Pushkar

By Sanjeev Nayyar esamskriti@suryaconsulting.net | 2017

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Visit to Pushkar was a dream come true. Reached Jaipur. Early morning visited Chand Baori ie about 1.5 hrs away. Returned & took a bus to Ajmer. Took bus to Pushkar 30 odd minutes. First view of the Holy Sarovar. Right of pic see wall. When sarovar overflows water flows thru that. Pushkar surrounded by hills on 3 sides.

Had no hotel reservation. Luckily got dormitory acco in Moustache Hostel. Sunset is best seen from top of the hill so took rope way to reach Savitri Mata Mandir. View from top of Ratnagiri mountain. Left is stadium indicated by blue. To left of stadium is cattle fair ground. End of pic temple on hill is of Gayatri Mata.

Earlier pic was view of Pushkar from top of hill. This early morning view is from Scindia Ghat. On top of hill, in centre of pic, is Savitri Mata temple from where I took previous pic.

Lots of monkeys on hill top. They too wanted to enjoy the sunset. Temple is well made, clean and felt good after visiting. U can walk up the hill or take rope way. Walkway well laid out. Ropeway recent addition. Thanks Vasundhra Scindia government for rope way.

Sunset Pushkar is awesome. From top saw lots of luxurious tents for high end tourists. Pushkar is at a height of 510 metres and means a lake with lotus flowers. "The earliest signs of settlement here go back to the 4th century BCE."

Overview of sarovar from south western side corner. Bang straight is Varaha Ghat. Pushkar has 52 ghats. Right of pic are akadas / temples of various samprayadas. A number of ghats are named after erstwhile rulers like Jaipur, Gwalior, Kota, Holkar because they constructed the ghat. Ditto in Kashi.

Varaha Ghat post aarti. Tourists from South America think Brazil enjoying themselves. Pushkar is nestled in the Aravalli Valley in central Rajasthan, at the foot of Nag Pahar or Snake Mountain, which forms a natural border between Pushkar & Ajmer.

Next did a 10 minute odd walk to the mela ground where Rajasthan Tourism had organized cultural & musical programs. This one was by leading band Indian Ocean. They also organised various programs during the day but in Pushkar preferred to be at the holy sarovar.

Hot Air Balloon in same ground. It was great fun to see people from rural Rajasthan & foreigners / urban Indians mix and enjoy.

Pushkar is full of these eco-friendly tea sellers. Serve masala tea with herbs in kullads (earthen pot) or paper glasses. U are supposed to throw used glass in the container below. Tea container is made of brass, a coal sigdi keeps it warm. Best tea I had for years. All for Rs 10/

Next day reached camel ground by 6.15 for sunrise / camel pics. Sunrise was not exciting and most of the camel owners had returned. Camel ride very popular with tourists as you see. Sunset camel safaris very popular. The cattle fair ends on Kartik Poornima. In 2017 it ended on Nov 4th.

Camel owners come with families, beds and kitchen stuff. They live and sleep on ground. This album is more about Pushkar. For pics of camels shall give links later.

Entry to Brahma Temple. "According to the Padma Purnana, Brahma was in search of a place to perform a yagna when the lotus he was holding fell from his hand and landed in Pushkar. He resolved to perform the yagna there and then, but when his wife Savitri failed to join him, he married Gayatri and completed the yagya. When Savitri got to know of this enraged she ticked off Brahma saying that Pushkar would be the only place he`d be worshiped in."

Met this man at point where Brahma temple steps start. Number of malas is what attracted me to him. After a enjoyable chat told me was the local BJP councilor.

There are 52 ghats in Pushkar. Devotees come for a dip in the holy sarovar. So had these 4 ladies. For a good guide in Pushkar call Nandu 98295 18724. Met him at Pushkar. Speaks good English and Hindi.

What this lady is wearing in the centre of the for head is called BORLA in Rajasthan. It is very common. Loved her ear rings too.

From Jaipur Ghat is an overview of the popular ghats of Pushkar. Maximum devotees take a dip in the holy sarovar here. Water is clean. Devotees are asked not to throw rice, flowers etc in the water. Extreme left island is where Lord Brahma performed yagna.

Local praying to the rising sun. When we got talking said he runs the very popular La Pizzeria rest which serves pizzas, pastas etc. Missed going there.

One must do for a parikrama (walk) around the sarovar. U are required to remove your footwear and walk. It is well paved and clean. I did it four times in 2 days. In the less crowded areas you will see sadhus like this.

Lady from Gujarat. Loved her ear rings design. In Hindi called Kano ke Kundal. Ladies usually do not allow you to click pictures. This one was very sporting.

Group from Thailand. On Kartik Poornima day is also celebrated Festival of Lights in Thailand. I requested them to remove their shoes since they were on the ghats. They profusely apologised. I met tourists from Japan, Germany, Australia, Turkey, Peru, Argentina at Pushkar.

Along the southern side of the sarovar are buildings belonging to various samprayadas. They house temples and places for sadhus to live. In one such complex an elderly lady was giving a spiritual talk. All of them sat round this tree. This lady was sporting enough to let me click.

View of ghats from west side. Island in pic was built in 1791 by thakur of Khimsar to commemorate Brahma`s yagna spot. Am aware that photography of female bathers is not permitted so taken care to share general pictures including markets and people.

Kachoris, samosas, bhajiya with kadi is a favourite. Loved the snacks in Pushkar. Lots lots of places to eat. Pushkar is also a great place to shop.

