Pushkar is a town in the state of Rajasthan in India. Pushkar means born due to flower. In Hindu mythology, It is said that gods released a swan with lotus in its beak and let it fall on earth where Brahma would perform a grand yagna. The place where lotus fell was so called Pushkar. It is situated 14 Km from Ajmer and is one of the five sacred dhams, pilgrimage sites for devout Hindus; it is often called "Tirth Raj" (the king of pilgrimage sites). In recent years it has become a popular destination for foreign tourists.
Pushkar lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. It has five principle temples, many smaller temples and 52 ghats where pilgrims decend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. One of the primary temples is the 14th century temple dedicated to Brahma, the Hindu god of creation. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world, so Lord Brahma's temple in Pushkar is quite rare.
Pushkar is also famous for its annual Pushkar Camel Fair.
The natural environment of Pushkar and the sacred lake has become increasingly degraded in the last few decades. The problems stem mainly from overdevelopment of tourist facilities and the deforestation of the surrounding area
Please note that Pushkar, the pilgrim centre, should not be confused with Budha Pushkar (Old Pushkar), a town nearby. Budha Pushkar is famous for its rose farming.
Pushkar is one of the oldest places of India. The date of its actual founding is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation.
Ramayan mentions Pushkar and says that Vishvamitra performed tapa here. It further says that Apsara Menaka came to Pushkara to bathe in its sacred waters.
Mahabharata, while laying down a programme for Maharaja Yudhishthara's travel, says "Maharaja after entering the Jungles of Sind and crossing the small rivers on the way should bathe in Pushkara". And, per Vaman Purana, Prahlada on his pilgrimage to holy places visited Pushkarayana.
A Pratihara ruler of Mandore, Nahadarava, restored this tirtha in the seventh century. He got the place cleared and the lake restored by making an embankment on the side of the river Luni. He rebuilt old palaces and got built twelve dhrnashalas (resting places) and ghats on three sides of the lake.
The sage Parasara is said to have been born here. His descendants, called Parasara Brahamanas, are found in Pushkar and the surrounding area. The famous temple of Jeenmata has been taken care by Parasara Brahmans for the last 1000 years. Pushkarana Brahamanas may also have originated here.