The King of Pilgrimage - Pushkar - Most Sacred Dham For Hindus

Pushkar is considered as one of the five sacred Dhams for Hindu Pilgrims. It is known as the creation of Lord Brahma. It is also called "Tirth Raj" means "The King of Pilgrimage". It is believed that one can attain salvation by taking dip in holy Pushkar Lake. It is most popular for its rarest Jagatpita Brahma Temple and its Pushkar Fair.

Pushkar, considered as one of the ancient inhabited city of India. It developed along the edge of the Pushkar Lake. Pushkar is situated in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. It is only 14 Kms away from the Ajmer City. It is separated from Ajmer by the Nag Parbat (The Snake Hill). There are very few temples of Lord Brahma in the world and Pushkar has the most prominent temple in all. It is considered that one who has visited all four Dham (Badrinath in North, Dwarka in West, Jagannath Puri in East and Rameshwaram in South) but not visited Pushkar will not be able to achieve salvation, it can be achieved only by taking holy dip in the water of holy Pushkar Lake and visiting the Jagatpita Brahma Temple in Pushkar. Famous annual fair (Pushkar Camel Fair) held here in the pious month of Kartika.

Pushkar Lake or Pushkar Sarovar

Pushkar lake is one of the most sacred sarovar of Hindus and considered as creation of Brahma ji. This Lake is surrounded by many temples and ghats. It is believed that holy water of lake is having healing properties.

Legend associated with the Pushkar Lake or Pushkar Sarovar

As mentioned in Hindu scripture Padma Purana, devil Vajranabha was killing and harassing people on earth. As Lord Brahma is the creator of the universe, he got aggressive and immediately tried to kill the devil Vajranabha with weapon (Weapon of Lord Brahma is lotus flower). Devil Vajranabha destroyed by the Lotus flower but three lotus petals fell on the earth at different places during this and holy springs emanates from earth. These holy springs formed three lakes - Jyeshta Pushkar Lake (greatest or first Pushkar), Madhya Pushkar Lake (middle Pushkar) and Kanishta Pushkar Lake (youngest or last Pushkar). Lord Brahma came to the earth and specify the city by naming it Pushkar (Pushpa means flower and Kar means hand, hence Pushkar means place where flower fell from Lord Brahma's hand). After killing devil Vajranabha, Lord Brahma wanted to execute a holy fire sacrifice (Mahayagna) at Jyeshta Pushkar Lake. It is also said that the sacred Sarasvati River emerged at Pushkar as five streams (Harini, Vajrini, Nyanku, Kapila and Sarasvati).

Jagatpita Brahma Temple

It is the only temple of Lord Brahma, where a devotee can offer a worship to him. The temple is constructed with stones and marbles. The indubitable features of the temple are - It's red Shikhar (spire) and symbol of a Hamsa (a swan - the mount of Brahma). The shikhar is about 700 feets in height. The emblem of hamsa embellish the entrance gate. The temple is situated on a high platform which can be access by marble steps leading to an entrance gate. Entrance gate is having a big arch which is decorated with pillared covering. Entry gate leads to a Mandap (pillared outdoor hall) and then the Garbhagriha (sacred shrine). Many coins (mainly silver ) embedded on the marble floor and walls of the temple by the devotees. A silver turtle is in the mandap facing the Garbhagriha. The main murti also, called Chahumurti is made from marble. This statue elaborates Brahma ji seated in a crossed leg position considering the purpose of creation of the universe. This form of Lord Brahma called the Vishvakarma. This icon is of life size with four hands and four faces, each symbolize a different direction. The four hands hold akshamala (rosary), pustak (book), kurka (kusha grass) and kamandalu (water pot). Each has its own significance. Akshamala represents the time, pustak represents the knowledge, kurka represents the adoptions of system of sacrifices for the existence of various life-forms in the nature and kamandalu represents the waters from which the universe emerged. In temple, Goddess Gayatri placed left to the Brahma ji and Goddess Saraswati to the right. There are pictures of various God-Goddess, which embossed on temple walls.

Legend associated with the Jagatpita Brahma Temple

Lord Brahma wanted to perform his Mahaygna peacefully without being attacked by the devils, then he surrounds Pushkar by the hills from all directions. He developed — Ratnagiri in the south direction, Nilgiri in the north direction, Sanchoora in the west direction and Suryagiri in the east direction. Lord Brahma allocated specific places to Gods in hills to save the yagna from being damaged or attacked by the Devils. Lord Brahma wanted to finish the yagna in auspicious time but Goddess Sarasvati could not make her presence at that time to perform the essential part of the yagna called Aahuti as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani. As Goddess Saraswati kept Brahma ji waiting, he get annoyed and requested God Indra (the king of heaven) to find an appropriate girl for him, with whom he can wed and finish the yagna in designated auspicious time. At that time Lord Indra was able to find only a Gujar's daughter (a milkmaid) but in yagna's requirement is of purest girl like Goddess. Then Lord Indra asked her to pass through the body of a cow to get purified. Girl did the same and Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and the priests confirmed her purity and consider her second birth. She was given name Gayatri. After purification Lord Brahma married Gayatri in presence of other Gods. Devi Gayatri sat beside him and start offering Aahuti. When Goddess Sarasvati along with other Goddess arrived at the yagna place, she saw Gayatri sitting next to Brahma ji and she got upset as it was her rightful place. She cursed Lord Brahma in the presence of all God and Goddess that he would be forgotten and never worshipped by anyone on earth. But on the requests of other God-Goddess, she lessened the curse by permitting his worship in Pushkar only. That is why the Pushkar temple is accounted as the only temple which is specifically dedicated to Lord Brahma for worship.

