Pushkar Travel Guide
South west of Jaipur, Ajmer is an oasis wrapped in the green hills. The city was founded by Raja Ajay Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century A.D. and continued to be a major centre of the Chauhan power till 1193 A.D. When Prithviraj Chauhan lost it to Mohammed Ghauri. Since then, Ajmer became home to many dynasties.
Today, Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-tomb of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims. It is a centre of culture and education, the British chose Ajmer for its prestigious Mayo College a school exclusively for Indian nobility.
Ajmer is also the base for visiting Pushkar (11 km.), the abode of Lord Brahma, lying to its west with a temple and a picturesque lake. The Pushkar Lake is a sacred spot for Hindus. During the month of Kartik (Oct./Nov.), devotes throng in large numbers here to take a dip in the sacred lake.
Ajaipal Chauhan founded Ajmer in the seventh century. He constructed a hill fort "Ajaimeur" or the invincible hill. The Chauhans ruled Ajmer till the 12th century when Prithviraj Chauhan lost Mohammed Ghauri. Thereafter it became a part of the sultanate of Delhi.
Ajmer was also favourite residence for the great Mughals. One of the first contacts between the Mughal King Jahangir and Sir Thomas Roe took place here in 1616. The Scindias took over the city in 1818 and then handed it over to the British and it became one of the only part of Rajasthan controlled directly by the East Indian Co.
The bus stand in Ajmer is located near the RTDC hotel Khadim. And the railway is further north and most of the hotels are west of the stations. Northeast is the main post office and most of the cities market is located behind and up to Agra Gate. Further north is a large artificial lake called the Anna Sagar.
11 km from Ajmer on the edge of the desert lies the tiny tranquil town of Pushkar along the bank of the picturesque pushkar lake an important pilgrimage spot for the Hindus.
The 'Nag pahar' or the snake mountain forms a natural boundary between Ajmer and Pushkar.
The lake has a mythological significance associated with it. According to myth, Lord Brahma was on his way to serch for a suitable place to perform a "Yagna' (a fire sacrifice) while contemplating, a lotus fell from his hand on the warth and water sprouted from three palce. One of them was Pushkar where Lord brahma performed his yagna.
Surrounded by hills on three sides, pushkar abounds in temples. Of these the most famous is the Brahma temple- the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the country.
The holy lake has 52 ghats and piligrim taking a ritual dip in the lake is a common sight.
Although a serene town, Pushkar bustles with life during the joyous celebration held on Kartik Purnima.
Every year thousand of devotees throng the lake around the full moon day of Kartik Purnima in October-November to take a holy dip in the lake. A huge and co;lourful cattle fair-the pushkar fair, is also held during this time.
Dance music and colourful shops spring up during this fair. Also on sale are mouth-watering traditional delicacies. Colourfully attired village folk enhance the fun of the occasion.
A host of cultural event against the backdrop of this pretty setting are also organised including attractive puppet shows. Cattle auction and camel races are also a part of the festivities.