This is Gurudwara Singh Sabha. Guru Nanak visited Pushkar in the year 1509 AD to have a holy dip in Pushkar Lake on the full moon night of Kartik Purnima, on his birthday. Guru Govind Singh visited on Kartik Purnima in 1706 A.D. He held a meeting with Rajput rulers to enlist their support for fighting Mughal rule. A small Gurudwara was constructed in early 19th to commemorate their their visits. What u see was made about 2005 and funded by Sikh NRI`s from the U.S.

Panch Kund and Guamuk ie a few kms away from the sarovar. It is at the foothills. U get a good view of town from here.

Post lunch view from north east side. Ghat areas clean. For whatever reason the pandas did not approach me to do any puja. Offerings made at the Brahma, Gau and Varaha ghats, which are considered the oldest, are considered to be the most auspicious.

Loved moustache of this policeman. Cops did a very good job during the mela. I only wish the government bans use of thermacol plates and glasses in Pushkar. The Brahma Ghat is the oldest and said to have been built by the Jodhpur family around 10th century.

In 2017 the Pushkar Mela was from Oct 23 to Nov 4. Aarti in Kartik Shukla Paksha Ekadashi to Purnima. Like to thank guide Nandu for correcting the captions. If need guide in Pushkar call him at 98295 18724.

Senior Pandit getting ready for aarti. I think grandsons on either side. The Varaha Ghat named after Lord Vishnu is one of the oldest.

After the senior pandit chanted mantras his son lights lamps for aarti. Some captions taken from Outlook Traveller - Heritage Holidays in India. Must buy for heritage lovers.

All set for a great experience. Reminded me of aarti at Kashi. I missed seeing the Aptaeshvar Temple where is an underground shrine where a lingam has been installed. Also missed the Rangji Temple first built in 1844, run by the Tamilian Vaishnava sect founded by the 11th century saint Ramanujacharya.

Aarti in progress. Some devotes light diyas and keep in hand whilst others place diyas in waters of holy sarovar (secluded area so does not enter main sarovar).

For the devout this was a memorable experience. Am lucky Ishwar sent me to Pushkar. Public announcements keep on urging you to keep ghats and sarovar clean. Appreciate effort. Devotees cooperate is the best part.

Pic gives you an idea of the colours and people at the aarti. To enjoy Pushkar u must spend atleast 2-3 days to let it become part of you. My day started at 6.30 am and ended at 8.30 pm.

Aarti ends with devotees hands up.

Main market. Well lit, lots of colour and people. Moustache Hostel great place to stay. U can book online. Dorms very nice and clean. Recommend. Best part it is 2 minutes from the sarovar and main market.

Malpuha very very popular. Walked barefoot around the sarovar and in the town as well. Loved it. Felt the spiritual energy of Pushkar became part of me.

View of sarovar from south eastern side. Bottom u see the walkway - well paved and clean. Luxury hotels are Pushkar Palace, RTDC`s Hotel Sarovar, Jagat Palace. During the annual fair RTDC erects special tents. Also try Royal Jodhpur Camp.

Whilst walking from the Brahma Mandir to ropeway saw a havan and walked in. It belongs to I think the Bishnoi Samaj. Like this there are many dharamshalas in Pushkar. In Rameshwaram too saw dharamshaslas of different communities, nothing like a Hindu Dharmashala.

In Rajasthani this is called BORLA. It can also be called Mangtikka or Mathapatti. Good place is Lake View Hotel in Sadar Bazar. Simple rooms overlooking the lake. About Rs 800/ a day. It is bang on the sarovar. Call Raghu 91 94130 40100, 91 145 2772106. Email raghupareek@yahoo.com

The gold ornament that the man has on his ear is called BIJALI.

Lots of places to shop in Pushkar. This place sells unique stuff. Please tell what it is called. In case of errors in captions do write back with correct caption and corresponding pic number.

Sheild, swords small kirpans for sale. Lady negotiating with shop owner.

Paintings for sale.

All types of trinklets and bangles.

When I asked her for permission to click she kept her hand on son`s head and said now click. U can see hand extended towards son. What she wears in centre of head is called BORLA.

Early morning view of the sarovar. Sitting in one corner chanted the Gayatri Mantra 108 times and did Pranayama. Friends do visit Pushkar and if can walk barefoot.

On eastern side of sarovar met these ladies. U buy the plant and offer to Gau Mata for feeding.

Footwear and footwear. Many shops like this one.

Menu in Korean, Spanish and Hebru. Had a falafal - nice.

Looked at him and felt had to click. Something special about him. Many photographers stood close to the Brahma Temple and clicked. Thanks to zoom lens many a time the person might not have known that he or she was photographed.

Lots of shops selling silver.One shop that I visited was Silver Star in Bari Basti market. Email id is silverstar6677@yahoo.in. Call Raju at 91 94612 76677. Also try Shree Dadaji Handicraft, Brahma Chowk, Badi Basti. Call Kishore Bhai 91 9890827267.

Lassi served in kullad-super. All shops serve pani puri with 5 types of water. Had each one of them. Loved it. U get vegetarian thalis too for about Rs 70/.

Since lots of foreign tourists garment shops sell both traditional and western clothing. In Badi Basti market try Shree Nath International. Call Vivek 0145 2772668. Also try Pushkar Handicraft, near Jain Temple, Brahma road. Call 91 77373 85708. Email pushkarcraft1@yahoo.com

This leather shop was huge and wide variety of goods. Lots of camel leather products. Shop is Shri Rajasthan Handicraft near Brahma Mandir. Call Tej 99286 96836. Id is dakshrathore2015@gmail.com

View of Sarovar from Savitri Mata Mandir. Pranams to Brahma. Am grateful to the Divine for sending me to Pushkar. Lovely people. To see pics of Pushkar Mela esp camels Click Here http://www.esamskriti.com/a/Rajasthan/Barmer-Textiles.aspx