Pushkaram is a Sanskrit word meaning “the one who purifies”. Pushkaram is the time during which the rivers are worshipped. In India festivals are mainly the days that hold spiritual significances like birthdays of gods, goddesses, religious seers and saints apart from some national festivals. Among them Pushmaram is considered to be very sacred as the rivers in India are equivalent to goddesses. It is celebrated for 12 sacred rivers which represent 12 zodiac signs according to Hindu mythology and it comes once in 12 years.

  Pushkaram comes for every 12 years and is the duration of the Jupiter entering and staying in the concerned zodiac sign. Each zodiac is associated with 12 rivers as follows: Ganges River with Aries; Narmada River with Taurus; Saraswati River with Gemini; Yamuna River with Cancer; Godavari River with Leo; Krishna River with Virgo; Kaveri River with Libra; Bhima River or Tambaraparni with Scorpio; Brahmaputra River with Sagittarius; Tungabhadra River with Capricorn; Indus River with Aquarius; Pranahita (tributary of Godavari) River with Pisces.

  The first twelve days when the Jupiter enters a zodiac sign is called Adi Puskharam. The last 12 days when the Jupiter leaves a zodiac are called Antya Pushkaram. These 24 days are celebrated on the banks of the respective rivers with pomp and vigor. A holy dip taken in the waters of the rivers during Pushkaram will wash away all our sins. This is a very strong belief in Hinduism. Along with prayers, people also do rites to the ancestors on the banks of the rivers during the time of Pushkaram. It is believed that they will reach ultimate heavens emancipated from cycle of life and death because of these rites.

Saraswati River Pushkararam is a holy festival celebrated for once in 12 years in India. The 12 day Saraswati River pushkarams celebrations begin from May 31, 2013(Friday) to June 11, 2013(Tuesday). For once in 12 years, Saraswati Pushkaralu takes place when Bruhaspati(Jupiter/Gurudu) enters into Mithuna(Gemini) Rasi. This time Saraswati Pushkaram begins on Vysaka Bahula Saptami May 31, 2013(Friday).

According to the Hindu Mythology on this auspicious date and time all gods and also Pushakara take a dip in the river of Saraswati. It is believed that all the sins will be lost by taking holy bath in the Saraswati river during this auspicious time.
 
The origin of the ancient river Saraswati is in the Siwalik range of hills between the rivers Sutlej and the Yamuna. The Siwalik Hills belong to the lower Himalaya Group of Mountains in north-eastern India. The rivers Hakra(in Pakistan) and the Ghaggar(in India) have been identified as the lost Saraswati.The Saraswati river is mentioned in the Vedic texts namely Rig Veda and was considered as one of the holiest rivers.
 
There are not many records about this river as it is believed to be evaporated into the desert region in Rajasthan. At present the ancient river Saraswati is no more existence on earth. The Ghaggar-Hukra was the Saraswati relic which was accepted by many archaeologists.
 
The Saraswati Pushakaram 2013 is celebrated in Gujarat, Haryana and Rajasthan States in India.
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