Pushkar-then and now……

Tirthraj PushkarTirthraj Pushkar by Vipin Behari Goyal
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like a fairy tale starts, we too say-it is Long, long days ago……..
A brilliant idea of performing the ritual of Yagna-the sacrifice once crossed the mind of the creator of the universe, Lord Brahma. These are the matters of gods and goddesses-not like mango man like you and me. The preparation started in full swing!
Lord Vishnu- the god of the existence gladly accepted to be the protector of the sacrifice from evil eyes. After all- sacrifices were considered those days as neighbour’s envy- owner’s pride.
All the gods and goddess were present to witness this Yagna. But the customs prevailed in those days made it customary to make the sacrifices in presence of the wife of the yagnakarta. So Lord Brahma’s wife Savitri was due to attend the ceremony. But just like modern times-women were a little late for presentation ceremonies in those times, too. She has to attend it with her friends too. Well, you can imagine the quantum of lateness.
Hour of the sacrifices drew closer but still no signs of Savitri and his women. Brahma was in a dilemma. Seeing no alternative- he sought the easy way-finding a wife! Indra was bestowed with the job and he immediately found a shepherd lady (Indra was lightning fast when the matter embraces women and slowest when it comes to fighting.) she was made the wife of Brahma observing all rituals.
Meanwhile Savitri reached the spot. She might be a goddess- but after all her heart is not made of iron. Well-when you see all the things have been completed in absence of yours and a brand new life partner besides your near ones-how you are going to react? She did the obvious thing and started to curse everyone- his husband was cursed that his temple will be built on earth only at the place of the sacrifice and that too on a particular day of the year. I will not make my readers impatient by detailing the other curses. But it is enough to mention that the only place of worship of Lord Brahma on earth was at Puskhar-of Rajasthan!
Tradition, myth, legend – all is combined into a perfect harmony in today’s Pushkar. Tirtharaj Pushkar by Vipin Behari Goyal is not only a chronicle of the transition of the town but also an essential travel ready reckoner for the avid tourists. there are ten chapters guiding you through not only the nooks and corners of Puskar-but will present before you a piece of Rajasthan- unique in culture, rich in diversity and versatile in ethnic identities. Chapters include history and mythology, reasons behind the uniqueness of the sacred place, the cultural diversity of the state, philosophy and religion, arts and crafts, women from the state, tourist information ,Pushkar in transition and last but not the least the Pushkar project. Not only it is a sacred place for Hindus, but was known as Konkan Tirtha for Jains and a place from where many prominent Buddhist Bhikhus emerged.
let us reveal some of the wondrous secrets of Rajasthan, the folk dances of rajastan and their distinct features, folk songs and colourful Rajasthani costumes –all found their way in this slim book. Well, if your taste buds are always greedy for new cuisines or you are an experimentalist in cooking? In both the cases, you are not going to miss the wonderful recipes that are on offer which are truly and only Rajasthani. The writer must have made some hard work in assimilating so much information inside both covers of the book. Let us take a look at Mandana-the colourful m way of decoration of homes, through the eyes of the writer
“Besides festivals ’mandans’ are made on auspicious occasions of marriage, child-birth and other important events. It is the belief of the people that these structures create a holy sphere around their house which keeps evil spirits away and the happiness of the house is preserved by reverting the jealous curse of enemies.
Some structures are mysterious in appearance; others seem to be based on principles of tantra. For depicting Universal Mother Power red oxide of mercury mixed with ghee is used and serpent God (Nag) is made by soot or Kajal.”
From the perspective of tantra, Gita , Hindu sets of beliefs- an in depth study has been made of the Brahma-which gave an uniqueness to the present book. In these chapters explanations of several Hindu symbols and religions have found their places of mention, too.
By no means it is a run of the mill tourist guide- it is something more. In the words of the writer-“this book is for those who do not only see but also observe, who are not only curious but inquisitive about various realms of life.”
This book is an essential piece of reading for those for whom a place is not only lands, buildings and vegetations- but also people like you and me who have shaped the past, present and will be shaping the future of the place. It is the picture of dynamic life of Pushkar and Rajasthan.
Because a place is a collage of snapshots of dynamic life.

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