Pushkar is considered and recognised as a holy place. The residents follow the age old saying "Athithi Devo Bahva" (visitors are God). Understanding another culture helps to understand the diversity of the world. Here are some cultural values of Pushkar that I found on a website which will be of great interest before visiting:
Kindly note that kissing or hugging on Ghats (Bathing Steps) is considered an unholy and is prohibited. And local people are very sensitive about vulgarities (if any). It is considered an offence under law and one may be prosecuted for any offence.
Pushkar follows strict vegetarianism to the extent that even eggs are forbidden as well as meat.
Married couples in Pushkar do not hug, hold hands or kiss in public.
Drinking alcohol or smoking is prohibited, no matter how innocent, are interpreted as a sign of moral laxity and are not acceptable in Pushkar.
Shoes are considered impure. The cultured Hindu never wears shoes or sandals inside a temple, holy pond or shrine, nor in his home or the homes of other Hindus.
It is improper to sit with ones legs outstretched toward a temple, shrine or altar, or even toward another person. Worshiping, meditating or sitting in the kneeling pose is not acceptable among Hindus.
Hindu Men generally do not shake hands with women but placing hands in a prayerful gesture.
The flower petals ritual
As far as I was able to observe, the ceremonial was quite simple: a handful of flower petals was given to me upon entering the temple. I was to hand in the petals to the Brahman priest (in the middle of the altar), he would say some words, retain half of them and returned the other half, for me to go and lay them on the sacred lake.
Needles to say that upon arriving at the lake with the petals in hand, a bunch of pushy “priests” appeared from all around, since i was an obvious “sure target”. Ultimately, I had to let one of them “teach” me the ritual on what should I say and how should I lay the flowers on the lake, a ceremonial out of which I unfortunately did not understand anything, for we was speaking Hindu all the time.
Once the petals floating over the water, he turned in English, asking for money for his services. And this is I when I turned a stunned eye on him and calmly replied “But how…..you’ve been so kind, you wanted to help me do it right, ….i believe this is about karma, not about money….Brahma sees everything, I don’t think we agrees you asking money for helping my pray to Brahma”…….the “priest” remained wordless while I walked away, enjoying a moment of glory..
Set amidst the hills, the small Pushkar Lake is believed to have been created by the falling of lotus from the hand of Lord Brahma. Hence, the lake is considered as one of the most sacred spots, so that one dip in the waters of lake is equivalent to performing yagnas for several hundred years. This is why every Hindu is recommended to make a pilgrimage to Pushkar, to perform a “yagna” which is going to last for several incarnations.
Being that holy, fifty-two bathing ghats have been built around lake. (No ritual burning is performed). The water around each ghat is supposed to have special powers. The Naga Kundi ghat is for “fertility”, Roop Tirth gives “beauty and charm”, te waters around Kapil Vyapi Kund “cure leprosy”, while a dip in the Mrikand Muni Kund grants the boon of wisdom.
Taker a walk around the lake, as the opposite side, the off the beaten path one, is most quiet and interesting.
Watching people has to be a must see activity, indeed, how can you resist in front of such a lot of colours??
Is an amazing view..All those womans dressing a super coloured and beautifull Saree..Wow!!!!
Do not miss it!
Pushkar has 52 ghats - sets of steps that lead down to the waters edge so that bathers can bathe. Devout Hindus make at least one pilgrimage to Pushkar and bathe at the holy ghats to wash away their sins, thereby earning themselves a place in heaven. A few of the ghats have their names displayed in large yellow signs. Some have particular importance: Vishnu appeared at Varah Ghat in the form of a boar, Bramha bathed at Bramha Ghat and Ghandhi's ashes were sprinkled at Ghandhi Ghat.