Apratim Saha

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Saturday, 19 March 2016 12:19

COLOURS OF PUSHKAR

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Experience India’s biggest tribal festivities of more than 100-year-old Pushkar Mela. Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the COLOURS of PUSHKAR and the culture of this historic place.

History of Pushkar

Pushkar is a town in the Ajmer district of Rajasthan. It is situated 14 km north-west of Ajmer and is one of the five sacred Dhams (pilgrimage site) for Hindus. According to Hindu religion, the pond at the Katas Raj temple Near Choa Saidan Shah in Chakwal District of Pakistan has a theological association with Shiva; it was formed by the tears of Lord Shiva which he is believed to have shed after the death of his wife, Sati. The story goes that when Sati died, Shiva cried so much and for so long, that his tears created two holy ponds - one at Pushkar in Ajmer and the other at Ketaksha, which literally means raining eyes, in Sanskrit. It is from this name that the word Katas is derived. It is often called "Tirth Raj" – the king of pilgrimage sites – and has in recent years become a popular destination for foreign tourists.

Pushkar is one of the oldest existing cities in India. It lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Brahma with its creation.

Pushkar has many temples. Most of the temples are not very old because many temples were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently, the destroyed temples were rebuilt. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century CE. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world. Pushkar lake has 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters.

According to legend, Brahma was in search of a place for Mahayagna and he found this place suitable. After a long time, Brahma came to known that a demon, Vajranash, was killing people here so the Lord chanted a mantra on a lotus flower and killed the demon. During this process, the parts of flower fell on three places which were later known as Jyaistha, Madhya and Kanistha Pushkar. After this Brahma performed a yagna to protect this place from demons. The consort of Brahma, Savitri, were needed to offer Ahuti for the yagna but she was not there that time so Gayatri, a Gurjar girl, was married to Brahma and performed yagna. This act made the first wife of Brahma, Savitri, angry and she cursed Brahma saying that he would be worshipped in Pushkar only.

The original intention behind the Pushkar Camel Fair was to attract local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival. Today the Pushkar Mela creates a stir among travellers with its awe-inspiring celebrations at this grand event cherished with life oozing activities, cultural and musical events, thrilling camel safari tours and a stay in the traditional yet modern camps.

Images of silver bells making heart pleasing jingles, animals walking over sparkling sand dunes and beautifully decked up camels with their owners sitting on their backs has become a fascinating norm at this stunning cultural retreat. A huge carnival is held, with an array of musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers and carousel rides to entertain the crowd. The grand occasion of the Pushkar Mela is definitely a priceless treat for those who wish to eye the vibrant culture and traditions of Rajasthan.

The entire fair can be segregated under three main heads with a few subheads. The first is the Cattle Fair. Apart from the camels, animals like horses, cows, sheep and goats are being traded here. Further, there are competitions among the colourfully decorated camels where the winner camel is prized healthily. Second, comes the Cultural Fair.

In this segment the stalls and shops catering both to human and the cattle are set up in the fair site. Clothing, jewellery, and tattoos carry an ethnic charm with a typically Rajasthani aura. Besides it, the hugely versatile cultural repertoire of Rajasthan comes alive in Pushkar Fair in the form of folk dance, music, puppet shows and so on. On the final five days of Pushkar fair is for a holy dip in the mythologically significant sacred Pushkar Lake to “wash away the sins of a lifetime” and pay obeisance at the ONLY Brahma temple in the world.

For visitors, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the colour, spectacle, and carnival of one of the last great traditional fair, which brings livestock, farmers, traders, and villagers from all over Rajasthan.

Don't miss the opportunity to be a part of the COLOURS of PUSHKAR and the culture of this historic place in India.

Tour Limelight

  • Four days enthralling experience of capturing the beauty and rustiness of Camel Fair at Pushkar.
  • Special attraction - Experience the adrenaline rush during the camel safari under starry night. Sunset and sunrise on the dune, campfire along with local folk songs, dinner under the starry night.
  • Street Photography shooting people dressed in vibrant clothes on the streets of Pushkar.
  • Shooting the beautiful tribal people.
  • Everyday session about what you’ve shoot during the day.

For photographers, it is an unparallel & unforgettable experience to capture the vibrancy of the entire state of Rajasthan in one place. The frame captures the culture, religious legacy, rural flavour and rustic core natural beauty.

