Pushkar girl at Brahma Ghat
Pushkar is a holy city in Rajasthan, India famous for its Brahma temple, lake, ghats and bazaar. Pushkar is a holy town in the state of Rajasthan famous for the Pushkar lake, various ghats and temples spread all around the lake. The word 'Pushkar' means lotus flower, which is said to be the seat of Brahma, one of the Hindu holy trinity, who is worshipped as the creator of this world.
Pushkar, a magical town in India
Walking around as a traveling photographer in the pilgrimage town of Pushkar you can really feel that this is a Hindu town. The legend has it that the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma's children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where it gave birth to a lake. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima, which is the full moon day of the Kartik month and which generally falls in November, hallowing the place. Though Brahma is considered to be the creator of the world, Pushkar is the only temple of this important deity in the whole world. This is also considered as Adi Teerth or Teertharaj meaning ancient holy place or the most important of holy places respectively.
Pushkar Lake is a beautiful, sanctified spot in the center of Pushkar. It is said to have been created by Lord Brahma and is therefore a place of pilgrimage for the Hindus. The lake is surrounded by 52 different ghats, or series of steps, which Hindus use to descend to the lake for ritual bathing, especially in the month of karthik. Note that while there are many temples in Pushkar, the majority do not allow foreigners and non-Hindus to enter. You will have to take off your shoes to enter the temples. If you only have the desire and time to visit two temples, the one-of-a-kind Brahma Temple and the Savitri Temple, with a beautiful view of Pushkar Lake, are must-sees. One of the very few temples in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma. Read up on Hinduism to learn why this temple is such a rarity. No matter where you stay in Pushkar, you will hear the daily chanting ceremonies or aartis conducted here. One begins two hours before sunrise, one forty minutes after sunset, and one five hours after sunset. Though Brahma is considered to be the creator of the world, Pushkar is the only temple of this important deity in the whole world. This is also considered as Adi Teerth or Teertharaj meaning ancient holy place or the most important of holy places respectively. There are not many temples built for Brahma because his influence to the daily life is considered not a big as Vishnu who is the Preserver, Shiva who is the Destroyer and Ganesh who is the Remover of Obstacles. Being the creator, whatever being created is already there, whereas other deities' need to be appeased so that any wishes or favours can be granted or fulfilled.
Brahma Temple in Pushkar
Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is a Hindu temple situated at Pushkar in the Indian state of Rajasthan, close to the sacred Pushkar Lake to which its legend has an indelible link. The temple is one of very few existing temples dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma in India and remains the most prominent among them. Although the present temple structure dates to the 14th century, the temple is believed to be 2000 years old. The temple is mainly built of marble and stone stabs. It has a distinct red pinnacle shikhara and a hamsa bird motif. The temple sanctum sanctorum holds the central images of Brahma and his second consort Gayatri. The temple is governed by the Sanyasi an ascetic sect priesthood. On Kartik Poornima, a festival dedicated to Brahma is held when large number of pilgrims visit the temple, after bathing in the sacred lake. According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha or Vajranash in another version trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating three lakes, which are the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar, greatest or first Pushkar, the Madya Pushkar, middle Pushkar Lake and Kanishta Pushkar, lowest or youngest Pushkar lake. When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower 'pushpa' fell from Brahma's hand 'kar' as 'Pushkar'. Brahma then decided to perform a yajna, which is a fire-sacrifice at the main Pushkar Lake. To perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar with Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance. However, while performing the yajna, his wife Savitri or Sarasvati in some versions could not be present at the designated time to perform the essential part of the yajna as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani. So Brahma married Gurjar girl, Gayatri and completed the yajna with his new consort sitting beside him, holding the pot of amrita, which is the elixir of life on her head and giving ahuti, which is offering to the sacrificial fire. When Savitri finally arrived at the venue she found Gayatri sitting next to Brahma which was her rightful place. Agitated, she cursed Brahma that he would be never worshipped, but then reduced the curse permitting his worship in Pushkar. Savitri also cursed Indra to be easily defeated in battles, Vishnu to suffer the separation from his wife as a human, the fire-god Agni who was offered the yajna to be all-devouring and the priests officiating the yajna to be poor. Endowed by the powers of yajna, Gayatri diluted Savitri's curse, blessing Pushkar to be the king of pilgrimages, Indra would always retain his heaven, Vishnu would be born as the human Rama and finally unite with his consort and the priests would become scholars and be venerated. Thus, the Pushkar temple is regarded the only temple dedicated to Brahma. Savitri, thereafter, moved into the Ratnagiri hill and became a part of it by emerging as a spring known as the Savitri Jharna, which is stream, a temple in her honour exists here.