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 PUSHKAR FAIR

Pushkar stands for devout religiousness and spirituality. Having been mentioned in Mahabharata and Ramayana and Kalidasa’s Abhigyanam Shakuntalam, the city oozes sanctity and mysticism. A quiet little quaint town in eastern Rajasthan, the city of Pushkar is situated at 13 km from Ajmer, on the banks of a beautiful placid lake. A city of 400 temples and 52 bathing ghats, Pushkar is actually, strangely enough, home to the only temple of the Hindu God of Creation, Brahma.

Bearing rich and heavy religious and mythological allusions to its name, Pushkar is one of the five Dhams or pilgrimage spots (others being Badrinath, Puri, Rameswaram, and Dwarka) that are highly revered by Hindus. If mythology is to be believed, it is said that in a battle Lord Brahma slew the demon Vajra Nabh with a lotus, whose petals traveled down to the earth and settled down in three spots in and around Pushkar where ultimately lakes came up. Legend has it that the Pushkar Lake was bordered by 500 temples and 52 palaces (a number of rajas and maharajas built palaces here for the purpose of pilgrimage). The Brahma temple offers an interesting visit to note. Out of a curse from Savitri, wife of Brahma, Brahma is not worshipped here, even though he is one of the Holy Trinity of Hinduism. This temple built with marble is decorated with silver coins and there is a silver turtle on the floor of the temple.

Apart from the Brahma Temple, Pushkar offers a host of other temples to be visited like Savitri Temple, Rangji Temple, Warah Temple and Apteshwar temple. A city of mythological relevance, ghats, temples and countless saffron clothes clad priests, Pushkar is most traveled due to its camel fair.

A dip in the Pushkar Lake at the famous Pushkar Fair held along the banks of the Pushkar Lake each year on the Kartik Shukla Ekadashi continuing for the next five days till Kartik Purnima is considered to wash all your sins away. It is generally around November that the fair is held. One of the most colorful and resplendent fairs of India, it is a major tourist attraction in India. Although Pushkar is barely a tiny town with a measly population of 14,000, it spills over to 200,000 during the fair. Albeit the fair is for Hindus primarily, it is visited by all and sundry. In fact, Pushkar fair is a meeting place for people from all over the world. You just need to be there to soak in the warmth of the place and its people.

You just cannot miss out on the camel safaris which lead you through the glistening golden sands of the vast Thar Desert (Near Pushkar). A ride through the sandy landscape, passing through remote villages will take your breath away – touch upon a new pedestal of romanticism. The Aravallis here are one of the oldest, and finest with sandy expanses, dunes, beautiful hills and captivating sunrises and sunsets. The camel races are too exotic to be overlooked. Usually a clumsy beast of burden, the camel amazes one and all decorated in finery.

Lose yourself amidst the swirls of colorful veils and ghagras of the women and richly hued turbans men and dashes of colors and dyes of vibrant fabrics and attire at Pushkar Fair. Every aspect of the fair including the people, the stalls, shoppers, acrobats, folk artists and more exudes a feel of liveliness and joie de vivre. A good buy of attires, bead necklaces of Nagpur, woolen blankets of Merta, textiles of Ajmer will be quite interesting.

 




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