A walk through the Holy Lanes of Pushkar

Pushkar is a pilgrim site for both Hindus and Sikhs. It has numerous sanctuaries and temples dedicated to the mighty Gods and Goddesses. The majority of the temples and ghats in Pushkar are from the eighteenth century or later, on the grounds that, numerous temples were decimated amid the Mughal Rule in the territory. Along these lines, the pulverized temples and ghats were revamped and reconstructed.

Pushkar is home to the absolute most ancient land structures in India. Microliths close to Khera and Kaderi give an idea that the area was found and settled dating back to ancient times. The Aravalli range close to it have yielded Mohanjodaro-style ancient rarities, however, the connection is indistinct as these things may have been brought later. Regions close to it have been origins of old Brahmi scripts and engravings, which are considered to be found in the pre-Ashokan Era in the village of Badli. Some local explorations and unearthing have been the source of finding painted grey and redware, which confirmed that the place used to be an ancient settlement.

History of Pushkar

Mythological Background

  • It is said that in a war, Lord Brahma slained Vajra Nabh, an evil presence, with a lotus bloom, whose petals floated into the surface of the earth, which was spread in three regions in and around the city of Pushkar where the lakes came to being.
  • Lord Brahma joined by the Brahmanas and different devas, and demigods, went to Pushkar to perform penance in the form of sacrifice.
  • To carry out his yajna calmly without being ambushed by the devils, he made the hills in the Pushkar Ratnagiri towards the south, Nilgiri towards the north, in the west Sanchora, and Suryagiri towards the east. Lord Brahma also positioned some of the demigods there to secure the yajna ceremony.
  • According to the Ramayana, it is believed that Rishi Vishvamitra also, carried out a long tapasya in Pushkar.
  • An apsara from heaven- Menaka also visited Pushkar to take a dip in the holy water of its lake.

Mughal Era

  • Pushkar finds its mention in chronicled records identified with Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
  • It was conquered by Rajput Hindus ruled under the Chauhan of Ranthambhor in the year of 1287, however, recaptured by Delhi Sultanate in 1301 and henceforth remained under Muslim control for a long time.

Other

  • With the breakdown of the Mughal Empire after Aurangzeb, Pushkar was recaptured by the Hindus and turned into a region of Rathors of Marwar who remade the temples and ghats, and restored it to their former glory.
  • The temples, landmarks and monuments in Pushkar date to the Maratha period.
  • In the year of 1801, Pushkar went under the British rule of East India Company and remained under the British Empire until 1947.

Gurudwara Sahib

Story of Gurudwara Sahib

A sanctum for Guru Gobind Singh

  • According to legends, Pushkar was visited by Guru Gobind Singh, while he was travelling in the Rajputana in the year of 1706.
  • Guru Gobind Singh was served by Chetan Das, who was a priest. The spot sanctified by the Guru’s stay was called Gobind Ghat, which has now been renamed to Gandhi Ghat.
  • A stone piece under a standstill, has Gobind Ghat engraved on it, in Devanagari, Gurumukhi, Roman and Persian contents.
  • In the past, a Gurudwara guarded by the Nirmala Sikhs was at this area, that is on the first floor of the passage to the Ghat, however, it is no longer in existence.

The Hukamnama

  • A Brahmin priest with full-grown hair and wearing a turban, at this ghat, currently possesses a Hukamnama composed on bhoj patra, which can be a leaf or bark of birch tree, professed to have been given by Guru Gobind Singh to the priest Chetan Das.
  • Another Hukamnama exists for the name of five Gurudwaras at Amritsar including Sri Akal Takht Sahib. The priest likewise, keeps an old transcribed version of the Guru Granth Sahib.

