Ideally located in the lap of Aravali hills, Pushkar in Rajasthan is a highly revered pilgrimage centre of India. It is an ancient town with rich cultural heritage. It is also known as “Tirth-raj”, meaning the king of pilgrimages. It is a home to the only Brahma (the creator of the universe) temple in the world and has according to the legend Lord Brahma himself performed a yagna at the spot where the temple stands today. The water of the Pushkar Lake is considered holy as the legend goes that the lake was formed when a lotus dropped from Lord Brahma’s hand into the valley. The lake is surrounded by many temples and there are many ghats where people take a dip in the holy water of the lake and perform puja or yagnas. It is believed that a dip in the lake on the full moon in the month of Kartik relieves one of all the sins. Pushkar is also called “the rose garden of Rajasthan” as the flower grows extensively in this town and exported worldwide.
The holy town also hosts an annual fair, Pushkar Fair, the largest cattle fair in the world. Cattle trading, camel competitions, dance, music, culinary delights and handicrafts are the major highlights of the fair. The town comes alive with colours and activities during the fair..
Ajmer is another popular pilgrimage destination of Rajasthan. Located by the Ana Sagar Lake, this holy town occupies a significant place on the world map as it is home to the famous Dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, a Sufi saint. Both Hindus and Muslims come to the Dargah to seek blessings. In fact, people from different religious backgrounds visit the Dargah. Even the great Emperor Akbar used to visit this Dargah every year. It is considered the second Mecca for the Muslims of South Asia. The Dargah hosts an annual festival called Urs which lasts for 6 days and is considered very auspicious. Devotees come from far and wide to participate in the festival. Qawwali (a form of Sufi music) is a common site at the Dargah.