

Fashionable Women:
Womenfolk seem to have little interest in the business of animals. They are more attracted to the glittering wares in the stalls under awnings. The large variety of intricate silver ornaments - hairpins and chains, nose rings and neckbands, cummerbunds, anklets, toe rings and the ivory bangles worn from wrist to shoulder - would send any woman on a buying spree. The garments stalls, in no way less colourful, sell high fashion upper garments of patchwork and tie 'n' die. Tattoo stalls give many women beauty marks that last a lifetime. Whoever said that the unsophisticated are not fashionable!

And there are lots n lots of Camels too:
In Rajasthan even the camels are fashion-conscious, and that too to a high degree, for they are soon to be part of a beauty parade! The proud owner of a newly acquired camel promptly goes to the stalls which the women bypassed. At these stalls all the crafts of Rajasthan have been pressed into the service of the camel community. Handmade saddles to fit every hump; long strings of cowries, bes and beads; colourful, woven saddle-straps, and embroidered back-covers to boot. After a shearing and a scrub, the camel is costumed and even perfumed! Surely the Marwari man loves his camel-and his wife!

Fun and frolic:
As the tempo of business goes down, the men folk turn to merriment, for the day of the camel sports is at hand. Camel races are the first event. Usually a lumbering beast of burden, the camel all decorated in finery, imagines itself to be an ostrich, and rushes through the race like one. Then comes the event analogous to musical chairs. Here, as the music stops, the camel is supposed to manage to stick its long arching neck between two poles, each camel owner guiding its entrant by means of a silken cord attached to its nose ring. Vying for the first pace in the beauty contest, splendidly bedecked camels are bought to the ring and paraded to catch the critical eye of keen judges. The gait of the camel, the choice of its equipment and ornament, its capacity to interpret and carry out commands and the variety of pranks it is capable of performing are the criteria of selection. The most thrilling camel event is 'laadoo oonth'. see how much weight the camel can can carry, man after man clamber onto the ridge-like back of the camel, each clutching at the other to retain the collectively precarious position. It is not an uncommon sight to see the human cargo come crashing down as the camel tries to get to its feet! It is not known whether this was the intention of the camel.

The culmination :
Kartik Purnima, the day of ritual oblation , is also the closing day of the world's most colourful festivals. Bathing begins at dawn. There is quite a scramble for getting a place on the bathing ghats. The famed waters of the Pushkar Lake wash away the sins of a lifetime. The mystical water is also believed to cure skin diseases, making Pushkar the Lourdes of the east. After bathing, the devotees line up in long colourful queues to take their turn to worship the Creator, Brahma. Romance touches Pushkar on the full moon night, as tiny leaf boats, each carrying flowers and an oil lamp, are set afloat on the placid lake. Twinkling like thousands of stars, their flickering flames reflected in the water, they wink back at the innumerable stars on the desert sky. The next day dawns for the exodus. Long caravans hump their way along, taking many camels to their new homes. Little does a camel know which master it will serve after the coming Pushkar Mela.

 

       

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