One of the popular tourism spots in India that draws people from across
the nation and internationally is the Pushkar Lake, located betwixt the
Aravalli Hills in the town of Pushkar in Rajasthan state. With 52 ghats used
for bathing and more than 500 temples, the Pushkar Lake is considered sacred
for Hindus and so pilgrims make the trip to the lake in large numbers to take
the ritualistic dip. Based on Hindu theology, there are a total of 5 sacred
lakes or sarovars that are together known as the Panch-Sarovar. The individual
lakes include Pushkar Sarovar, Narayan Sarovar, Mansarovar, Pampa Sarovar and
Bindu Sarovar, with Pushkar Sarovar revered as the most important. The purity
and pious atmosphere around the lake is palpable.
The old Pushkar city is frequently referred to as the king of
pilgrimages or Tirtha Raj, with the existence of the Pushkar Lake traceable to
the 2nd century BC. Throughout the years, the lake has had millions
of devotees visiting its shores, out of faith that the waters of the Pushkar Lake
will cleanse the sins of an entire lifetime. Hindu texts state that completing
a circle or parikrama of the 3 Pushkar lakes on a Kartik Poornima is immensely
auspicious. The 3 lakes refer to the main Pushkar Lake, followed by the Madhya
Pushkar with a Hanuman temple and ancient Banyan tree nearby, and the Kanistha
Pushkar that has a Krishna temple located close to it. Taking a ritualistic dip
in the Pushkar Lake on the holy occasion of Kartik Poornima is believed
equivalent to conducting yagna fire ceremonies for multiple centuries. The
famous Brahma Temple located by the lake further adds to the calming aura.
Pushkar Lake has immense religious importance for Hindus and exemplifies their
strong faith in religion.
More on Pushkar Lake
History of Pushkar Lake
Based on the notes of Chinese traveller Fa Xian
recovered from Sanchi, the Pushkar Lake was already in existence in the 2nd
century BC. Legend says that when the Rajpur king of Mandore, Nahar Rao Parihar
was drinking water from the lake, he placed his hand inside the water. When the
king withdrew his hand, to his surprise all the marks from his Leukoderma were
gone. Astounded by healing powers of the lake’s waters, the king restored it,
and from then on, believers have sought out the lake to cure their skin issues.
Legend says that the 10th Sikh Guru, revered Guru Govind
Singh would recite the Guru Granth Sahib on the banks of Pushkar Lake. At the
time of the Mughal rule, the Pushkar Lake’s prominence faded slightly due to
the pilgrim tax and bans on religious processions. Nonetheless, during the
reign of Akbar, a revival occurred and the value of the lake restored.
The Rajput rulers of Jaisalmer, Amber, Bikaner and Bundi
made efforts to reinstate the importance of the lake and the temples that
surrounded it. Other rulers are credited for the renovations and establishment
of the ghats. Amber’s Maharaja Man Singh restored the Man temple and Raj Ghat,
Daulat Rao Scindia developed the Kot Tirth Ghat, Maha Rana Pratap restored the
Varaha temple, Maratha Anaji Scindia developed the Koteshwar Mahadev temple,
and Ajmer’s Maratha governor along with Govind Rao developed the Shiva Ghat.
Attractions at Pushkar Lake
Across the perimeter of Pushkar Lake, there are numerous
ghats and temples that supplement the purity of the region, making it an oasis
for religious believers. There are said to be nearly 500 temples surrounded the
lake, many of which were destroyed and rebuilt with time. Among the most
important temples located around Pushkar Lake are the Brahma temple, Varaha
Temple, Savitri temple and the Gayatri Temple.
The 52 ghats bordering the Pushkar Lake are vital
components of it, utilized for holy rituals and bathing, with 10 of the ghats
named as ‘Monuments of Sacred Importance’. These ghats are the Saptarishi Ghat,
Varaha Ghat, Dadhich Ghat, Yag Ghat, Gau Ghat, Jaipur Ghat, Karni Ghat, Gangaur
Ghat, Gwalior Ghat, and Kota Ghat. The water of the holy ghats is considered to
have medicinal properties, capable of curing all skin conditions. A majority of
the prominent ghats are named in honour of the kings responsible for building
them, with certain exceptions. The name of the Varaha ghat is because Lord
Vishnu is said to have appeared there in his boar incarnation of Varaha. The
Brahma ghat holds its name as Lord Brahma is believed to have bathed there. The
Gau Ghat later became Gandhi Ghat as the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi were immersed
Photography is allowed.
Best Time To Visit Pushkar Lake
The most suitable time to visit Pushkar Lake is from
October till the month of March during the winter season when temperatures
range from 22 degrees Celsius and the weather is pleasant. The famous Pushkar
Fair also takes place in November in the winters. Summers tend to become
sweltering with temperatures reaching 45 degrees Celsius.
Read more about Pushkar Fair
Tips For Visiting Pushkar Lake
1. In Pushkar, avoid consumption of meat products.
2. Be cautious when hiring guides to avoid being looted.
How to Reach Pushkar Lake
The Pushkar Lake is situated in the middle of Pushkar
town, close to the Brahma Temple. As Pushkar is small, you can explore the area
and reach the lake by walking.