Pushkar Lake is a well-known travel destination that has drawn tourists from all over the world with its beauty, history, and mythology. This holy lake is considered sacred by Hindus, who believe that it was created when Brahma dropped his lotus at the site. With more than 500 temples surrounding the lake, it is no surprise that the lake is also called Tirtha Raj, or the king of Pilgrimage places.
The History and Legends of Pushkar Lake
The history of Pushkar Lake dates back to the 4th century BC, as coins from that period have been discovered mentioning the lake. The inscription at Sanchi also confirms that the lake existed in the 2nd century BC. Despite not being on the trade route, Pushkar Lake was a major pilgrim site. According to one story, Nahar Rao Parihar, a Rajput king from Mandore, followed a white boar during a hunting expedition to the lake. As he dipped his hand in the lake to drink the water, he noticed that his Leukoderma marks had been cured. Amazed by the healing power of the lake, he restored the lake, and word spread about its curative powers. People flocked to the lake to take a dip and heal any skin ailment. It is believed that the lake was created when a dam was constructed across the Luni River.
Another fascinating legend is that Guru Gobind Singh, the 10th Sikh guru, read the Guru Granth Sahib, the sacred book of Sikh, on the bank of Pushkar Lake. With 52 ghats, or stone steps to descend to the edge of the lake, devotees flock to these ghats for a holy dip during auspicious days like Kartik Poornima and the Pushkar fair (October-November). Ten of these ghats are situated on the periphery and have been categorized as "Monuments of National Importance," including Gangaur Ghat, Karni Ghat, Jaipur Ghat, Yag Ghat, Gau Ghat, Kota Ghat, Gwalior Ghat, Saptarishi Ghats, Dadhich Ghat, and Varaha Ghat.
The Significance of Pushkar Lake
Each of these ten ghats has its own unique significance. Brahma Ghat was named after Brahma, who is believed to have bathed here. Varaha Ghat is named so as it is said that Vishnu appeared at this site in his boar (varah) incarnation. Near Varaha Ghat, there is Nart Singh Ghat with a stuffed crocodile. The lake also boasts a rich aquatic life, and man-eating crocodiles once lived in the lake, but they were captured by the British and transferred to a reservoir close by.
The lake and the ghats have been restored over the centuries by the Maratha kings and the Royal families of Rajasthan. Today, visitors can visit the lake any day of the week from 4 am to 9 pm without having to pay any fee. It takes around an hour to explore the lake and the surrounding area, making it an excellent day trip destination.
Pushkar Lake (Sarovar) Ghats
Several of the ghats are over 300 years old and are home to numerous little temples. Former rulers constructed a number of ghats, including those at Jaipur, Bhartpur, Gwalior, Jodhpur, Kota, Sikar, and Gau. Pilgrims use these ghats to take holy baths in order to find salvation.
Janana / Queen Mary Ghat
Bhind Bhadawar / Nagar Palika Ghat
Vishram / Jhulelal
Holkar / Ahilya / Indore Ghat
Varaha Ghat ( Varaha Temple )
108 MAHADEV GHAT
Gwalior Ghat ( Koteshwar Mahadev Temple )
- Kishangarh Ghat
Guru Gobind Singh Ghat
Man / Jaipur Ghat.
MANDOR / GURJARA GHAT
- Vir Gurjara Ghat
Swarup Vallabh Ghat ( Savitri Temple )
HINGOR MAL KA MAHAL
Hingor Mal Mahal / Tantuvaya Vaishya Ghat
Chauri Paidi Ghat.
Kalyan Ghat ( Rama Baikunth Temple )
Raj Bohra Ghat ( Brahma Temple )
Parashuram Ghat ( Nimbark )
Brahma Ghat ( Brahma Temple )
Dadhicha / Hada Ghat
Yajna Ghat ( Riddhi Siddhi Temple )
Shitla Mata Ghat
Chhik Mata Ghat
- Bharatpur Ghat
- Rehgaran / Gandhi / Shaheed Ghat.
In conclusion, Pushkar Lake is a unique destination that combines natural beauty, fascinating history, and legends that have captivated visitors for centuries. The lake's curative and medicinal properties have made it a major pilgrimage site, while the ghats and temples surrounding the lake make it a feast for the senses.