Pushkar is a town in the Ajmer district in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is situated at 14 km North West from Ajmer at an average elevation of 510 metres (1673 feet), and is one of the five sacred dhams (pilgrimage sites for devout Hindus). 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 cities of India. Pushkar lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. It is mentioned that Brahma performed penance here for 60,000 years to have a glimpse of Vishnu.
Pushkar has many temples. Most of the temples are not very old, since many were destroyed during Muslim conquests in the area. Subsequently, the destroyed temples were re-built. The most famous among all is the Brahma Temple built during the 14th century AD. Very few temples to Lord Brahma exist anywhere in the world. Other temples of Brahma include those at Besakih in Bali, Bithoor in Uttar Pradesh, India, village Asotra near Balotra city of Barmer district in Rajasthan and Prambanan in Indonesia. The Pushkar lake has 52 ghats where pilgrims descend to the lake to bathe in the sacred waters. 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 over-development of tourist facilities and the deforestation of the surrounding area.
Due to a large presence of Israeli tourists it may seem like Hebrew has become second language in Pushkar, with many sign boards, hoardings and information written in Hebrew.