Lord Brahma, it is said, did not rest after creating the world and its inhabitants. He set out to perform a yagna for peace, but a celestial yagna such as this needed a apecial location. The Padma Purana says that Brahma went to Lord Vishnu with the problem. Vishnu dropped a lotus on earth, and due to its impact, the water of pushkar (pushpa means flower, kar means hand) lake sprang forth.
Tiny Pushkar is a major pilgrimage center. Devout Hindus are expected to dip in the waters here at least once in their lifetime, and for many, this is the final stop on a tour of India’s sacred sites. A staggering number of devotees converge upon Pushkar during the full moon of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika (Oct. – Nov.), which coincides with the world famous Pushkar oont mela (camel fair). During the fair, the largest of its kind in the world, the tiny town is transformed into a swarming beehive of activity- don’t miss it
Pushkar’s sacred lake is considered to be primordial. The three main temple in town- of Brahma, of Vishnu as Varaha, and of Shiva as Apteshwar-are said to date the 10th century though no such antiquity seems evident now. The temple have been remade, painted over and added to. The Brahma temple in its present form dates to 1809, while the Varaha idol is said to date to 1727. The Savitri temple structure dates to the 17th century.
The most interesting building in Pushkar is the old Rangji Temple, dating to 1844 (not to be confused with the recently built Rangi temple) constructed by a tamil Vaishnava sect, it showcases a mix of tamil temple features such as gopurams hand in hand with typically rajasthani chhatris (cenotaphs)
Given its sacred atmosphere, picturesque surroundings, and mela induced fame, Pushkar was powerless to escape its fate as a backpacker Mecca. The main street – a jumble of internet cafes shops, and rooftop restaurants – feels more like a traveler’s fantasyland than India. Venture out of the bazaar to the other side of the lake or up into the surrounding hills and you will discover the magic that drew people to Pushkar in the first place.
Like Goa or Dharamshala, Pushkar is one of those travellers’ centres where people go for a little rest and recuperation from the hardships of life on the Indian road. It’s a delightful little village, only 11 km from Ajmer but separated from it by Nag Pahar, the ‘Snake mountain’ and right on the edge of the beautiful Pushkar Lake with many bathing ghats, for Pushkar is also an important pilgrimage centre for Hindus. It’s a really nice, laid back place but in October-November each year it comes alive with the huge Pushkar Cattle Fair.