Construction And Architecture

  • A gurudwara building was built at Pushkar in the start of the Nineteenth Century to honour the visits of both Guru Nanak Sahib Ji and Guru Gobind Singh Ji. This was destroyed and later remodelled and redesigned, to create a huge, one of a kind Gurudwara, made out of white marble.
  • The gurudwara is spread at more than 10 Bighas of land in its place. A large kar sewa of veteran Kar Sewak Baba Lakha Singh helped in the assembling of the monument.
  • The Gurdwara at Pushkar was formally initiated on the 23rd October of 2005 but the Kar Sewa was continuous and langar Prasad is distributed amongst the masses on a daily basis.
Temples in the Lanes of Pushkar

Shree Venkuthnath Temple

Story of Shree Venkuthnath Temple

The Dedication to Lord Vishnu

  • The Shree Venkuthnath Temple solely belongs to the Hindu sect of Shirveshnva, which was established by Shi Ramanujacharya who thrived in the eleventh century of the Christian time. The temple is dedicated to the worshipping of Lord Vishnu.
  • The Shree Venkuthnath Temple belongs with the Jayakhyam; the Jayakhyam is one of the principle branches of the Vaishnava Sampradaya and is said to be the first and original creed, whose customs and rituals are entirely in Sanskrit.
  • The Shree Venkuthnath pursues the Jayakhyam Samhita, which as indicated by its supporters, was first lectured by the God to Narad Muni, who in turn recounted it to five Rishis at Prabhaskshetra, in the territory of Gujarat.

Construction, Architecture & Symbols

  • The Viman of Gopuram in the internal area of Shree Venkuthnath was worked as per the tenets of architecture, mentioned in the Jayakhyam Samhita; similarly, the shape and size of the idols and symbols were created. The principle idol in the temple is of Paramurti.
  • The Viman is made of stone and contains indications to 361 Devas or Gods. In front of Nijmandir or the inner temple, stands the Garud Dhwaja Khambha, dedicated to the Garuda, the Vahan of Lord Vishnu.
  • In the early Mahotsava, this Dhwaja Khambha is worshipped up to ten days. One of the most prominent mentions of Garud Dhwaja is to be found in the Bhilsa engravings of the second century A.D., which says, that a Garud Dhwaja was raised by Helliodoros, a Greek believer who converted to Vaishnavism.
  • The Gopuram, that is built over the main entrance to the temple is of cement and brick, made out of elaborate structuring and carving. This was assembled and designed by the Masons of South India, imported for the reason.
  • Four images of Vahan Garuda, are placed in the temple’s four corners, to depict that the temple belongs to the Vaishnavas.

Apteshwar Mahadev

Story of Apteshwar Mahadev

The Five Faces of Apteshwar

  • Apteshwar Temple is committed to worshipping Lord Mahadev or Lord Shiva and was constructed in the nineteenth century. The temple has an idol of Mahadev with five faces that are altogether made of white marble and is ornamented with various adornments.
  • The five faces are known as Sadyojat, Aghor, Vamdev, Ishan and Tatpurush. The four faces of Apteshwar, speaks of the four directions.
  • The fifth face which points towards the sky. It is the universal face and symbolizes the spiritual progress and purity of the soul. Likewise, the five faces depict the five components which are Prithvi, Vayu, Varun, Akash and Agni.

Construction And Architecture

  • The temple is famous in and around Pushkar for its exquisite architectural style. The temple is worked with white marbles and is a serene house of Lord Shiva.
  • There are various figures and carvings around the holy place that show a divinity of Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
  • Apteshwar Temple is a standout amongst the most prevalent and heavenly places of the divine in Pushkar. The main celebration of the temple is Shivratri which is praised here with incredible eagerness and significance.
Old and Spiritual Temples in the Lanes of Pushkar

Old Rangji Temple

Story of Old Rangji Temple

Rangji-Ka-Mandir

  • The old Rangji temple is one of the most famous and well-known temples in Pushkar. It is dedicated to Lord Rangji who was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
  • It is trusted that the temple was initiated in 1823 by a Seth of Hyderabad, named Puran Mal Ganeriwal.
  • The Old Rangji Temple solely belongs to the Pushkar sect of the Vaishnava Sampradaya, whose rituals and customs are represented in both Sanskrit and Tamil languages.
  • Apart from the main idol of Lord Rangji, the temple also houses the idols of Lord Godambaji, Lord Krishna, Shri Ramanujacharya, Goddess Lakshmi, and many more.

