Home » Pushkar Temple
Brahma TempleThe only standing Hindu temple in India dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, the structure around the temple was built in the 14th century and stands on a high platform near Pushkar lake. Brahma is one of the Holy Trinity in Hinduism, sharing the honour with Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Although a very large number of temples can be found all over India dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, there are very few temples for Brahma, this being one of the holiest one.
Marble steps lead up to the temple where a silver turtle lies embossed in the floor facing the sanctorum. The marble floor around the turtle is littered with hundreds of silver coins embedded in the floor, and so are the walls of the temple. Images of the peacock, the vehicle of Brahma’s consort Saraswati, adorn the temple walls. Brahma here is shown in a life-size form with four hands and four faces, facing four different directons. A hans (goose, the official carrier of Brahma) spans the gateway to the temple which is crowned with a red spire. A small statue of the milk goddess Gayatri (whom Brahma married) near Brahma’s idol is called Chaumurti. Steps within the silver-doored sanctuary lead down into a small cave which is a Hindu temple of Lord Shiva.
Other Temples & Ghats
The Varah temple of Hindu was built in the 12th century and, and the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is said to have destroyed it. Aurangzeb was understandably rather upset with the huge statue of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of a boar. However, Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur thought differently, and in 1727 reconstructed the temple which now has a highly decorated inner sanctum where an idol of Varah is placed.
The 19th century Mahadeva temple with its five-faced statue of Mahadeva is made entirely of white marble. This Hindua temple is remarkable for its elegance of structure, and is perhaps the finest of all temples in and around Ajmer and Pushkar.
The Ramavaikunth temple is an intricately carved Hindu temple dating to the 1920 and has images of 361 deities. Its high stone spires atop pagodas and the rest of the temple were built by masons especially brought for this purpose from south India. The Savitri temple is located on top of a hill overlooking the lake. The hike up the hill is long and arduous via a stairway built in the 4th century, and if panoramic views are a necessity for you, the trek will be worth it. This temple is dedicated to Brahma’s wife Savitri and its origin dates back to over 2,000 years.
The Gayatri temple on the other side of Pushkar is in honour of the wife who sat by Brahma’s side in Savitri’s absence during Brahma’s ceremonial sacrifice. Legend says that Gayatri was an untouchable and to purify her she was put into the mouth of a cow and taken out from the other end. To reach the Gayatri Hindu temple the best route to take is from behind the bus stand and walk up a hill. Both the Savitri and Gayatri temples are closed – so to say – during lunch hours and the best time to go is either before noon or in the evening.
Two Raghunath temples exist in Pushkar; one is the old one and the other is relatively new. The Old Raghunath temple was built in 1823 and houses images of Venugopal, Narasimha (Vishnu’s fourth incarnation) and Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. But there’s a bit of a problem for foreign tourists visiting these two temples because of one little sign which says "Foreigners not allowed." These are probably the only binary temples in India where such segregation exists.
Pap Mochini Temple
Towards the northen section of Pushkar is the Pap Mochini temple, not really popular for its architecture or deity but for the simple belief that anyone who kills a Brahmin will be purified of this deed by visiting the Hindu temple, of course, all that was applicable in olden times, for today a murder is a murder and the law would hear nothing else.
Where there is a mass of holy water there will be bathing ghats, and in Pushkar it is the same as all over India. Pushkar lake is surrounded by hundreds of ghats where Hindu pilgrims assemble to bathe, pray or just loiter around. Removing ones shoes would be a good idea unless you want to be glared or shouted at! Photography is a strict no-no, especially of bathing women. Pushkar is quite used to tourists, but unlike Varanasi, is home for orthodox Hindus, and a little care to observe Hindu traditions can help.