The Brahma temple Pushkar, otherwise known as Jagatpita Brahma Mandir, is probably the most famous Brahma temple in the world, and one of very few Hindu temples to Lord Brahma. It’s one of the most popular places to visit in Pushkar, a sacred city around Pushkar Lake, that many travellers head to from Jaipur for the serenity and spirituality that this beautiful place has to offer.
A Background to Hindu Mythology and the Cosmos
Hinduism can boast upwards of 30 million gods. There are three that are considered the ‘Trimurti’, or the three main gods: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver or force of balance, and Shiva the Destroyer. Throughout India, there are an uncountable number of temples to Vishnu and Shiva, and many other gods.
However, there are only a couple dedicated to Brahma, and the one in Pushkar is the most prominent. Brahma Temple in Pushkar is a Hindu religious hotspot, a temple purely dedicated to the Lord that brought about the creation of all, Brahma. Brahma is often depicted as having four faces which represent the four Vedas (Hindu scriptures), the four Yugas (periods of time in Hinduism) and all directions – North, South, East and West.
It also has worship to one of his ladies, Gayatri, which is regulated and supervised by ascetic saints. Pushkar is a popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus and also Sikhs. In fact, there are 500 temples in Pushkar alone.
Brahma Temple Pushkar – Exploring The Architecture
It’s free to get into the Brahma temple Pushkar. Remember that there are donation boxes if you feel that you want to donate (20-50 Rupees should be plenty), but remember that you don’t have to, so don’t feel forced into making any donations.
The Brahma Temple in Pushkar has beautiful architecture, including an extraordinary pinnacle in red and a bird symbol which is related to ancient mythology and womanhood. It also has myths associated to it of the Lord Brahma subduing a demon which tormented innocent mortals.
How to Get to the Brahma Temple Pushkar
Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan is located 14 km away from Ajmer city. In order to reach this pilgrimage city, one can opt for the following alternatives:
Getting to Pushkar by Train
By Rail: One of the best options to reach Pushkar is a rail journey. Pushkar does not have a railway station. However, Ajmer, which is only 15 km away from Pushkar, does have a railway connection. Ajmer railway station operates regular trains from the major cities of Rajasthan and India.
Travelling to Pushkar by Plane
By Air: Pushkar does not have an airport of its own. If you prefer traveling by plane, then Sanganer airport in Jaipur would be the closest for you. The airport is very well connected to the major cities of India like New Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. Jaipur city is 142 km away from Pushkar, which can be covered by via bus or hired taxi/cab.
Travelling to Pushkar by Car
By Road: If you happen to travel by road, major roadways and national highways leading to Rajasthan must be your best deal. Pushkar has a respectable network of roads connected to Jaipur, Jodhpur, Delhi and Bikaner.
We opted for a private driver from Jaipur to Pushkar and the journey took around 3 hours; However, beware that the roads in this part of India can be dusty and bumpy at best, chaotic and dangerous at worst! We had a few close calls with other vehicles and just had to close our eyes and hope for the best!
Getting to the Brahma Temple once you are in Pushkar
In Pushkar, the majority of the temples and main attractions are positioned on and around the lake, and so you are likely to explore this area by foot. The Brahma temple is on the West side of the lake. Walk West (away from the lake) for a few minutes from Brahm Ght, or from Rabohra Ghat follow the lake round to the North and then make a left turn towards the Brahma temple.
When is the Best Time to visit Brahma Temple Pushkar?
It’s therefore advised that the summer is not the best place to go touring to this spot. The ideal time to visit Pushkar is any time between February and October. The peak season tends to be around November, when a lot of Hindu religious occasions are held.
Travel tips for the Brahma Temple Pushkar
Flower Petal Scam – Don’t Accept Flowers from Strangers!
A well-known scam is the flower petal scam, where you are approached and given some petals or a flower. The scammer will then demand a ludicrous sum of money and make a scene and potentially involve the police (who may or may not also be in on the scam), if you refuse to pay up. Please be cautious of this scam by refusing the offer of the petals and walk away.
When we were offered flowers in the temple, we weren’t aware of this scam. We got a bit of a ‘guide’ (not a legitimate one) around the temple by a guy who seemed very knowledgable and helpful. However, nothing in India is free! We were led to the ghats to perform a ‘pooja’ (Hindu ceremony) which we were open to. But what followed was being split up from each other (they will tell you that karma is individual so cannot see a Brahmin together!) and then when you make the offering on the lake they told me that it’s a recommended 700 Ruppees – approx $10 (or they will say an even higher ridiculous amount!) I laughed and offer 70 Rupees (about $1 and perfectly reasonable). He argued a little, I stuck to my guns, paid my 70 and then sent the offering onto the lake and received a ‘Pushkar Passport’ which is a small woven bracelet. The ‘Pushkar Passport’ was then effective in refusing future ‘poojas’. When other Brahmins asked or tried to give me flowers, I could just smile, wave my wrist and walk on!
However, I have heard horror stories much worse than our experience, such as people being asked for 5000 rupees, or young people being separated from their parents and asked ‘how much rice they want to give to the poor’ and for example if they say 3 then later they are asked for 3000, because apparently each rice in 1000! Be wary of hungry Brahmins on the ghats!
Avoid the Crowds in November
Kartik Poornima is around the month of November, the thriving tourist season when crowds peak, and other attractions like fairs are held near the grounds too. If you want to elude crowds, don’t go at that time.
Security Visiting the Brahma Temple
You’ll need to hand your shoes, phone and camera into a locker as photography is strictly prohibited in the temple (the reason why I have used Creative Commons pictures for the inside of the Temple). Be careful of your things and make sure they are locked away securely. If in doubt, don’t take any valuables at all – just yourself and a small donation if you wish.
Other Things to do in Pushkar
There are also mountains situated nearby, forts, lakes and other palaces which combine to make this a superb tourist experience. Pushkar is situated in Rajasthan, and it remains humid and hot for a lot of months annually.
There are multiple things around the temple such as –
- Enjoy a trek to the Aravalli Hills that are nearby.
- There are a lot of temples in the vicinity, and other lakes, that you could check out. Pushkar City is a town noticeable for Hindu religious history.
- Ask the locals or a hired guide for the mythological significance of the place.
- Take scenic pictures.
- Enjoy shopping in art stalls for craft native souvenirs.
- Shopping on the market stalls – great for hippy clothing such as hareem pants and wrap around skirts.
- Visit Pushkar Fort
Looking for other Brahma Temples to Visit?
The other popular Brahma temples in India are found in Bangalore, Carambolin, Tiruchirappalli and Kerala. For more on these, visit this article from Walk Through India on the 5 Most Famous Brahma Temples in India.
What to Pack for Pushkar
Consider packing conservative clothing and a shawl or headscarf for women if you would like to visit religious places. Some comfortable sandals work well in India as it can be hot so they will let your feet breathe. It can get extremely hot in some parts of India and so sun cream is essential.
It’s a good idea to pack conservative clothing for India. Avoid short skirts and low cut tops or spaghetti straps. Comfortable trousers and linen tops are great. Long skirts and Maxi dresses also work really well and are comfortable with the heat. Comfortable loose cotton or linen trousers are perfect. Don’t forget your sunglasses, and pack your prescription sunnies if you have those!