Construction And Architecture

  • The temple of old Rangji Ji mirrors a blend of Mughal and Rajput design, along with the Dravidian architectures.
  • The high-rising Gopuram additionally reflects South Indian design and adds more appeal to the entire temple.

Rituals in the Old Rangji Temple

  1. Worshiping of Lord Rangji: If you wish to worship the idol of Lord Rangji, the priest will chant the holy mantras for the pilgrims. And they will be asked to repeat the mantra after him, as a symbolism towards worshiping Lord Vishnu.
  2. Sprinkling of Holy Water and the Tilak: As soon as the proceedings of chanting the mantras are over, the priest will sprinkle holy water of Lake Pushkar, upon the pilgrims and then put a ‘tilak’ on their forehead as a part of the blessing.
  3. Visit the other Deities: After the pilgrims have offered their prayer to Lord Rangji, they can proceed towards worshipping the eight other temples dedicated to the other divinities.
  4. Distribution of Prasad: When all the rituals have been completed, the pilgrims will be provided with ‘prasad’ from a counter of the temple.

Temples you can visit within the old Rangji Temple

  • Lakshmiji Temple
  • Godambaji Temple
  • Raghunathji Temple
  • Srirangnath Bhagwan Temple
  • Sudarshan Bhawan
  • Ramanuj Mandir
  • Vedantdeshik Temple

Sadar Bazar Lane

Situated in the heart of the Pushkar city, Sadar Bazaar is a huge market which covers around 1 km of distance, at which the little shops are arranged on both the sides of the street.

The primary market is arranged in the northern region of the lake which gives us an idea of why individuals love shopping at such an excellent part of the city.

Pushkar’s Sadar Bazaar is fixed with charming little shops and is a decent spot for getting endowments and handicrafts. A large number of the Rajasthani handicrafts are from Barmer, south of Jaisalmer, or Gujarat.

Pushkar Fair

  • Pushkar fair proceeds for five days and these five days are a time of unwinding and cheerful making for the locals. Fair time is the most bustling time for them, as this is one of the largest dairy cattle fairs in the nation.
  • Animals like cattle, including more than 50,000 camels, are brought from various places around, to be exchanged and sold.
  • Every one of the camels is washed and embellished, some are shorn to shape beautiful patterns. All the camels, steeds, and cows are beautifully decorated.
  • This fair is held only once a year.

Other Markets in the city you can visit

  • Kedalganj Market
  • Sarafa Bazar
  • Baza Bazar

Hanuman Gali

  • Formerly known as the Pushkar Lane, this gali was renamed as ‘Hanuman Gali’ because of the famous show ‘Diya Aur Baati Hum’ which revolved around a family living in the Hanuman Gali of Pushkar.
  • The Gali is full of beautiful shops and small eateries, along with a few residential houses. You will also find some handicraft and handloom shops nearby.

Private Lord Krishna Temple

  • The Lord Krishna Temple is also known as the Shree Radha Krishna Yadav Mandir and is situated near the Hanuman Gali.
  • Every evening an Aarti takes place in the temple, where the local people gather to offer their prayers to the deities.
  • After the Aarti, Prasad is distributed amongst the masses.

Brahma Temple

Story of Brahma Temple

Curse of Goddess Saraswati

  • In order to carry out a yajna in Pushkar, Lord Brahma needed his wife to be present during the sacrifice, as per the requirements of the ceremony; but Goddess Saraswati was not willing to leave.
  • The ceremony had to begin at once, hence Lord Brahma asked Indra to provide him with a suitable wife. A girl named ‘Gayatri’ married Lord Brahma and performed the yajna.
  • When Goddess Saraswati arrived and found Lord Brahma had married another woman without her consent, she cursed him that Lord Brahma will be worshipped in Pushkar only, and Lord Vishnu will have to bear the sufferings of being separated from his wife along with Indra who will be easily defeated in all battles.
  • Because of the curse, Pushkar is the only place where Lord Brahma is worshipped and the temple is known as the Brahma Temple.

