After a quick stop to Ajmer, the JAR group continued on to the beautiful, holy town of Pushkar. As host to a holy lake and sacred temples that separately honor the three most notable Hindu deities, Pushkar naturally serves as an important pilgrimage site for millions of Hindus each year. In fact, Pushkar has been often cited as a top ten religious places in the world. In addition, Pushkar also holds an annual Camel Fair for five days each Fall, which draws in thousands of tourists to witness the livestock exchange, camel races, and other cultural events.
The JAR group was able to visit the major cultural sites in Pushkar, all while taking in a stunning sunset and fire dance at Pushkar Lake. It was absolutely therapeutic way for us to spend our first evening on the trip!
Pushkar Lake has religious and historical significance to the Hindu observers. According to some, Pushkar Lake was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva (Hindu god of transformation) after the passing of his wife (Sati). In the Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, Pushkar Lake is said to have been formed by lotus petals dropped by Lord Brahma (Hindu god of creation) after battle. However the case, the end result is quite stunning!
There are 52 ghats, or “series of steps leading to holy water”, surrounding Pushkar Lake. Each ghat has its own character and style, but each have a series of consistent rules:
- Each ghat must have at least one temple associated to it. By logic, Puskhar must therefore have 52+ temples in the city.
- No shoes allowed on the ghat or walkways adjacent to the lake.
- No unauthorized photos of people that are bathing in the lake.
Brahma Temple & Pushkar Town
As the only temple dedicated to Brahma (Hindu god of creation), the Brahma Temple is believed to be over 2000 years old. Once a year, there a religious festival in honor of Lord Brahma in Pushkar. The JAR group paid our respects at the temple, and also visited a small prayer site for Lord Kuber, who is noted as the “treasurer of the world”. It is said that 3x prayers for Lord Kuber will ensure a financially healthy and wealthy life.