Pushkar

Pushkar is a sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 kms. to the North-West of Ajmer. The charm of this sleepy, lakeside settlement so captivated the great Indian poet, Kalidas,that it found a place in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam. The Great Hindu epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana make references to this religious place regarded to be Adi Tiratha. Evidence points to its having existed during the fourth century B.C. lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is no less than a miracle.

The legend about the Creator God, Bramha describes the creation of this lake. When the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma's children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where a lake sprung into being. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima (the full moon day of the Kartik month), hallowing the place. Sacred to Brahma, Pushkar boasts of its temple dedicated to him, which is the only one of its kind in the world. A dip in the waters of Pushkar and worship at his temple ensure salvation. So thousands flock to Pushkar to observe the ritual on kartik Purnima, or on any of the four days preceding it.

Many Ghats run down to the Holy Lake where pilgrims are constantly bathing in the holy waters. Joining people at the ghats has to be with some respect for their culture and privacy. And for this reason, removing shoes before approaching the ghats, no smoking and restraining from photographing bathing people is well avoided. The Pilgrims here are sensitive about comments by non-Hindus. The famed waters of the Pushkar lake wash away the sins of a lifetime.

The mystical water is also believed to cure skin diseases, making Pushkar the Lourdes of the East.