Pushkar

Pushkar is one of the oldest cities of India. The date of its actual founding is not known, but legend associates Lord Brahma with its creation. 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 intoned 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, Saraswati, 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 performned yagna. This act made first wife of Brahma, Saraswati, angry and she cursed Brahma saying that he would be worshiped in Pushkar only. From that day the priests in Brahma temple are from Gurjar community.

The Mahabharata says that while laying down a programme for Maharaja Yudhishthara's travel, "Maharaja after entering the Jungles of Sind and crossing the small rivers on the way should bathe in Pushkara". And, as per Vaman Purana, Prahlada on his pilgrimage to holy places visited Pushkarayana.

A Gurjara Pratihara (Gurjar) ruler of Mandore, Nahadarava, restored this tirtha in the seventh century. He got the place cleared and the lake restored by making an embankment on the side of the river Luni. He rebuilt old palaces and built twelve dharmashalas (resting places) and ghats on three sides of the lake. According to Rajputana Gazetteer Pushkar was held by Chechi Gurjars (Gujjars) till about 700 years ago.Later Some shrines were occupied by Kanphati Jogis.

There are still priests from Gujar community in Pushkar temple, known as Bhopas. The sage Parasara is said to have been born here. His descendants, called Parasara Brahamanas, are found in Pushkar and the surrounding area. The famous temple of Jeenmata has been cared for by Parasara Brahmans for the last 1,000 years. Pushkarana Brahamanas may also have originated here. It is also the venue of the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. In 1901, the town was part of the Rajputana Agency had a population of 3,831