Pushkar Lake is considered as the holiest lake in India. This water reservoir is enclosed by 52 ghats (personal ghats for 52 Maharajas of India) and 500 temples. According to a Hindu mythology, this lake was created by the fallen petals of Lord Brahma’s lotus when he was destroying the demon Vajra Nabha. Lotus petals were struck at a particular place and water spurted from there giving it the shape of a pious. The charm of Pushkar Lake is also mentioned in some old books like Abhigyan Sakuntalam, Mahabharat and Ramayana. A dip in this holy water can purify one from all the sins, troubles and ailments. Sacred to the Hindus as well as the Sikhs, this lake has its mention in history since the 14th century.
The lake at Pushkar has an incredible historical and religious significance. It finds mention in several sacred Hindu Texts and sources and is primarily associated with Lord Brahma, who is considered as the creator out of the Trinity of Gods-Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh. According to most versions of the legend associated with the lake, when Lord Brahma killed demon Vajranabha, three petals of His divine lotus fell at three parts, creating springs in their place, known as Pushkar. Later on, Brahma also performed a yagna at the place. However, at the end of this ritual, he got cursed by his first wife that, he will be worshipped at this spot only.
The archeological dating of the lake measures that lake existed even in the 4th century BC. In later periods it was referred to in many sources- from the inscriptions at Sanchi to records of Chinese Traveler Fa Xian. Over the period of time many Rajput rulers and local chiefs of Ajmer tried to restore the glory of Pushkar. The lake lost significance only during the brief period of Mughal rule except during the reign of Akbar.
Significance of Pushkar Lake
Pushkar Lake is one of the most holy sites for Hindus and the place is accessed mostly for religious purposes only. The lake is surrounded by around 500 temples and 52 Ghats with different religious significance. People from all across the country and from all walks of life come here to take a dip in its sacred waters. However, taking bath in Pushkar during Kartik Poornima (Full Moon Day), in the month of Kartik (October-November) assumes special importance as it is considered highly auspicious. Also circumambulating the lake along with Hanuman and Krishna Temple in the vicinity is also considered religiously favorable.
It is believed that taking bath in the Lake during Kartika washes all the sins and absolve the devotees of bodily ailments especially skin diseases. Ramayana and Mahabharata refer Pushkar Lake as Adi-Tirtha while the lake is also counted one amongst the supremely sacred Panch-Sarovar. The Lake has been marked as one of the ten most religious places in the world and one amongst the five top sacred places for Hindus in India. The site is also home to the world’s only Brahma Temple.