The colourful state of Rajasthan is a melting pot where people from different religions and backgrounds thrive and live together in peace and harmony. The land of kings, besides being known for its proud tradition, beautiful attires, glorious forts, and spellbinding folk music is home to many magnificent temples that are spread across its length and breadth.
There are many places to visit in Rajasthan and the Brahma temple in Pushkar is a key one among them. It is a pilgrimage site that is frequently visited by thousands of devotees and travel enthusiasts every year. Located in the district of Ajmer, Pushkar is a small and serene town that hosts the world’s only Brahma temple where Brahma Ji, the creation god, is worshipped.
A major highlight of your Rajasthan trip, the Brahma temple in Pushkar has many mythological stories attached to it. Let us dig deeper to know more about this Pushkar temple.
According to Hindu mythology, there are more than 30 million gods exist, of which the three main gods that together form the trinity or Trimurti are: Brahma – the creator of the universe, Vishnu – the preserver, and Shiva – the destroyer.
Brahma, despite being one of the most powerful gods and the creator of the universe, has only one temple dedicated to him in the world, and this is what makes the Brahma temple in Pushkar so unique among several other pilgrimage sites and shrines in Rajasthan. Moreover, the legends associated with the Pushkar temple of Brahma Ji are quite riveting.
The Curse of Shiva
The legend has it that Brahma once lied about an accomplishment. It happened when Brahma Ji and Vishnu Ji were finding the head and foot of a pillar light respectively. During this task, they both got tired and quit. While Vishnu Ji accepted that he was unsuccessful, Brahma Ji lied. Using his powers, he presented a flower as evidence of reaching the top of the pillar light. The moment Shiva learned about the lie, he cursed Brahma Ji that there would be no temple dedicated to worshipping as he was unworthy.
Another interesting story linked to Pushkar’s famous temple can be found in Brahma Purana. As per the sacred text, when Brahma Ji was creating the universe, he created a beautiful female deity called Shatapura and was immediately attracted to her. He followed her wherever she went. When Shiva deduced this was wrong, he directed that no one on the Earth would ever worship Brahma. Shatapura is regarded as the first woman to be born through the creation of Brahma along with Manu.
The Curse of Savitri
Contrary to popular mythological stories, in Pushkar, they say that it was Savitri, Brahma Ji’s wife, who cursed him. In this story, Brahma Ji had to perform a yajna but he needed a consort to complete the ritual. He sent for his wife, Savitri, who was then unavailable. Thereafter, Brahma married a beautiful local girl, Gayatri for the purpose.
When Savitri learned about this, she rushed to the place and cursed Brahma Ji that he would not be worshipped anywhere. After her anger subsided, she added to the curse that Pushkar would be the only place where there will be a temple dedicated to his worship.
Today, on the opposite ends of Pushkar lie two hills with a temple on each. The one that is higher is dedicated to Savitri while the smaller one to Gayatri. Locals believe that Savitri is still present in her shrine in enraged form while Gayatri hides in fear of hers. This story is believed to be the true legend of the Brahma temple in Pushkar, Rajasthan.
The Origin of Pushkar Temple
Speaking of the origin of Brahma Ji ka Mandir in Pushkar, it is tied to the curse of Savitri. As per the scripture of Padma Purana, Brahma Ji once slew a demon, Vajranabha (Vajranash in other versions of the same story) with his weapon, the lotus-flower as he was harassing people and trying to kill his progeny.
In the process of killing the demon, the lotus petals fell at three places and created three lakes. The Pushkar Lake, the Madhya Pushkar Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar Lake. After this incident, Brahma Ji chose this site for his temple and thought of performing a yajna (fire sacrifice) at the main Pushkar Lake.
With the motive to perform this yajna peacefully and restrict any possibility of attacks from demons, he created hills around the place. The hills that he created are Suryagiri in the East, Sanchoora in the West, Nilgiri in the North, and Ratnagiri in the South.
After the creation of hills came the moment when Brahma sent for his wife, Savitri, to participate in yajna as it required a consort to complete the ritual. Thereafter he married Gayatri. Hence, it was the Pushkar temple history that is attached to the curse of his first wife, Savitri.
Located close to the sacred lake of Pushkar, the Brahma temple pretty much reflects the Rajasthani architectural style. The fact that it finds a place in several Rajasthan tour packages doesn’t come as a surprise. Although the current structure dates back to the 14th century, the core (ancient) structure of the Brahma temple is about 2000 years old.
Built on a high platform, there are a number of marble steps that lead to the entrance of the holy Brahma Pushkar temple which is adorned with pillared canopies. After the entry gate comes the pillared outdoor hall called Mandapa and then the main sanctum sanctorum called Garbhagriha which is dedicated to Lord Brahma and his second wife, Gayatri. The symbol of hamsa (Swan), the mount of Brahma Ji, at the main entry gate, and the 70 feet high red shikhara (pinnacle) are two distinct and prominent features of the temple.
The renowned Hindu philosopher, Adi Shankara dedicated himself to restoring the divine Brahma Ji ka mandir in Pushkar, but the credit for the current structure goes to Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam who got it renovated and slightly remodelled.
Structurally, the temple is constructed with stone slabs and blocks that are fixed together with molten lead. The walls and the marble floor (in black and white checks) have been studded with hundreds of silver coins by worshippers with their names etched on them. These coins are a mark of offerings by devotees to their worshipper, Brahma.
Within the temple, the idol of the Brahma at Pushkar temple is made of marble and seated in a cross-leg position which depicts the aspect of the creation of the universe.
Best Time to Visit Pushkar
Rajasthan, for the most part of the year, remains hot. So, the best timing to visit Brahma Pushkar mandir is when the temperature is amiable which is, of course, winters. Kartik Poornima in the month of November is usually the time when the place receives maximum tourists. Besides, the ideal time to visit the Pushkar temple is between October to February.
Speaking of the opening time of Pushkar temple, it is open for devotees from sunrise to sunset. The duration of the visit is typically 2 hours. There is no entrance fee, be it Indians or foreign tourists.
Other than worshipping the creation of god at Pushkar temple and seeking his blessings, there are many interesting things that you can do at Pushkar. Let us take a look at the things that Pushkar has in store for you.
- You can trek at the nearby Aravalli Hills.
- You can hire a local guide for Pushkar sightseeing and further explore the mythological significance of the place.
- You can capture the lovely stills of the surroundings.
- You can explore other prominent temples and lakes in the vicinity.
So, no matter what your purpose of visit to Rajasthan is, the Brahma temple in Pushkar is a place that you should not miss out on.