Pushkar Fair, November 20-28, 2012

An astonishing 50,000 camels converge on the tiny desert town of Pushkar, in India’s state of Rajasthan, for the annual Pushkar Fair. It’s a fascinating and peculiar sight, and a great opportunity to witness an old traditional style Indian festival.

The original intention behind the Pushkar Camel Fair was to attract local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival, held in Pushkar around the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartika. The fair has now also become a major tourist attraction.

Pushkar, this small town of Rajasthan, becomes a cultural phenomenon when colorfully dressed devotees, musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, traders, comedians, ‘sadhus’ monks and tourists reach here during Pushkar fair.. The camel and cattle trading is at its peak during the first half of festival period. During the later half, religious activities dominate the scenario. Devotees take dips in the holy “Sarovar” lake, as the sacred water is known to bestow salvation.

This small town is transformed into a spectacular fair ground, as rows of make shift stalls display an entire range of objects of art to daily utility stuff. Decoration items for cattle, camel and women, everything is sold together. Small handicraft items are the best bargain for buying souvenirs. The camel and horse races have crowds to cheer. Camel judging competitions are quite popular with animal lovers. Each evening brings different folk dances and music of Rajasthan, performers delivering live shows to the roaring and applauding crowds.

Pushkar fair has its own magic and it’s a lifetime experience for travelers. It has featured in numbers of travel shows, films and magazines. According to the Lonely Planet: “It’s truly a feast for the eyes. If you are any where within striking distance at the time, it’s an event not to be missed.”

Foot Print India handbook 2001 writes: ”The huge mela is Pushkar’s biggest draw. An unforgettable experience.”

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