CONTRIBUTED BY URVASHI SRIVASTAVA
Just like Meru Mountain amongst all the mountains and Garud bird amongst all the birds has been considered paramount, similarly amongst all the pilgrim places Pushkar is supreme.
Pushkar an ancient holy spot considered as the most pious and significant place of pilgrimage for Hindus is surrounded by mountains on three sides. Separating Pushkar from Ajmer is the legendary Pahar (mountain), which abounds in springs and is known from earliest times as a resort of Hindu sages. Pushkar commemorates creation. According to mythology Pushkar is believed to have a miraculous origin and different references have been quoted in epics like the Ramayana, Mahabharat, Van Parva, Padma Purana, Markandeya Purana, Hamir Mahakavya and Surjan Charitra to name a few. The celebrated lake Sarovar is said to be of divine origin with its sanctity held as high as that of Mansarovar. Lord Brahma, the creator and a member of the Hindu trinity chose it for his Divine Yagya before the Grand Creation. Pushkar is the only place with a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma. The worship of Lord Brahma and a dip in the lake according to a mythological belief rewards a man with salvation.
Pushkar commands a pride of place in the cultural landscape of the country. Over the centuries it has come to evolve religious discourse, debate and exchange of ideas into a tradition of assimilation. Existence of this town as a tirth (place of pilgrimage) is evidenced in the punched coins of the Greeks, Kushans and Satraps (4th century B.C.), inscriptions at Sanchi (2nd century A.D.), Shaka inscription (125 A.D.), and Chauhan inscription at Harsh temple (973 A.D.). Shaka inscription on Pushkar claims it as being sacred for Buddhists way back in 2nd century AD. It is also recorded that Guru Nanakji the founder of Sikh religion visited the Tirth in 1509 A.D. and Guru Govind Singhji came in 1705 A.D. Thus the town has been a cauldron of religions with Buddhist, Jains, Sikhs and Muslims coming together in addition to the different sects of Hindus.
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