Temples of Puskar

BRHAMA TEMPLE

 

Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe according to Hindu mythology in India. The temple is nestled in the Pushkar valley which lies beyond Nagaparvat and the Anasagar Lake, Rajasthan. Brahma is among the trinity of Hindu Gods, the other two being Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu. Built in the 14th century, Brahma Temple is an important pilgrim place for Hindus. Other than the Brahma Temple, Pushkar also boasts of dedicated to Lord Mahadev, Lord Varah and Lord Ramvaikunth. Pushkar is regarded as a holy place as it was here that Lord Brahma, together with all the gods and goddesses performed a ‘Yagna' (self-mortification) at the lake.

According to legends, Brahma's wife Savitri was not present at the Yagna and Brahma married another woman on his impulse. Savitri being displeased by Brahma's act cursed that Brahma would never be worshipped anywhere else. Due to the reason, this is the only known temple in the world, where Lord Brahma is worshipped. Legends have it that the Pushkar Lake appeared when a lotus flower fell from the hands of Lord Brahma in this valley.

SAVITRI TEMPLE

Dedicated to Lord Brahma's first wife, Goddess Savitri, this temple is situated on a hillock right behind the Brahma temple. While climbing the long series of steps leading to the temple, one can catch a panoramic view of the lake, surrounding temples, and sand dunes. The presence of the only Brahma Temple in Pushkar is the outcome of Savitri’s curse to Brahma for marrying another Goddess, Gayatri, while starting his yagna in Pushkar.

VARAHA TEMPLE

Varaha temple is the largest and the most ancient temple of Pushkar. Constructed by the 12th-century ruler, King Anaji Chauhan, this temple is dedicated to the third incarnation of Lord Vishnu as a wild boar. Legend has it that Varaha rescued the earth from a depth of the primaeval water, where it was dragged down by a demon (Hirnayaksh). It is one of the most visited temples in Pushkar.

RANJI TEMPLE

The gracious and conspicuous Rangji Temple is another popular shrine that witnesses thousands of pilgrims and tourists every year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Rangji, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. The influence of South Indian style, Rajput style and Mughal style in the temple’s architecture is highly noticeable. The high-rising ‘Gopuram’, prevalent mainly in the temples present in South India is another feature of the temple that attracts visitors.

PAP MOCHINI (GAYATRI) TEMPLE

Presided by the deity Ekadashi Mata, the Pap Mochini temple is believed to provide respite to followers from their cardinal sins. Located in the northern section of Pushkar, the temple is like a pearl in the crown of Pushkar. Having a great spiritual importance as well as boasting a splendid architecture, the Pap Mochini temple is one of the most popular temples in Rajasthan. Presided by the deity Ekadashi Mata, the Pap Mochini temple is believed to provide respite to followers from their cardinal sins. 'Pap' in Sanskrit means 'sin'. There are also a number of beliefs attached to the temple. In ancient India, it was believed that killing a Brahmin is an unforgivable sin. It would be a sin even if one does it unknowingly. Hence, people who had committed that crime often used to come to the Pap Mochini temple to get a respite from the sin. It was believed that Goddess Ekadashi Mata was the only one who can free her devotees from such catastrophe. The temple also has other mythological association. In the Indian epic Mahabharata, Lord Krishna once cursed Ashwathama to roam for three thousand years around the earth. Ashwathama came to the Pap Mochini temple in order to seek salvation. These various beliefs had imparted a great religious significance to the temple. As a result, thousands of devotees come to the temple with a belief that a visit to the temple will give them a respite from all their sins.

However, the Pap Mochini temple is equally attractive to those who don't believe in all these notions. The marvellous architecture of the temple is enough to draw their attention and make it a worthy visit. The various features of the temple's architecture provide a deep insight into Hindu architecture. On one side of the temple, there is Pushkar Lake and on the other side of the temple, there is the Mela Ground. Hence, a visit to the Pap Mochini temple will be a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Pushkar is not a place, it's an experience in itself and no words can ever justify the experiences one has in Pushkar Mela.

TOUR DATE 

7th November – 10th November 2016 (4D/3N)

TOUR LEADER

Apratim Saha

PARTICIPATION FEE

Deluxe Package: INR 18000/participant (For Indian Participant)

Deluxe Package: 400 USD/participant (For Foreign Participant)

Special discount of 5% for the participants of previous Workshop / Photo Tour. 

*Limited seats on first come first serve basis.

**Please read all details on this page and Detailed Terms and Conditions, disclaimer / undertaking in the Registration cum Booking Form.

ITINERARY

Day X:

Pre-tour briefing about the attractions of the tour, safety precautions for the equipment and photographer during the tour, travelling instructions to/from your city to Pushkar etc. These discussions can be made via WhatsApp group, e-mail, telephone after reservation of seat.

