PUSHKAR - A Journey in Quest of Celebrations

PUSHKAR

A Journey in Quest of Celebrations








*Abhinav Kamal Raina

The holy Pushkar is a unique celebrated place of pilgrimage, where the setting Sun kindles the Hillock Aravallie with pale fire. It is a place where white and saffron clad Brahmins chant Mantra’s with loud voice, purifying the inner soul. A place where the myth and culture interact to create life long memories for the pilgrims as well as the tourists. Thoughts and faith, the imposing architecture of north and south, the Mantra and Tantra and fascinating listening experience turns Pushkar ablaze with color. The religious and spiritual symbolism and the diverse art, developes a long rapport with the deity.

travelocity.co.IN flights destination linkAt Pushkar, the fair is overwhelming in its magnitude and there is a time to celebrate life on the sand dunes far from the crowded cities. Tourists can see turbaned heads of men and colorful veils and skirts of the women. During this fascinating fair, singing and dancing goes on for the whole day, and a great deal of merriment takes place. Tradition flows in a continuous design, every where and at every function. If one traverse across on camel backs, one can find imprints of a cultural evolution that covers each successive step with typical Rajasthani tapestry, pattern and colourful look. Camels are decorated with jewellery of silver and beads, silver bells, around their neck and ankle, it jingles and jangle as they walk. Races and competitions add thrills and shrills to the celebration of life. The most interesting event remains perhaps the camel beauty contest where they are adorned and paraded.

Pushkar festival has been celebrated since ancient times. It was then called 'KAUMDIMAHOTSAV' . Houses and shops were decorated with flowers and illuminated with dancing and singing in the streets.

Pushkar lake, a semi-circular lake with 52 Ghats is situated with Aravalli hills on three sides and sand dunes on the fourth. It is about 13 Kms west of the city of Ajmer in Rajasthan, India. This holy lake is also known as the king of the 'TIRTHAS'. There are four holy places of Hindus (Badri Narayan, Jagannathpuri, Rameshwaram, and Dwarikapuri) but the Holy dip at this Lake is considered as attaining salvation especially on Kartika Purnima. The earliest literacy reference to Pushkar is found in Ramayana.

Following is the quote from Ramayana:

"Maharshi Vishwamitra was doing great penance at the bank of the sacred lake of Pushkar. It was per chance that the celestial nymph came to have the dip at the holy lake of Pushkar. She was so beautiful in her looks that the sage Vishwamitra could not resist the base temptation of human emotion. The sage was over dominated by Kamadeva - the god of Love. It resulted in the birth of Shakuntla. The Pushkara is the sacred spot of understanding what is good and what is not. Therefore, the devotees are doing the Puja with great devotion and Sadhana/dedication and self-restraint."

Another mention of Pushkar is found in the chapter (Chitrasala Poona edition) Sabha-parva of Mahabharata, where the military expeditions of NAKULA, one of the Five Pandavas is described. The earliest inscriptional reference to this place is found in an inscribed record on the STUPA at SANCHI. Even in 1182 the poet 'Jayanak' of Kashmir came to Ajmer during the rule of Prithvi Raj and describe 'Pushkar' in Prithvi Raj Vijai.. As far as Sanskrit texual interpretation of the word Pushkar is concerned, it signifies the meaning as Lotus. Puskar is associated with Lord

  

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Brahma the lord of Creation according to the Puranas.The Padma Purana gives a detailed view about the description of Pushkar. It is said that the first Pushkara or lotus was thrown by Brahma at the very spot where we pay our regards to the Leela or play of Brahma. The Gayatri and Savitri are said to be the Spiritual consorts which find their abode on the peaks of the Aravalli ranmge around the Pushkar lake. These stand for the Divine vibrations for the human beings to live in harmony. According to earlier discoveries, the Pushkar temple may be described to be built as early as in the period of the 4th century A.D. Pushkar Raj is blessed with about 400 temples.Some of the most famous temple are:
(1) Brahmaji
(2) Varhaji
(3) Old Ranganathji
(4) Atmateshwara Mahadevai
(5) Sri Rama Vaikuntha
(6) Mahadeva.

The temples of Pushkar are marked by simplicity and elegance. The pot and foliage type of pillars are found in most of temples. The doorways are decorated with floral designs, nine planets, snakes entwined, scenes of Ramayana and the Mahabharata add to the glory of temples.

Pushkar over the years has become the integrated part of Indian cultural psyche. The essence of Pushkar can be viewed in its myths, legends, folktales and folk art .This place can be described a fascinating tourism destination, a place of great sanctity and antiquity for pilgrims , a place for cross cultural exchange that holds the significance of self contemplations of higher consciousness.

*Dr Abhinav Kamal Raina had his Masters in Commerce and Management Studies from Kashmir University, Masters in Tourism Management (IGNOU) and Ph.D in Applied Business Economics from Agra University. He got his Post Doctoral fellowship at FIU, USA. Dr Raina took major Research Project sponsored by the University Grants Commission, New Delhi on the Financial Feasibility of Tourism. He has contributed 27 research based articles in national and international journals. Dr Raina has four books to his creidit in various tourism areas.

Dr. Raina is the Associate Editor(Tourism) of the Madhyama Pratipda of Ajmer. Presently he teaches as the Senior Faculty , Deptt of Commerce at Dayanad PG College, Ajmer, India.

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Namaskar! I think you are passout from Gandhi Memorial College, Srinagar. We were classmates. Please confirm
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