Jagatpita Brahma Mandir is a hindu temple dedicated to Lord Brahma situated at Pushkar in the Indian state of Rajasthan, close to the sacred Pushkar Lake. The temple is one of very few existing temples dedicated to the Hindu creator-god Brahma in India and remains the most prominent among them.
It is also believed that Brahma himself chose the location for his temple. The 8th century Hindu philosopher Adi Shankara renovated this temple, while the current medieval structure dates to Maharaja Jawat Raj of Ratlam, who made additions and repairs, though the original temple design is retained. Pushkar is often described in the scriptures as the only Brahma temple in the world, owing to the curse of Savitri, but also as the "King of the sacred places of the Hindus". Although now the Pushkar temple does not remain the only Brahma temple, it is still one of very few existing temples dedicated to Brahma in India and the most prominent one dedicated to Brahma. International Business Times has identified Pushkar Lake and the Brahma temple as one of the ten most religious places in the world and one of the five sacred pilgrimage places for the Hindus, in India.
There are only three Brahma temples exist in India at:
- Pushkar Lake in Ajmer
- Khokhan - Kullu Valley
- Khedabrahma in Kerala
According to the Hindu scripture Padma Purana, Brahma saw the demon Vajranabha (Vajranash in another version) trying to kill his children and harassing people. He immediately slew the demon with his weapon, the lotus-flower. In this process, the lotus petals fell on the ground at three places, creating 3 lakes: the Pushkar Lake or Jyeshta Pushkar (greatest or first Pushkar), the Madya Pushkar (middle Pushkar) Lake, and Kanishta Pushkar (lowest or youngest Pushkar) lake.
When Brahma came down to the earth, he named the place where the flower ("pushpa") fell from Brahma's hand ("kar") as "Pushkar". Brahma then decided to perform a yajna (fire-sacrifice) at the main Pushkar Lake. In order to perform his yajna peacefully without being attacked by the demons, he created the hills around the Pushkar – Ratnagiri in the south, Nilgiri in the north, Sanchoora in the west and Suryagiri in the east and positioned gods there to protect the yajna performance. However, while performing the yajna, his wife Savitri (called Sarasvati in some versions) could not be present at the designated time to perform the essential part of the yajna as she was waiting for her companion goddesses Lakshmi, Parvati and Indrani.
Annoyed, Brahma requested god Indra- the king of heaven - to find a suitable girl for him to wed to complete the yajna. Indra could find only a Gujar's daughter (in some legends, a milkmaid) who was sanctified by passing her through the body of a cow. Gods Vishnu, Shiva and the priests certified her purity as she had passed through a cow, it was her second birth and she was named Gayatri. Brahma then married Gayatri and completed the yajna with his new consort sitting beside him, holding the pot of amrita (elixir of life) on her head and giving ahuti (offering to the sacrificial fire). But when Savitri finally arrived at the venue she found Gayatri sitting next to Brahma which was her rightful place. Agitated, she cursed Brahma that he would be never worshipped, but then reduced the curse permitting his worship in Pushkar. Savitri also cursed Indra to be easily defeated in battles, Vishnu to suffer the separation from his wife as a human, the fire-god Agni who was offered the yajna to be all-devouring and the priests officiated the yajna to be poor.
Endowed by the powers of yajna, Gayatri diluted Savitri's curse, blessing Pushkar to be the king of pilgrimages, Indra would always retain his heaven, Vishnu would be born as the human Rama and finally unite with his consort and the priests would become scholars and be venerated. Thus, the Pushkar temple is regarded the only temple dedicated to Brahma. Savitri, thereafter, moved into the Ratnagiri hill and became a part of it by emerging as a spring known as the Savitri Jharna (stream); a temple in her honour exists here.
With the idol of Lord Brahma (the father of all beings), there is also enshrined the idol of Gayatri. Besides, other idols of gods and goddesses are there. Brahma is the first member of the Hindu triad. He represented the supreme spirit manifested as the active creator of the universe. He sprang from the mundane egg deposited by the supreme first cause he is the Prajapati or Lord and Father of all creations. He is sad to be of red colour. He has four head. Originally he had five heads but was burnt by Shiva.
Brahma's central icon (murti) made of marble was deified in the garbhagriha in 718 AD by Adi Shankara. The icon depicts Brahma, seated in a crossed leg position in the aspect of creation of the universe (the Vishvakarma form). The central image is called the chaumurti ("four-faced idol"). It is of life size with four hands, four faces, each oriented in a cardinal direction.
The four arms hold the Akshamala (rosary), the Pustaka (book), the Kurka (kusha grass) and the Kamandala (water pot). Brahma is riding on his mount, the Hamsa.
The four symbols held by Brahma in his arms: the rosary, Kamandalu, book and the sacrificial implement Kusha grass represent time, the causal waters from which the universe emerged, knowledge and the system of sacrifices to be adopted for sustenance of various life-forms in the universe. Gayatri's image sits along with Brahma's in centre to his left. Godess Savatri alias Sarasvati sits to the right of Brahma along with other deities of the Hindu pantheon. Images of the peacock, Sarasvati's mount, also decorate the temple walls. Images of the preserver-god Vishnu, life-sized Dwarapalas (gate-keepers) and a gilded Garuda (eagle-man, mount of Vishnu) are also seen in the temple.
Festivals & Fairs in Temple:
All Hindu festivals are organized here. In the bright half of the Kartika month the famous Pushkar fair is held. Millions of people come and also take a bath in the holy Pushkar Lake. Various rites and rituals are performed in this temple at that time. This is a yearly phenomenon.
The temple remains open every day from 5:30 AM - 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Time between August and February is perfect and ideal for visits to this temple.
Nearby Places to Visit:
- Aptaeshwar Temple
- Pushkar Lake
- Durga Bagh Gardens
- Raghunath Mandir
City : Pushkar
Dist. : Ajmer
State : Rajasthan
Country : India
PIN : 305022
How to Reach:
Jaipur (127 KM) and Jodhpur (161 KM) are nearest airports to reach here by flight.
Pushkar does not have train station. Nearest option is Ajmer Junction 10 KM away from Pushkar.
Pushkar is a major town in Rajastan and well connected by road. Buses are available from all important cities of Rajastan and neighbouring states.
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