Pushkar Knowledge Guide
Pushkar is near some of the oldest geological structures in India. Microliths near Khera and Kaderi suggest the region was settled in ancient times. The Aravalli hills near it have yielded Mohanjodaro-style artifacts, but the connection is unclear as these items may have been transported later. Sites near it have been sources of ancient Brahmi script inscriptions, considered pre-Ashokan near village Badli. Local excavations have been a source of red ware and painted gray ware confirming ancient settlement.Pushkar is mentioned in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata and the Puranas suggesting its significance in historical and religious tradition of Hinduism. The town is mentioned in many texts dated to the 1st millennium. These texts are not, however, historical. The earliest historical records relating to Pushkar and Ajmer are found in Islamic texts describing the raids and conquest of northwestern regions of the Indian subcontinent.The region finds mention in Mohammad Ghori 1192 CE conquest related records, in the defeat of Prithviraj Chauhan. Thereafter, Pushkar and nearby Ajmer find mention in historical records related to Qutub-ud-din Aibak. It was regained by Rajput Hindus under the Chauhan of Ranthambhor in 1287, but regained by Delhi Sultanate in 1301 and remained in Muslim control for many centuries. Akbar made the nearby Ajmer one of the provincial capitals, and it remained a part of Mughal Empire till 1712 CE. The Muslim rule brought destruction as well as cultural influences. Aurangzeb's army destroyed the Hindu temples along the lake. The cattle and camel trading tradition brought merchants from Afghanistan. With the collapse of Mughal Empire after Aurangzeb, Pushkar was regained by Hindus and became a part of Rathors of Marwar who rebuilt the temples and ghats. Several important temples were rebuilt by the Rajputs, Marathas, Brahmans and wealthy Hindu merchants. The Brahma temple was rebuilt by Gokul Parak Oswal, the temple of Saraswati was rebuilt by the Purohit of Jodhpur, the temple of Badri Narayana was rebuilt by the Thakur of Kherwa, the temple of Varaha which had been destroyed by Jehangir was rebuilt by Maharaja Bakht Singh of Marwar, the Maratha Noble Goma Rao rebuilt the Shiva Atmateshwara Temple. In 1801, Pushkar came under the British rule and remained a part of the British Empire till 1947.In contemporary times, it has been the venue of the famed annual Pushkar Camel Fair.