Places to Visit in Pushkar
Pushkar is an ancient town located 11 kilometers to the north-west side of Ajmer. The place is sacred to the Hindus as it is believed that Lord Brahma used to perform his sacrifices by the Pushkar Lake during the time of Kartik Purnima. The place is frequently visited by tourists both for its religious importance as well as for the numerous architectural marvels of the area and its natural beauty.
How to reach Pushkar
The nearest airport is at Sanganer, Jaipur which connects Pushkar to rest of India as well as international territories. Located 146 kilometers away from Pushkar, it is well connected to other major Indian cities such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Indore, Udaipur and Jodhpur.
Pushkar has connected with new rail line from Ajmer, Ajmer is the railway station biggest and closest to Pushkar, only 11 kilometers away.
Pushkar is conveniently connected to major national highways and roadways of India and Rajasthan. The Marwar bus stand at north of Pushkar connects the town to long distance sites like Delhi, Bikaner and Jodhpur. The Ajmer bus stand is located at the east of Pushkar and offers bus services to Ajmer, Indore, Jaipur and Nagda every fifteen minutes. One can also hire a taxi to Pushkar from Jaipur or Delhi.
The Pushkar Lake is known for its serene, tranquil beauty. A major hub of activity here at Pushkar, the origin of the lake is traced back to Lord Brahma who threw a lotus when he desired to carry out a yagna and was looking for the perfect place to conduct the important ceremony. Pilgrims consider having a dip here at Pushkar Lake can transform one’s life. Apart from the religious significance, the lake is also a great place to relax and just let the ambience settle in. There are 52 bathing ghats along the periphery of the lake. The lake also takes on a miraculous appearance when diyas are floated in the waters during the evenings.
The Brahma Temple is among the principal attractions here in Pushkar. Set adjacent to the Pushkar Lake, this beautiful temple has a distinct red spire which gives it its unmistakable identity. The entrance of the temple is adorned by the idol of the Sacred Goose, which is the vahana of Lord Brahma. Silver coins are used to decorate the interior of the temple. The black and white floor of the temple is adorned by a silver turtle.
The Varah Temple is counted as among the largest and oldest temples in Pushkar and is an integral part of the pilgrimage associated with this town. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu or the Varah, this temple is also located just by the Pushkar Lake. Lord Vishnu was the preserver according to Hindu mythology, and so the temple is visited by countless pilgrims annually who look up to Lord Vishnu in reverence. Built between 1123 and 1150, the temple was destroyed and rebuilt numerous times over several centuries. The current edifice was built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur in 1727.
Old Rangji Temple
The Old Rangji Temple was built in 1823 by Seth Puran Mal Ganeriwal from Hyderabad. The temple houses the images of Venugopal; Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and Narasimha, the fourth avatar of Vishnu. It is known for its superb architecture which shows a blend of Mughal, Rajput and South Indian styles. The brick and mortar outer Gopuram is built at the temple’s main entrance and shows signs of elaborate carvings. Four images of Garuda adorn the four corner walls of the Old Rangji Temple which show that it’s a Vaishnava temple.
New Rangji Temple
New Rangji Temple is well known for its beautiful and elaborate South Indian architectural style. The high rising Gopuram shows motifs that are typical of the South Indian style.
As the name suggests, the Savitri Temple is a shrine dedicated to Goddess Savitri, the first wife and consort of Lord Brahma. Built on top of a towering hill, the temple can be reached by ascending a huge flight of stairs. While on top, visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape and the lake. One can also see sand dunes around the temple.
Gurdwara Singh Sabha
The Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Pushkar is a well known shrine for the Sikhs which commemorates the visits of Guru Nanak Dev and the tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh. The Gurdwara was earlier known as Guru Nanak Dharmasala. However, it is now referred to as Gurdwara Singh Sabha and operates as a branch of the Ajmer shrine Sri Guru Singh Sabha. Guru Gobind Singh came to Pushkar in 1706 and was taken care of by priest Chetan Das. The spot that was consecrated by Guruji’s stay was named Gobind Ghat; it is currently known as Gandhi Ghat. A stone slab here still carries the inscriptions referring to the original name in Gurumukhi, Persian, Devanagari and Roman scripts. A Gurdwara run by the Nirmala Sikhs was once present here, although it is not present anymore.
While you are at Pushkar, you can also visit the Gayatri Temple. Gayatri was the second wife and consort of Lord Brahma and her name is held in great reverence among pilgrims. The place offers excellent views during the time of sunset.
Hanuman Temple Tower
There is a Hanuman Temple Tower located in Ajmer Road, Middle Pushkar.
Agastya Muni Cave
The residence of the legendary Indian sage Agastya Muni, known as the Agastya Muni Cave, is situated 4 kilometers south-west of Pushkar on the Nag Parvat of Aravalli Hills. The place is surrounded by thick forests, which make it hot even during the winter months. One of the oldest caves in the world, it is believed that it was here that Agastya Muni saw Lord Brahma after meditating for long periods of time.
Located 2.5 kilometers away from Pushkar in the east, the Panch Kund is a holy site consisting of five holy ponds and a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The five holy kunds or ponds are named as Naga, Ganga, Surya, Padma and Chakra. The temple is said to be have been built by the five Pandav brothers, which makes the five water reservoirs and the temple at least 5000 years old. It is believed that having a dip in these waters can make one immune from the effects of snake poison.
The Pushkar Fair is an annual 5-day cattle fair held in Pushkar from the day of Kartik ekadashi to the day of Kartik Poornima in the months of October-November. As one of the biggest in India and the only of its kind in the world, it is attended by millions of rural Indian people as well as tourists from both inside and outside of the country. Also known as the great Pushkar Camel Fair, the festivities include camel races, horse dealings, livestock tradings, pilgrimages, exhibitions, religious ceremonies and competitions such as “longest moustache” and “matka phod”. Numerous colorfully dressed devotees, traders, musicians, folk dancers, acrobats, comedians and ‘sadhus’ can be seen here during this time. One can also buy various forms of handicrafts, artworks, jewelry and clothing items, decorative items, as well as items of daily necessities. The Pushkar Fair is a major cultural phenomenon that celebrates the richness of Rajasthani heritage. It has also been featured in numerous travel shows, magazines and films.
The Mahadeva temple at Pushkar was built in the 19th century. The five-faced statue of Lord Mahadeva worshipped here is entirely made out of white marble. One of the finest temples in and around Pushkar and Ajmer, it is known for its astounding elegance.