Pushkar Lake or Pushkar Sarovar (Sanskrit: पुष्कर-सरोवर) is found within the city of Pushkar in Ajmer district of the Rajasthan state of western Asian country. Pushkar Lake could be a sacred lake of the Hindus. The Hindu scriptures describe it as “Tirtha-Raj” – the king of pilgrim’s journey sites associated with a water-body and relate it to the mythology of the creator-god Brahma, whose most distinguished temple stands in Pushkar. The Pushkar Lake finds mention on coins as early because the fourth century B.C..
Pushkar Lake is enclosed by fifty two bathing ghats (a series of steps resulting in the lake), wherever pilgrims throng in giant numbers to require a sacred bathtub, particularly around Hindu calendar month Poornima (October–November) once the Pushkar honest is command. A dip within the sacred lake is believed to cleanse sins and cure skin diseases. Over five hundred Hindu temples area unit located round the lake precincts.
Tourism and deforestation within the surroundings have taken an important toll on the lake, adversely poignant its water quality, reducing the water levels and destroying the fish population. As a part of conservation measures, the govt. is endeavor de-silting, de-weeding, water treatment, and conversion likewise as mass awareness programme
Pushkar Lake’s history dates back to the fourth century B.C.. coin collecting, within the sort of punched Greek and Kushan coins date the lake back to the current time. The inscriptions found at Sanchi attest to the lake’s existence to the ordinal Century B.C.. this implies that Pushkar was a pilgrim’s journey centre although it failed to lie on the trade route.
In the fifth century AD, Chinese traveler solfa syllable city created relevance the quantity of tourists to Pushkar Lake.
A story tells of a ninth-century Rajput king, Nahar Rao Parihar of Mandore, chasing a white boar to the lake shore on a expedition. so as to quench his thirst, he lordotic his hand into the lake and was astounded to visualize that the disease of the skin marks on his hand had disappeared. affected with the sacred curative nature of the lake, he got the lake reconditioned to its glory. once discovering the curative characteristics of the lake water, individuals have since visited the lake to require a holy dip and cure themselves of skin issues.
The creation of Pushkar Lake, as a man-made lake, is additionally attributable to the twelfth century once a dam was designed across the root of the Luni watercourse. The tenth Sikh guru, Guru Govind Singh (1666–1708), is alleged to own recited the Sikh religious writing Guru sacred writing on the banks of the lake.
During the Mughal rule, there was a brief break within the lake’s importance because of the levy of a pilgrim tax and a ban on spiritual processions. In 1615–16, the Mughal emperor Jahangir (1569–1627) designed his house (seen currently in total ruins) on the shores of the Pushkar Lake to celebrate his finish over the native Rajput genus Rana (king). He came to the current lodge sixteen times for looking throughout his keep in Ajmer, concerning twenty three kilometres (14 mi) from Pushkar. This act desecrated the native tradition of not killing any animals within the precincts of the sacred lake. He conjointly committed associate degree idolatrous act by breaking the image of Varaha – the boar Avatar of the god Hindu deity, because it resembled a pig and symbolically hurt Islamic sensitivity. Thereafter, Jahangir’s grandchild emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707) destroyed and violated many temples, that were later restored. However, throughout the rule of Jahangir’s father, Emperor Akbar (1542–1605), there was a revival of not solely the lake however conjointly the Ajmer’s Dargah dedicated to sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti, of whom Akbar was a devout follower.
The Rajput rulers of Amber, Bundi, Bikaner and Jaisalmer created nice efforts to revive the importance of the lake and its close temples. Credits given for contemporary additions to the building of ghats and also the renovation/construction of temples head to prince Man Singh I of Amber for the dominion staircase and Man temple; Maha genus Rana Pratap for the Varaha temple; Daulat Rao Scindia for Kot Tirth staircase, the Marathas-Anaji Scindia to the Koteshwar Mahadev temple and Govind Rao, the Mahratta governor of Ajmer for Shiva staircase; to the British rule for combining the spiritual pilgrim’s journey with a bovine honest to come up with taxes for rising the lake and its surroundings; and gifting of the Jaipur staircase and also the Main Palace on the staircase in 1956 by the prince of Jaipur.
There area unit numerous legends from Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharatam and also the Sanskrit literature scriptures that mention the Pushar Lake and also the city of Pushkar close it.
