Pushkar

Pushkar is a town in the state of Rajasthan in India. Pushkar means born due to a flower. Hindus believe that the gods released a swan with a lotus in its beak and let it fall on earth where Brahma would perform a grand yagna. The place where the lotus fell was called Pushkar. Pushkar is the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage sites for devout Hindus.) It is often called "Tirth Raj" - the king of pilgrimage sites - and has in recent years become a popular destination for foreign tourists.

Pushkar is one of the oldest cities of India.Pushkar legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. It is mentioned that Brahma performed penance here for 60,000 years to have glimpse of Radha Krishna.

Pushkar boasts of temples, though not many can be considered very old since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mogul ruler and subsequently rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity.

Pushkar lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. It has five principal temples, many smaller temples and 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. One of the primary temples is the 14th century temple dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world. Pushkar is also famous for its annual Pushkar Camel Fair.

Jagat Shri Brahma Temple

The only standing Hindu temple in India dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, the structure around the temple was built in the 14th century and stands on a high platform near Pushkar lake. Brahma is one of the Holy Trinity in Hinduism, sharing the honour with Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Although a very large number of temples can be found all over India dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, there are very few temples for Brahma, this being one of the holiest one. Marble steps lead up to the temple where a silver turtle lies embossed in the floor facing the sanctorum. The marble floor around the turtle is littered with hundreds of silver coins embedded in the floor, and so are the walls of the temple. Images of the peacock, the vehicle of Brahma’s consort Saraswati, adorn the temple walls. Brahma here is shown in a life-size form with four hands and four faces, facing four different directons. A hans (goose, the official carrier of Brahma) spans the gateway to the temple which is crowned with a red spire. A small statue of the milk goddess Gayatri (whom Brahma married) near Brahma’s idol is called Chaumurti. Steps within the silver-doored sanctuary lead down into a small cave which is a Hindu temple of Lord Shiva.

Other Temples & Ghats

Varah Temple

The Varah temple of Hindu was built in the 12th century and, and the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is said to have destroyed it. Aurangzeb was understandably rather upset with the huge statue of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of a boar. However, Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur thought differently, and in 1727 reconstructed the temple which now has a highly decorated inner sanctum where an idol of Varah is placed.