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THE TOWN OF FAIRS AND FESTIVITIES

Pushkar

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.

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About Pushkar

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.

HISTORY OF AJMER

Once Lord Brahma came to know that a demon, Vajranash, was killing people here so  Lord Brahma intoned a mantra on a lotus flower and killed the demon. During this process the parts of flower fell on three places which were later known as Jestha, Madhya and KanisthaPushkar.

Later accompanied by brahmanas and other devas, or demigods, Lord Brahma went to Puskar to perform a sacrifice. To perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned demigods there to protect the yajna performance. Such Yajna sacrifices are to be performed along with one’s wife, so when the arrangements for the sacrifice were complete, Lord Brahma sent Narada rsi, the sage among the devas, to bring Sarasvati, Lord Brahma’s consort. But Sarasvati was not ready to leave, so Narada returned to Puskar alone.

According to astrological calculations, the sacrifice had to begin at once, so Brahma asked Indra, the king of the heavenly planets, to provide him a suitable wife to assist in the sacrifice. Lord Indra chose a cowherd girl, but the sacrifice required that the girl be of the brahmana caste. So the devas purified the girl, or elevated her caste, by passing her through a cow (into the cow’s mouth and out the other end), because in Vedic culture cows are considered pure and of the same caste as the brahmanas. The girl then became known as Gayatri, “one who was pulled through a cow.” She married Brahma and performed the yajna. When Saraswati arrived and saw that Brahma had married without her permission, so she cursed Brahma saying that he would be worshiped in Pushkar only. Saraswati (Savitri) also cursed Indra to be easily defeated in battles, Lord Vishnu to suffer the separation from his wife as a human, the fire-god Agni who was offered the yajna to be all-devouring and the priests performing the yajna to be poor. Endowed by the powers of yajna, Gayatri however diluted Saraswati ‘s curse, blessing Pushkar to be the king of pilgrimages, Indra would always retain his heaven, Vishnu would be born as the human Rama and finally unite with his consort and the priests would become scholars and be venerated. Enraged Sarswati (Savitri) went and established a temple on top of Ratnagiri, the hill a little south of Pushkar. Today pilgrims to Puskar can visit temples of both Sarasvati Devi and Gayatri Devi.  Sarasvati Devi is also present in this world in the form of a river. Five branches of that riverSarasvati, Supapra, Candra, Kanaka, and Nandaflow in the Puskar area, but at present they are invisible to ordinary eyes.

It is also said that Lord Varaha appeared  at Varaha ghat here, and Lord Rama came and bathed here.  The sage Parasara is said to have been born here. His descendants, called Parasara Brahamans, are still found in Pushkar and the surrounding area.

Places to Visit near Ajmer

Puskar border the Thar Desert and hence desert safaris are the most common adventure activity that excites the visitors. The Pushkar Lake has 52 Ghats and where one can bathe. Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is the only temple dedicated to the Lord of creation (Brahma). The place is definitely not a big town but rustic village that has gone hippie in the last couple of years. 

There are tons of items that you can take back home from the pretty markets of Pushkar like stunning silver jewellery, palazzos, bangles, bandhani sarees, artefacts made of mud and lovely dupattas. People mostly combine Ajmer and Pushkar in one trip due to the proximity they share, however, it is not a bad idea. Take a traditional homestay for your sojourn in Pushkar and you will undoubtedly fall in love with Pushkar, the village that gives an unforgettable experience.

Eating in Ajmer

Pushkar is a temple town, which means that it’s vegetarian food exclusively here. The sheer variety of it, though, will alone make your trip worth it. At almost every nook and corner of Pushkar, you will find street food vendors and small restaurants preparing delicious vegetarian snacks and street food items. Served hot and fresh, these stalls are setup since the early hours of the morning and wind up by night. Lets us in this article take a look at a few famous street food items in Pushkar

Best Time To Visit

While the weather and festivities in Pushkar stay alive all year long, the best time to visit the holy town is between November and March. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the desert is a whole lot friendlier for those day-long safaris. However, depending on what you want to do, here’s a monthly breakup of Pushkar’s climatic conditions so that you can plan when to go: 


November to February: 
These months constitute the winter season in Pushkar and can be considered as a good time to come. This is the time when you’ll see hordes of tourists and devotees take advantage of the cool weather to pay their respects to their preferred deities. While the average temperature in Pushkar will range from 15 to 18 degree Celsius, the lowest temperature will not go beyond 5 degree Celsius. 


March to June: 
These months constitute the summer season in Pushkar. Summers in Pushkar see the typical desert cycle of hot days and cool nights. March to June have the mercury rising with the highest temperature going up to 45°C. Make sure you carry a sunscreen and an umbrella whenever you step out. 


July to October: 
These months constitute the monsoon season in Pushkar. Although the town does not receive much rain but it has a different charm during this season. This also happens to be the off-season in Pushkar and hence you would see fewer tourists visiting the town during this time.


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Sanganer Airport in Jaipur is the nearest at a distance of 146 kilometres.

Pushkar is well connected to the national highways of Rajasthan. Regular buses ply from Pushkar to the major cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer from the Ajmer bus stand.

Pushkar Terminus Railway station which is operational since 2012, is connected to Ajmer railway station located at a distance of 14 kilometres.

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