Day 1:

Arrive Pushkar (by air / bus / train). Proceed to the hotel. Introduction. Spend the day exploring the Pushkar Mela area around the mela ground. Very special Sondha Arati shoot at Varah Ghat.

Day 2:

5:00 AM Early morning shoot near Savitri Temple when groups of camels, herders, horses, nomads, farmers and traders are arriving at Pushkar.

1:00 PM Come back to the hotel for lunch.

4:00 PM Start for camel safari. Shoot sunset on the dune. Campfire on the desert enjoying local folk songs. Dinner on the desert. Sleep under the stars entire night.

Day 3:

5:00 AM Sunrise shoot in the desert with camels.

8:00 AM Breakfast.

9:00 AM Come back to the hotel.

3:30PM Proceed to Savitri Temple on ropeway to shoot panoramic views of the Pushkar Lake, a top view of entire mela ground, and sand dunes.

Day 4:

5:00AM Camel shoot during sunrise.

7:30AM Shoot at horse trading area.

9:00AM Breakfast, winding up session after certificates distribution.

11:00 AM Check out and the tour comes to an end.

The Tour Fees Includes:

  • Stay in a deluxe hotel for three nights and four days (on a twin sharing basis)
  • Expert guidance on street, portrait and landscape photography with a particular emphasis on the Pushkar Mela Celebrations.
  • Overnight camel safari on the desert, sunset and sunrise on the dune, campfire along with local folk songs, dinner under the stars.
  • Three times Tea, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner in all days. Pure veg food will be provided.

The Tour Fees Do Not Includes:

  • Anything else other than mentioned in includes.
  • All expenses of personal nature.
  • Any other actual expenses would be shared by all participants on actual basis.

Accommodation:

Stay will be at a Luxury Hotel situated just opposite Brahma Temple. The hotel is located 5 minutes walking distance from the Pushkar Lake and Mela Ground. Actually, you’ll be staying inside the Mela area.

Facilities at the hotel:

  • Well-furnished AC Rooms
  • Swimming Pool
  • 24 hours Hot & Cold water
  • LED Television & Telephone in all room
  • Satellite cable network in all room
  • Pure Veg. AC Restaurant
  • Wi-Fi facilities in entire hotel
  • Doctor on call & taxi on requirement
  • Laundry service / Shoe Polish
  • Round the clock well-equipped room service
  • Large parking area & Hall
  • Money Exchange
  • Currency Exchange

Deluxe Package:

Accommodations at a Double Sharing Double Bedded Luxury A.C. room with attach bath, couch, almira.

Deadlines:

Registration is open from 10th July, 2016 till 10th July, 2016.

Conditions:

Only a maximum 20 hardworking photographers will be selected for this photo tour. Participants will be granted for the photo tour based on email confirmation on a first come first serve basis.

Feel free to call +91 8900702900 or +91 8509333385 for any further assistance.

In order to reserve your seat, 100% advance payment is a must.

To confirm registration, the participant must pay the amount through NEFT or IMPS or RTGS. Once the payment is done please send us a copy of bank receipt (screen shot is also fine) of your payment sent details. Once we confirm your payment, we will send you the tour id no. along with the Rules & Regulations of the tour, which makes you, a confirmed candidate of the photo tour.

Cancellation:

Full payment needs to be made in advance. No refund on cancellation. Please read all details on this page and Detailed Terms and Conditions, Disclaimer / Undertaking in the Registration cum Booking Form.

Weather of Pushkar:

There will be pleasant and cool in the daytime with maximum temperatures of about 25°C. Nights become cooler with a minimum of 15°C. in the month of November.

How to reach:

By Air

The nearest airport from Pushkar is Sanganer Airport at Jaipur at a distance of 146 km (91 mi). Jaipur is well connected with all the major cities in India.

By Train

Pushkar railway station started operations in January 2012 and connects to the nearest large railway station, Ajmer. Ajmer railway junction is connected to almost all cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Indore, Kanpur, Lucknow, Patna, Bhopal, Trivandrum and Cochin.

By Road

Pushkar is connected with Ajmer by Pushkar road which goes through Aravalli range. The mountain portion road which separates Pushkar from Ajmer City is locally known as Pushkar Ghati. Pushkar is 11 km (6.8 mi) from Ajmer. The govt. transportation commonly controlled by Rajasthan Roadways, however, the significant share of the transportation is controlled by private transportation services.

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