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
VISITING THE TEMPLE
After bathing at the lake, people proceed to pay homage to
the creator of the Universe, Lord Brahma, at the Brahma
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
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 dunes.
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