Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the traditional fairs held near the sacred lake of Pushkar. Explore details about Pushkar Fair 2016 with dates and events.
Pushkar Camel Fair 2016 Dates
When: Nov 08 - Nov 15, 2016
Where: Pushkar, Rajasthan
The Pushkar Camel Fair is one of the most popular and reputable livestock fairs in India. Also known as Pushkar Mela, it is held from Ekadashi till Poornima during the Kartik month. Held in Pushkar, the fair commands the religiosity and popularity of a festival as thousands of people descend on this land during this time. Interestingly, the Pushkar Fair intertwines camel trading with the traditional mode of a cultural fair. It also marks the time when thousands of devotees flock to the holy Pushkar Lake to take a dip. For the traveler, the village folk and the trader who journey through the sand dunes awaits a spectacular show of livestock trading and events and experience of local culture and customs that very few events can match.
History of Pushkar
Pushkar is one of the most important pilgrimages in India for Hindus. Administratively, it comes under the Ajmer district and is 14 km away from the city. The only temple in the world dedicated to Lord Brahma is in the revered town of Pushkar. The legend goes that Lord Brahma killed the demon Vajra Nabh using a lotus flower. Three sites in Pushkar were consecrated when these petals dropped. There are references to this sacred town even in the Hindu scriptures.
Pushkar is a fascinating city with as many as 400 temples and 52 bathing ghats that equally attracts the religious and the nomadic during the Pushkar Fair. The fair also coincides with the auspicious period when devotees come for a holy dip to be absolved of their sins. Those who bathe two days before or on the day of the full moon are said to receive special blessings as the belief is it is worth doing 'yagna' for hundreds of years. Moreover, the ghats of the lake are believed to have healing powers.
Camels and other livestock such as goats, sheep and horses start arriving a few days before the official start of the fair. The camels go through a whole lot of priming to be able to participate in beauty contests, race and dance competitions. They are shaved, beautified, trained and disciplined to increase their odds of being sold. The fair takes on a carnival-like look that boasts of a motley group of musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats and snake charmers to entertain the eager crowd.
The Pushkar Mela is a good opportunity for traders to interact and conduct their business. However, the event goes much beyond business to acquaint the people of the spiritual and cultural legacy of the place.
The Pushkar Camel Fair is an extremely awaited event for Indians as well as foreign tourists. This otherwise quaint town transforms itself into a place abuzz with shopping kiosks and a buzzing cattle trading place. It attracts people from all over the country who line up their livestock and wares. It is a beautiful sight to see regally attired camels preen, trying to accommodate people on their backs amidst a cheering crowd. The camel with the maximum number of people on its back wins the competition. A moustache competition is also organized.
Photographers capturing beautiful moments in the backdrop of the kaleidoscopic view of the place amidst the flurry of activities are a common sight. In fact the Camel Fair in Pushkar is a photographer’s haunt, as sadhus, mystics, gypsies, villagers and local men and women resplendent in their clothes and bearing become the subject of their work.
The fair offers an interesting experience of the place as a rural bazaar awaits the tourist. A dazzling display of stone and silver jewellery, mirror work based clothing for women, kurtas and traditional cholis with patchwork and ethnic designs as well as artifacts can be seen. There are tattoo stalls as well for the interested. The fair is an important place for those wanting to buy items pertaining to horses and other animals.
There are food stalls that serve Rajasthan's famous foods though it does not include non-vegetarian food or alcohol. One can also buy souvenirs such as artifacts and knick-knacks.
To visit nearby places, one can hire a camel or simply walk around. One can also be a part of Pushkar Fair walking tour. One can go on a camel safari.