Any Pushkar resort does not just offer a luxurious place to live; it offers a grand experience of understanding and interpreting the beautiful and grand city. Most excavations have occurred within Purshkar which has allowed better understanding of Rajasthan’s history. The Mauryan period was generally concurrent with the migration into Rajasthan of certain groups who had fought and/or given way before Alexander of Macedonia’s onslaught of c. 327-326 BC against the north-western part of the subcontinent. Among these were the Malava, Sibi and Arjunayana, described in Greek accounts as the ‘Malloi’, ‘Sibae’ and the ‘Aggalassoi’, who migrated and settled in present-day Rajasthan from around c. the second century BC onwards. Obviously, these groups did not come into an unpopulated land, and literary, epigraphic and archaeological data indicate that the Matsya, Surasena and Yaudheya ‘people’ were among the established dominant political entities in Rajasthan around that time. They are mentioned in early literary references as practitioners of Vedic beliefs and attributed a tradition of established occupancy in parts of present-day Rajasthan.
The Matsya kingdom covered parts of the modern districts of Pushkar and, with Viratnagar, near modern Alwar, as their capital. The Buddhist text Anguttara-Nikaya lists the Matsya kingdom among the ‘Solasa Maha- Janapadas’ (‘Sixteen Great Republics and Kingdoms’) of the age. The lands of the Surasenas, also listed prominently among the ‘Sixteen Great Republics and Kingdoms’ in the body of literature known as Puranas and in Buddhist Pali literature, and reputed for their knowledge of Vedic sacrificial lore, included parts of modern-day Pushkar districts of Rajasthan. The Yaudheyas too were dominant over parts of northern and north-eastern Rajasthan during c. 300 BC-AD 300, with the earliest of theYaudheya coins dated to around the first century BC. Some of these depict their clan deity, ‘Brahmanyadeva’ (i.e. Karttikeya), the divine Commander-in-Chief of the Gods. One Yaudheya copper coin found in the excavations at Sambhar, depicts on its obverse a bull standing before a sacrificial post or pillar known as a yupa, enclosed by a railing, with the legend ‘yadheyana’ in the Brahma script. Later Jain tradition in Rajasthan held that the Yaudheyas worshipped the fierce goddess ‘Chandamari’.
At Pushkar, excavations in the 1930s unearthed a circular Buddhist shrine (8.23m in diameter) atop Bijak-ki-Pahari hill. Originally surrounded by wooden pillars supporting the entablature, the shrine was made of brickwork panels plastered with lime, which have 26 alternating octagonal shaped wooden pillars. Double circular in plan, this is one of the earliest such structures still extant. Originally encircled by a path for ritual circumambulation, having an east opening, at a later date the entire complex got enclosed inside one rectangular compound which has an open assembly space at the entrance. The remains of a Buddhist monastery, with a cloister and cells, were found nearby. Pieces of a polished stone cupola, which may have once crowned the stupa, were recovered in the excavations also noted the remains of at least two deliberately fragmented Asokan pillars of non-local Chunar stone. Religious, social, cultural, geographical and historical experiences surround the city and Pushkar resorts.