Apart from the annual fair held in November each year, Pushkar is famous for its Brahma Temple, which is one of its kind. There are many mythological tales associated with the lake and the temple alongside. At about sunset, headed towards the temple from the mad frenzy of the fair ground. We walked through winding lanes, passing by some exotic havelis and reached one of the Ghats along Pushkar. Incidentally, Pushkar has 52 ghats along the lake. The sun had just set, the lights were on but the magic was in the oil lamps, the chants and the sound of the drums ushering in the evening at the “Godhuli Lagna”. This is an auspicious moment which is the transition from day to night and often referred to as the time when the cattle return home. If you think deeper, whatever it may be, home is where we find succor during our darkest times.
There are different theories on the origin of the name. Pushkar may be derived from the word Pushkarini meaning Lake or may be a combination of words Pushp (Flower) and Kar means (hand) ie the place where the lotus fell from the hand. Lord Brahma had intoned mantras in a lotus flower to kill a demon and some petals fell here in Pushkar which he found suitable for prayer and worship. However, his consort Saraswati cursed him since he had accepted another woman Gayatri to perform the worship along with him in her absence. Since then he is primarily worshipped in Pushkar.
I sat on the steps, lost in the moment, allowing myself to soak in the peace with gratitude that life brought me here. There were temples on the other side of the lake as well where the bells were ringing and soon darkness set in. I walked along the ghats, gingerly and mindfully watching people float lamps or take an evening dip in hope and anticipation. The road ahead led us to Brahma Temple which was in one corner of the market street. We climbed a few steps through the decorated arch and gateway into the main temple complex. The blue walls and the red arch of the temple is pretty distinctive and a small stairway leads to some underground passage with a Shiva Temple. The black stone 3 headed statue of Brahma accompanied by Gayatri is in a kind a blessing mode. After a few moments of bliss owing to the melodious chants and an equally heady incense we were back on to the market street looking for some knick knacks. A frail looking man, dressed as Kali ( fiery form of Goddess) was dancing on the streets and was ever so kind to pose for us. While we made our way back to the fair ground in the hope of grabbing some quick dinner and reflecting upon a rather eventful day.
Travel Tip: Pushkar can be visited any time of the year but Oct to March is most ideal when the air is nippy and the temperatures soothing to cold. Jaipur is the closest airport about 2 hours away and Ajmer in the nearest Railway Junction barely 20 minutes away. There are many hotels and dharamshalas as well as uber luxury resorts like Green House.