The Pushkar Fair

Nothing can be more apt than the phrase “unity in diversity”, when one describes or pictures the Indian subcontinent. Adding its own streak of color to the existing flamboyant and multi-hued tapestry of Indian culture is the festival and one of the highly rated travel experience called Pushkar Camel Fair.
The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar ka Mela, is the annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India. It is one of the world’s largest camel fairs, and apart from buying and selling of livestock it has become an important tourist attraction and its highlights have become competitions such as the “matka phod”, “longest moustache”, and “bridal competition” are the main draws for this fair which attracts thousands of tourists.
Thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles, and fabrics. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow. Between these events, the most waited for is the test of how the camel is able to bring the items. In order to demonstrate, the men go up on the group of camels one after another.
Held each November at the time of the full moon in the Indian month of Kartik, Pushkar Camel Fair is a grand spectacular event, attracting 300,000 people and up to 50,000 camels.
One of the largest camel fair in the world, the Pushkar Camel Fair witnesses the blending of tradition and spirituality. During this four day event, one gets to witness livestock trading, religious “pujas”, music, dance, various sports and competitions that are not just funny but unusually unique, shops selling local arts and crafts. It turns into an enchanting carnival that at times makes one feel like a moment from some fairy tale book.
The festival comes to an end on the day of Kartik Purnima. On this day, ritual bathing on the ghats of Pushkar Lake begins at dawn. The water of the Lake is believed to possess medicinal powers and also wash away the sins of a lifetime. After the holy dip, the devotees visit the Brahma temple, which is one of the oldest and most prominent Brahma temples in the country.
The first five days of the festival in Rajasthan are for selling and purchase of the cattle. Over the years, this traditional affair has been revamped by the Rajasthan Tourism department to give it some additional glow and recognition. This event is a unique colorful display of another aspect of rural life in India, performance arts, handicrafts and an extravagant number of camels!
The golden sands of Rajasthan will come alive again this November, as millions will gather to witness this extravagant event. The multi-hued attires of the ladies, the pristine white attire of the men, all adorned with rich and exotic ornaments mixed with the attires of the visitors present a unique scene to every visitor’s eyes. The beautiful merger of ethnicity and modernity sprinkled with the divine sound of holy chants and conches truly prove to be a never seen experience for one and all.