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The holy city of Pushkar is located in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan, India. Pushkar is one of the five sacred dhams or pilgrimage sites for devout Hindus. One of the oldest cities of India. Pushkar lies on the shore of the sacred Pushkar Lake. The sacred waters of the Pushkar lake are considered at par with the waters of the Mansarovar lake situated on way to Mount Kailash the abode of Shiva. The date of actual origin of Pushkar is unknown, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. Pushkar is also referred to as “Tirtha- Guru” – the Guru of pilgrimage sites or “Tirtha-Raj “ the king of all pilgrimage sites. Pushkar clearly qualifies for this title as it meets all criteria of the 4 categories of Hindu pilgrimages, “ The Deva –Tirtha”, “Asura-Tirtha”, “Arsha Tirtha” and “Manushya-Tirtha” It is said that Brahma performed penance here for 60,000 years Pushkar has many temples. Most of the temples are not very old, since many were destroyed during Muslim conquests of the area. Many of these destroyed temples were re-built. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple. Today Just a few temples dedicated to Lord Brahma exist . Temples dedicated to Brahma are also located, Bithoor in Uttar Pradesh , Asotra near Balotra in Barmer district of Rajasthan , Besakih in Bali and Prambanan in Indonesia. The Pushkar lake has 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters.
The Pushkar Fair occurs every year in the Hindu month of kartik (October /November), this year the Pushkar Fair will be held between 09th – 17th November 2013 . During this period Pushkar and its environs come alive as the much awaited annual camel & cattle fair begins at Pushkar. Hotels are full to their capacity, tents and campsites suddenly spring up to accommodate the thousands of pilgrims, tourists and villagers with herds of cattle, horses and camels who come here to participate in this grand annual event.
Pushkar fair has always been the region’s central cattle market for local herdsmen and farmers of Rajasthan,who buy and sell camels , horses and indigenous breeds of cattle. Pushkar fair is now one of Asia’s largest cattle fairs.
The other major cattle fairs being Sonepur Mela in Bihar and Nagaur fair also in Rajasthan. During Pushkar Mela, as the Pushkar fair is called by locals, Pushkar is transformed from a quiet little town into a sea of humanity and beast, bustling with activity and a riot of colour, sights and smells very distinct to India. The village folk visit the fair dressed in all
their finery .Tall Men in bright coloured turbans, with their weather beaten and tanned faces supporting large well kept moustaches, ears pierced with gold and silver rings and tops , women wearing colourfull Gagra – Cholis and bright Coloured Odhnis on their heads. Ears, necks, arms ,and feet laden with chunky silver and gold jewellery.
The photo opportunity provided at the Pushkar fair is tremendous and indeed the Pushkar fair can be any photographers delight. Even the animals are decorated and pampered by their owners.
During the Pushkar fair, numerous camel, horse and donkey races and contests take place amid loud cheers from the spectators. These contests and competitions are organised In the vast, specially-built amphitheatre on the outskirts of the town, A festive, carnival atmosphere prevails in Pushkar during the fair’s two-week duration. Giant ferries wheels and open air theatres offer amusement, while food stalls do a brisk trade, as do the shops that sell a fascinating variety of goods. In the evening, people huddle round campfires listening to Rajasthani folk ballads. The fair reaches a crescendo on the night of the full moon (Kartik Purnima), when pilgrims take a dip in the holy lake. At dusk, during the beautiful Deepdaan ceremony, hundreds of clay lamps on leaf boats are lit and set afloat on the sacred Pushkar lake.
Besides the Pushkar fair, Pushkar also has a lot of temples and 52 Ghats, the most famous temple in Pushkar is the Brahma Temple, dedicated to Lord Brahma, The creator of the Universe according to Hindu mythology. Pushkar is one of the best places to observe the Hindu way of life in all its piety.
Every year Pushkar plays host to the Pushkar Fair which is now well known world over for its Religious fervour ,festivities and the camel , Cattle fair that takes place along the sidelines of this annual gathering. The Pushkar fair occurs every year in the Hindu month of kartik (October /November).
This year the Pushkar Fair or the Pushkar Mela was held between 09th – 17th November 2013. The first Sikh Guru, Guru Nanak is believed to have bathed in the sacred waters of the Pushkar lake, the Tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh also visited Pushkar in 1705 and a ghat “ Guru Gobind Singh Ghat” is named after him. At Pushkar
Visitors to Pushkar have enough sightseeing opportunities at Pushkar and around Pushkar. Excursions are available from Pushkar to the nearby cities of Ajmer and Jaipur offering tourists enough opportunities to explore attractions and places of Religious and Historic importance like Dargah Sharif of Khawaja Garib Nawaj, Nasiyan Jain Temple ,Adai Din-Ka-Jhonpra and the various forts and palaces of Jaipur Like Amber Fort ,Jaigarh Fort,Hawa Mahal ,City Palace and Jantar Mantar.
Adhai–Din–Ka Jhonpra Ajmer
The City of Ajmer is the closest railhead to Pushkar, well connected to all major cities Ajmer has daily train services from both Delhi and Jaipur. The word “ Adai Din-Ka-Jhonpra” in Hindi literally translates to “ Two-and-Half-Days –Hut” contrary to what is assumed the “ Mosque of Adai Din-Ka-Jhonpra” was not built in two and a half days but took almost 15 years to build. Built primarily out of material recycled and salvaged from the Sanskrit University that stood there before it was plundered and destroyed by the armies of Gohri. The name of the mosque was given much later by a group of Fakirs who stayed in the mosque for two and a half days on their way to the Urs of Panja Sahib.
Dargah Ajmer Sharif-Ajmer-Rajasthan
Khawaja Jee or Garib Nawaj as he is lovingly and respectfully referred to by people of all faiths in India Shaikh Moin-ud-din Chisti was the first of the five Shaikhs of the Chisti order. His Dargah or Shrine at Ajmer is considered as the holiest of Sufi shrines in Asia. Ajmer Sharif attracts pilgrims from all faiths who come to seek his blessings. His annual Urs at Ajmer is attended by devout from as far as Pakistan, Bangladesh , Malaysia and Indonesia. The Mughal empror Akhbar was a devout follower as was his son Jahangir who is said to have been born due to the saints blessings and repeated Sajda by Akhbar at the Dargah Sharif.
Nasiyan Jain Temple-Ajmer-Rajasthan
Located in Ajmer-Rrajasthan , this Jain temple is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankara, Lord “Adinath” the Nasiyan Jain Temple was built by a rich Jain merchant Seth Moolchand Soni in the 19th century. Besides the Shrine of Lord Adinath The temple houses various tableau depicting the “Pancha- Kalyanaka” or the Five Prominent Episodes in the life of Adinath. Exquisitely carved models covered with Gold leaf and are hand painted in minute detail. Coloured glass and gold work embellish the walls, pillars and ceiling. The various models and gilded tableau depict Jambudvipa, Ayodhya, and the many phases in the worldly passage of the lord. The temple was visited by Lord and lady Irwin, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and many dignitaries who were left spellbound by its artistry , splendor and grace.