..According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha (Vajranash in another version) making an attempt to kill his kids and harassing individuals. He directly slew the demon along with his weapon, the lotus-flower. during this method, the lotus petals fell on the bottom at 3 places, wherever springs emerged making 3 lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or initial Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake. once Brahma minified to the world, he named the place wherever the flower (“pushpa”) fell from Brahma’s hand (“kar”) as “Pushkar”.It is conjointly same that the sacred Sarasvati watercourse emerged at Pushkar as 5 streams. The 3 lakes were assigned their presiding deities because the Hindu Trinity Brahma, Hindu deity and Shiva, severally. once Brahma minified to the world, he named the place wherever the lotus fell as ‘Pushkar’. Brahma then set to perform a yagna at the place, at the most Pushkar Lake. However, his married person Savitri (called Sarasvati in some versions) couldn’t be gift at the selected time to perform the essential a part of the yagna. Brahma, therefore, married a Gujjar,a dominant agricultural race named Gayatri and completed the yagna along with his new consort sitting beside him. However, once Savitri finally found the venue, she found Gayatri sitting next to Brahma in her rightful place. Agitated, she cursed Brahma that he would be idolised solely in Pushkar. As a results of this, yagna performed within the presence of all the gods, it’s same that a dip within the lake created at this place is attributable with sanctity, reassuring salvation from all sins. it’s currently one in every of the 5 holiest centres of pilgrim’s journey for Hindus
Apart from the sacred Lake, Pushkar is alleged to own over five hundred temples (80 area unit giant and also the rest area unit small); of those many elderly temples were destroyed or violated by Muslim depredations throughout Aurangzeb’s rule (1658–1707) however were re-built later on. the foremost necessary of those is that the Brahma temple. tho’ this structure dates to the ordinal century, the first temple is believed to be 2000 years previous. Pushkar is usually represented within the scriptures because the solely Brahma temple within the world, due to the curse of Savitri, however conjointly because the “King of the sacred places of the Hindus”. though currently the Pushkar temple doesn’t stay the sole Brahma temple, it’s still one in every of only a few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in Asian country likewise because the most distinguished. Hindu pilgrims, together with holy men and sages visit this temple once taking a ceremonial sacred bathtub within the Pushkar Lake. alternative notable temples round the lake embrace Varaha temple – dedicated to Varaha (the boar incarnation of god Vishnu), Savitri temple and Gayatri temple, dedicated to the consorts of Brahma
Ghats (stone steps set on a gradual bank slope to descend to the lake edge) at Pushkar area unit integral to the lake. Ghats are used for sacred bathing and rites, like worship. Out of fifty two ghats employed by pilgrims to require a holy bathtub within the lake, 10 necessary ghats on the fringe of the lake, that produce other contiguous ghats abutting them, have conjointly been declared as ‘Monuments of National Importance’. These ghats are: the Varaha staircase, the Dadhich staircase, Saptarishi Ghats, Gwalior staircase, Kota Ghat, Gau ghat, Yag Ghat, Jaipur Ghat, Karni staircase and Gangaur staircase. These ghats likewise because the sacred Pushkar Lake (which is additionally a declared heritage monument) are refurbished over the centuries by the Royal families of Rajasthan and by the Mahratta kings. These area unit currently undergoing more works as a part of a heritage improvement programme launched with funds provided by the govt. of Rajasthan and a number of other departments of the govt. of Asian country. There area unit strict codes to be followed whereas taking a shower within the ghats, like removing shoes removed from the ghats and avoiding the passing of unwarranted comments concerning Hindu spiritual beliefs by non-Hindus, since the ghats and also the temples area unit coupled to the divine lake.
Pushkar Lake and its precincts become terribly heavily inhabited throughout the annual Pushkar honest or Pushkar mela, that has each a spiritual likewise as associate degree economic side. throughout the honest, a awfully giant gathering of pilgrims takes a holy dip within the lake and also the artiodactyl mammal honest is associate degree adjunct celebration. Pushkar honest commences on Prabodhini Ekadashi, the eleventh day within the bright period and ends on Hindu calendar month Poornima – the total Moon day within the month of Hindu calendar month (October–November), the latter being the foremost necessary day of the honest. This honest is command within the honour of god Brahma. A ritual bathtub on Hindu calendar month Poornima within the Pushkar Lake is taken into account to guide one to salvation. it’s believed circling the 3 Pushkars on Hindu calendar month Poornima is extremely meritable. Sadhus, Hindu holy men, gather here and keep from the Ekadashi to full-of-the-moon day in caves. The Pushkar honest is additionally Asia’s largest artiodactyl mammal honest. the colorful and spirited artiodactyl mammal honest reportedly attracts two hundred thousand individuals and fifty,000 camels. during this honest persisted the banks of the lake, camels area unit terribly colourfully adorned and paraded within the sand dunes on the southern a part of the lake.