Construction And Architecture

  • The temple is located on a high altitude and can be reached through a multitude of marble staircases leading towards the entrance of the Brahma Temple, beautified with pillared hangings.
  • The temple dates back to the 14th century and was completely restructured later.
  • The temple is worked with stone sections and squares, combined with lead. The red shikhara of the temple and image of a hamsa- a swan or goose, is the mount of Brahma and is an unmistakable highlight of the temple.
  • Marble floor and dividers inside the temple have been decorated with several silver coins by devotees as a representation of offering to Lord Brahma.
  • There is a silver turtle in the mandap that is shown on the floor of the temple confronting the Garbhagriha, which is also worked in marble

Other Temples in the City you can visit

  • Pataleshwar Temple
  • Raghunath Mandir
  • Varaha Temple
  • Savitri Temple
  • Gautama Maharishi Temple

Pushkar Lake (Brahma Ghat)

Story of Pushkar Lake

  • The prime fascination of Pushkar is the Pushkar Lake which is viewed as sacred and holy like the Mansarovar Lake in Tibet.
  • Pushkar has turned into a destination of Hindu pilgrimage due to this heavenly lake.
  • Legend has it that this lake was blessed by Lord Brahma, the maker of the universe when a lotus dropped from his hand into the vale and a lake rose in that place. Hence, the ghat near the lake is named after the God as Brahma Ghat.

Pushkar At Present

The name Pushkar means ‘Blue Lotus’ in Sanskrit.

It is located in the centre-east region of Rajasthan, towards the West side of the Aravalli Mountains. Pushkar is near about 10 km from the city of Ajmer and is connected via the Pushkar Highway which traces over the Aravalli mountain range.

Today, Pushkar is known for its:

  • Ancient geological structures
  • The hot and humid climate
  • The historical and religious temples, architectures and sculptures
  • Pushkar Fair
  • Rich cultural life
  • Local handicraft and handloom of Rajasthan

The cuisine of Pushkar which mainly comprises of a blend of Rajasthani and Rajputana cuisine. As it is a pilgrim place, the food prepared is mainly vegetarian. Some of the famous delicacies are Kachori, Samosa, Poha, Parathas, Dal Bati Churma, Malpua, Jalebis, Falafel, Lassi, etc.

In the year of 1901, the town used to be a part of the Rajputana Rule and had a total population of 3,831. As per 2011 Census, Pushkar has a populace of 21,626. The town has 11,335 males and females are about 10,291. Kids in the age group of 0-6 account to 13.95 % of the total population.

Almost 80% of the entire population is literate, which includes all age groups. The male literacy rate is 90%, whereas the female literacy rate is 70%.

Pushkar has about 4,250 residential houses, out of which on an average there are 5 duelling residents per house.

The local people wear traditional clothes like dhoti and ghagra, adorned with Rajasthani jewellery, and are mostly involved in religious activities like prayers and rituals, most of the time.

The major occupation of the people of Pushkar is creating handcrafted items like pots and pans, and hand-loomed clothes.

IceBreaker

Pushkar is referenced in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Puranas, recommending its essentialness in the authentic and religious convention of Hinduism. The town is referenced in numerous writings dated to the first millennium. These writings are not, in any case, verifiable. The most verifiable records identifying with Pushkar and Ajmer are found in Islamic writings portraying the attacks and triumph of a north-western part in the Indian subcontinent.

Today Pushkar is one of the most sought after pilgrim destination in India, visited by tourists from all over the world.

Top 5 things to do in Pushkar

  • Undertake the camel safari
  • Take the hot air balloon ride
  • Spend an evening in the Pushkar Lake
  • Take the Jeep Safari.
  • Shop in Pushkar Market

Top 5 experiences to have in Pushkar

Top 5 places to visit in Pushkar

  • Pushkar Lake
  • Brahma Temple
  • Savitri Temple
  • Apteshwar Temple
  • Varaha Temple

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