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Pushkar Temple – Its Dialog with the Divine

Really royal, truly great! These are words that spring from the mouth of any visitor who is on vacation for the first time in Rajasthan. As the golden sphere sets behind the sand dunes, the earth reverberates with tales of the value of Rajput that bring music to life and its unique tapestry of tradition. This is the uniqueness of the state that further enhances the golden landscape. As if to add to the already enriched landscape, another feature in the form of the Pushkar temple has been added. This temple is unique in the sense that it is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in India. There are several temples dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma, but there is none for Lord Brahma. The architecture of the temple dates back to the 14th century and is located on a high platform near Pushkar Lake.

The Sanctorum sanctuary consists of a silver turtle embossed on the floor. Hundreds of silver coins cover the ground around the turtle and this includes the temple walls. The Pushkar temple was restored by Nahadarava in the seventh century, who cleaned the lake and built an embankment on the Luni River. He also rebuilt 12 resting places and ghats on all 3 sides of the lake. The surrounding area is called Parasara Brahamanas due to the presence of the descendants of the wise Parasara. There is a legend associated with the Pushkar temple that mentions that the gods released a swan with a lotus in its beak in the same area. In addition, the legend says that the gods had already decided where the lotus would fall; Lord Brahma will perform ‘Yagya’, the sacred fire in which sacred oblations are poured along with the mantras. Therefore, the place was named as Pushkar, which means ‘born due to a flower’.

The place is also famous for the Pushkar Brahmanas, whose origins can be traced to the place. The place is famous for its other equally important list of pilgrimages and is located about 14 km northwest from Ajmer. In the Pushkar temple, the peacock images considered as a vehicle of Maa Saraswati adorn the walls and Brahma is shown in real-size form with 4 hands and 4 faces, representing the 4 directions. The entrance of the temple is adorned with the image of ‘Hans’ (goose, the official carrier of Brahma) crowned even more with a red spire. The idol of Lord Brahma is adorned on the one side by a small idol of the goddess Gayatri and is called Chaumurti. The sacred place is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage sites for Hindus) and is known as ‘tirth raj’ or also the king of pilgrimage sites. In recent years, it has become one of the most popular destinations for tourists from Jaipur.

In addition to the Pushkar temple, the place is equally famous for its annual Pushkar camel fair. An environmental problem of massive magnitude in recent years has involved the sacred Pushkar temple. The ecology of the lake has degraded due to the influx of large-scale tourists for whom accommodations have been built on the shores of the lake. It has only been added to the ugliness of the place that had already been damaged in multiple proportions by the continued deforestation of the surrounding area. With the green cover disappeared forever, a place is still an arid place added to the desolate landscape. The best solution to the problem may come from the temple authorities themselves, who are brimming with revenue in the form of donations from the pilgrims themselves.