The Holy Hippie Pushkar

Pushkar, known as the town of fairs and festivities located to the northwest of Ajmer. Surrounded by hillocks from three sides, this traquil city is a favoured destination for thousands of tourists and devotees. Since the essence of famous Pushkar rose is exported all over the world, this city is also known as 'the rose garden of Rajasthan'. Along with an interesting mythological history, a legacy of timeless architectural heritage makes Pushkar a fascinating city.

Lord Brahma, believed to be the creator of the Universe dropped a lotus to the ground leading to the immediate creation of a lake, as per the legends. Pushkar, the name derived because He decided to name the place after the flower. (The word Pushkar in Sanskrit means blue lotus flower.) Saraswati, wife of Brahma needed to offer ahuti for the yagna but she was not there that time so gayatri, a gujar girl was married to Brahma and performed the yagna. This act made Sarwswati very angry and she cursed that Brahma would be worshipped in Pushkar only. The only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the whole world is nowhere else.

It is also believed that the day sati dies, God Shiva cried so much and so long, that his tears created two holy ponds - one of which is Pushkar. According to Hindu scriptures, the sacred Pushkar Lake is described as ‘Tirtha Raj’, the king of all pilgrimage sites. No pilgrimage is considered to be complete without a dip in in the holy Pushkar Lake. Hindus consider a visit to Pushkar to be the ultimate pilgrimage that must be undertaken to attain salvation. Pushkar Lake is surrounded by 52 bathing ghats and over 400 temples and is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

During my unexpected visit to Rajasthan last month, Pushkar also came under my foot steps. This vibrant city known to everyone for its world famous camel fare which happens in the month of october/november. The camels, the sand dunes and a lot of imaginery dreams shattered once I landed in Pushkar. Yes, Pushkar has it all, but what attracted me is the vibrant people and shacks selling anything around the world on both sides of the lanes, which lead you to the ultimate Brahma Temple. It fascinated me why people from around the world are at Pushkar, anyway it is not for pilgrimage, but for what. The truth may be the warm hospitality of the place and the culture.

It is a city where cultures converge, where tradition meets change, where you see travellers wearing clothes which a lot many Indians would consider brave or even revealing. But no one gets bothered there – each to its own. Pushkar soaks in all the ingredients, each local or a tourist pours in it and serves a dish which suits every pallet. Now I know why it is a happening place.

Lastly, Pushkar may be the only place where you witness the cattle owners with their cows and grass feeds on the roadside and ask you to buy feeds from them and feed their cattles. Their cows and their feeds, you buy and you feed, my MBA in marketing is nothing to compare. Happy selling!

Biju John
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