Religious Importance of Pushkar

As Mahayagna was performed in the presence of all God and Goddess, it is believed that a dip in the holy lake at Pushkar will provide assured salvation from all sins and evil things. Pushkar Lake referred as "Adi Tirtha" - "The original sacred water-body", in Ramayana and Mahabharata. There are five sacred sarovars (lakes) as per Hindu religious belief which are called Panch-Sarovar and Pushkar is one of them. Other are Man Sarovar, Bindu Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, and Pampa Sarovar. It is believed that a dip in the holy lake on Kartik Poornima day equated the benefits gained by performing yagnas for several years. It is also mentioned that doing parikrama of the three lakes (The Jyeshta Pushkar lake, Madhya Pushkar lake and Kanistha Pushkar Lake) on the Kartik Poornima is very fortunate.

Must visit places in Pushkar

Pushkar is surrounded by numerous temples, ghats and hills. One can also see royal heritage at Pushkar. Some places which are worth seeing in Pushkar are mentioned below:

Temples of consorts

Lord Brahma constructed separate temples for his two consorts Sarasvati (Savitri) and Gayatri in Pushkar. The temples constructed at the hills situated on the opposite ends of the lake. Goddess Sarasvati's temple located at the highest hill (Ratnagiri Hil) in the Pushkar and Goddess Gayatri's temple located at the lower hill on the opposite end. Goddess Gayatri afraid of the furious nature of Goddess Savatri's, so she stayed at lower hill.

Mahadeva Temple

This temple was built by marble in the 19th century. It is famous for its five faces white marble icon of Mahadev(Shiv ji). The place is adorned by the statues of many Hindu God-Goddess. It is believed that Lord Mahadev fulfill all the wishes of their devotee then and there on visiting the temple.

Varaha Temple

The Varah temple is one of the famous temple of Pushkar. It was built in 12th century by king Anaji Chauhan but destroyed by the intruders. It has icon of Lord Vishnu in the incarnation of wild boar. As per Hindu mythology, Lord Vishnu came to earth in the incarnation of Varah to kill the Hiranyakashyup and to save his devotee Prahlad from his atrocities. It was rebuilt in year 1727 by Raja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur. It is an eminent temple which has elegant carvings, different sculptures and beautiful statues.

Temple of Rangji

This temple is devoted to Rangji, an manifestation of Lord Vishnu. Temple was built by Seth Puran Mal Ganeriwal in 1823. It is constructed in the typical South Indian Style Temple but at the same time it shows the impact of Mughal architecture on it. The temple has a high rising 'Gopuram', which usually find in a South Indian Temple. Temple is very gracious and considered as one of the sacred temples of Pushkar.

Nag Hills

It is one of the oldest hills in the world. As per belief, its height is decreasing day by day because it is sinking into the earth. In Sat-yuga its height was ten crores yojanas , in Treta-yuga it was ten lakhs yojanas and in Dwapar-yuga it was ten thousand yojanas. By the end of Kali Yuga it will almost disappear as believed. One who visited this place never find difficulty in life.

Man Mahal

It is a tourist bungalow maintained by the RTDC. It was constructed by Raja Man Singh of Amber and one of the greatest palaces of Pushkar. The Palace architecture consists of Rajasthani royal designs. It offers great view of surrounding temples and lake as it situated in the east of Pushkar Sarovar.

Pushkar Fair

One of the world famous cattle fair held in the Hindu month of Kartika (October-November) in Pushkar. It is also known as Camel Fair. Traders and villagers bring several camels, cattle and other birds here for the purpose of buy and sell. People gather here in large volume at the fair ground in a celebratory mode and Fair ground is occupied by the shops of selling mementos, jewellery, craft work and eateries. Vibrant folk music and dance, magic shows, circus shows and games are the popular part of the fair. At the time of fair Pushkar got jam-packed with people from all over the India and tourists from different countries of the World. One can also do camel ride here as Pushkar is also famous for its Camel Safari in the dessert.

How to reach

One can choose transport as per their convenience, it is accessible by rail, road and air.

Nearest Airport: Sawai Mansingh International Airport, Jaipur
Nearest Railway Station: Pushkar and Ajmer
Nearest Bus Station: Pushkar

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Guest Author: kamini28 Mar 2013

Nidhi, I enjoyed reading your article. You have given sufficient details and have given a clear description about the mythology behind each of the places and their importance. The article is quite informative for a person like me who is interested in learning about our places of pilgrimage. I have not been to Pushkar but have heard about the Pushkar Dham and the fair. Having read your article, I am sure that I would be able to connect myself to the various places mentioned in your article if I ever happen to visit the place.

The response by Ramanathan was also quite informative. He has given some additional information about temples dedicated to Lord Brahma in different parts of the world. I am also aware of the temple at Thirunavaya and another one at Thiruvananthapuram in kerala.

Guest Author: 07 Nov 2013

This article is quite informative about the only temple of Lord Bramha.
The various places to be seen around Pushkar were also briefed well.

According to Hindu mythology, one should visit the Chaar Dhaam known as Badrinath, kedarnath, Puri and Rameswaram and complete their eternal journey by visiting Pushkar. Thus, this place has its sanctity.

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