Everyone has his or her belief and disbelief. The reason for pilgrim spots ahead prominence is due to the belief in people as they consider making such pilgrimage is an essential part or duty of their life. Pushkar in Rajasthan is attached pilgrimage status has temples of historical importance and other attractions that are connected to history, cultural heritage and sometimes entertainment as well.
Journey to Pushkar is considered the ultimate pilgrimage as it is said that after visiting four spiritual places in the country, Pushkar has to be visited to attain deliverance. Spiritual importance apart, Pushkar offers feast for your eyes and spirit to your minds with its stunning natural beauty and various attractions.
As soon as I arrived the city, the absorbing atmosphere and vibrant attires of the locals immediately cast spell on me. Pushkar is famous for the only Brahma temple in the world. The view of the Pushkar Lake from the rooftop restaurant was breathtaking and the fireworks during Aarti from its banks, which lasted for more than an hour kept me in rapt attention.
The holy Pushkar Lake running across the city is a place for people to wash their sins. The beauty of Ajmer and Pushkar leaves you speechless with its various facets. Hills, lakes, forts, markets, colorful turbans, camels, Dargah, temples and what not, all of them give a great chance to capture the colorful shots of Rajasthan’s vibrancy and culture.
A meal of dal bati churma, was perfect to get myself ready for the next best thing in Pushkar – shopping!
SIX Must do things at Pushkar
1. Shopping in Pushkar
The shops in the petite lanes next to the Pushkar Lake are a shopper’s paradise. Stone silver and funky jewelry, Rajasthani puppets, tie-and-dye clothes, are some of the most popular buys. For men, there are cool summer kurtas (shirt style), comfortable cotton shorts and half jackets in impossible bright colors. One can also buy second hand zarisarees and lehengas – a big hit for a female.
All along the roads are stocked with cloths in cotton and silk, souvenirs and handiwork. They are pretty reasonable and pocket welcoming.
2. Pushkar Lake
It gains importance among spiritual travelers who aim to have a holy dip in the lake, which is considered a holy place among other ‘Trithas’. It is believed that having a holy dip here is equivalent to doing meditation and prayer for a hundred years.
For others and including the religious people, this place is a beauty in itself. Surrounded by 400 temples and 52 palaces, the lake still looks serene and calm. The place is unique and the sunrise and sunset are beautiful to watch from here.
3. Visit Brahma Temple
This is the only existing temple dedicated to Lord Brahma and was constructed in the 14th century, standing on a high pedestal with colorful marble steps leading up to it. A beautiful carved silver turtle sits on the floor facing the Sanctorum.
The gracious temple is very conspicuous, due to its south Indian style of architecture. Those who follow Hinduism believe that Lord Brahma is the Creator and worship him. In spite of the importance attached to Lord Brahma, there are only three temples for him all over the world and only one in India. Pushkar gains additional importance as Brahma Temple is seen here. The temple and its surroundings are unique. Though Pushkar has many temples, Brahma Temple stands apart for its magnificence.
4. Trekking at Gayatri Temple and Savitri Temple
The Gayetri temple belongs to Lord Brahma’s human wife. It is a myth that Brahma married her without informing any Lords and even hides the news from his wife Goddess Saraswati. It is situated on the hill at the back the Brahma temple and one have to climb a long series of steps to reach the place of worship. It commands a panoramic view of the beautiful lake and the charming neighboring of the hills.
Saraswati is the wife of Brahma. Literally her name means ‘the flowing one’. She is the goddess of the creative impulse, the source of music, beauty and articulation. According to a theory, the shrine myths are often metaphorical expressions of the particular power of a pilgrimage place, the lake, hill and area of Pushkar have a spirit or presence that awakens and stimulates the human ability of creativity.
5. Camel Safari
There are quite a few people in Pushkar who offer horse or camel safari. Camel safaris are a splendid way of taking in the sights and experiencing the rugged beauty of the desert.
6. Indulge in the food
The food in Pushkar is basic. Being a holy city, non-vegetarian food and alcohol are not served anywhere within the Pushkar city limits; the resorts lying outside the city limits are exempted from this rule except during the Pushkar fair when the city limits are temporarily extended.
Rajasthani cuisine aside, Pushkar does have exotically named restaurants and cafes offering tantalizingly unfamiliar Lebanese and Israeli dishes. There are German bakeries, pizzerias offering wood fired pizzas and spartanly flavored pasta made with fresh tomato sauces.
(Note – Being a holy town, Pushkar is a non-alcoholic zone and the food is strictly vegetarian.)