Pushkar is one of the main pilgrimage spots in India. It is a semi circular lake around which there are fifty two Ghats. The lake is a holy place and is known as the Tirthraaj( the king of the Teerthaas) . There are four importtant holy places of the Hindus in India i.e. Badrinaath, Jagannathpuri, Rameshwaram and Dwarkapuri but the bath at Pushkar is thought to be more important than at any other place. The holy dip in this lake on Kartik Poornima is thought to be salvation giving.
How "Pushkar" got its name:-All the important and sacred places have been named after some important persons or events. Pushkar was also named like that.
Once Brahma was worried over the matter of not having a place in his name on the earth as the other gods have. So He also had a desire to have a place in His name in the immortal world (on the earth). Having such desire in his mind and saying -"Mangal Ho!.....". He threw a lotus flower upon the earth. The flower fell at three places. Then Brahma said that these three places would be known as Pushkar. The place where the flower fell first is called Jyeshth Pushkar (senior Pushkar), the second place is called Madhya Pushkar(middle Pushkar) and the third place in called Kanishth Pushkar(junior Pushkar). Then he further added that these three Kunds (lakes) would be famous for removing the sins of the sinners.As Brahmaji threw the Pushp(flower) with his Kar(hand) so he gave the name of Pushkar to this place.
Religious Importance of Pushkar:-Pushkar is one of the holiest places of the Hindus. Though bathing at all the Theerths (holy places) removes the sins of a sinner yet the Darshan only of Pushkar makes a sinner free from all the deadliest sins. To die at this place is salvation giving. The person suffering from thirst forgets to drink water as soon as he enters the lake of Pushkar. The great sages of India realized the goal of life i.e. salvation here by meditating on God.
It is known as the dwelling place of all the gods. The man who bathes in the Shukla Paksh of Kartik month and has the Darshan of Brahma, will not take rebirth on this earth and enjoy the bliss of heaven. The people who have a holy dip at the lake on Kartik Poornima, gain the fruit equal to do the Jap and Tap for one hundred years.
Temples at Pushkar:- Pushkar is famous for its temples. There are more than four hundred temples in and around Pushkar. Some of them are very old and some are new. They were built by kings, Rishis, wealthy persons at different times. The temples are of different gods and goddesses. Everyday hundreds of pilgrims come here and have Darshan of gods. Some temples are among the hills. Some important temples as follows:-
1. The temple of Brahma
2. Varah Temple
The Varah Temple was built by king Arnoraj in the 12th century.The temple was attacked and destroyed by Muslim rulers.In 1727 twenty years after the death of Auragzeb the statue of Varah was set up here.
4. Rama Baikunth Temple
5. The Temple of Atpateshwar Mahadev
6. The Tample of Savitri
7. The Temple of Gayatri
8. The Temple of Ajganheshwar etc.