Camel Fair in Pushkar
Hues of Lavish Rajasthani Social, Traditional and Cultural Trends at the Pushkar Fair
Location - Pushkar City, Ajmer District, Rajasthan
Date - November 8 - November 15, 2016
Highlights - Livestock Trading, Sport Activties, Cultural Programs and Competitions, Folk Music and Dance Shows, Ethnic art and handicraft stalls, tattoo stalls
Pushkar Fair is among one of the most popular and the biggest fairs in the country, which is certainly quite a unique one in the world’s directory of fairs. The fair is like a vivid collage of disparate pictures which enhances the vivacious air of the Rajasthan state. Even with the multifarious fairs and festivals pouring in on a tremendous annual rate, nothing comes close to the charm and delight of this extravagant fair.
It is a time when the tourism is at its peak in the otherwise dull and quiet city of Pushkar, with thousands of tourists descending from both the domestic as well as foreign destinations. As per the Hindu Chronology, the fair is celebrated from the Kartik Ekadashi to the Kartik Poornima, the day of full moon, usually in the month of November for several days. Amidst the spectacular cultural and social events at the fair, the good focus also lies in the huge livestock trading tradition and the religious quest of the local and foreign devotees.
Livestock trading, though, is a major aspect of few other fairs as well, but its intensity and quotient in the Pushkar fair is unparalleled. Several people from the Indian rural areas flock the city during this time with their exclusive variety of animals such as camel and cattle, horses, cows and bullocks etc. The special highlighting features of the fair consist of many amusing competitions like the ‘matka phod’, ‘longest moustache’ and ‘bridal competitions’, draw a lot of attention from the visitors. In the past few years, another engaging aspect has been the display of sport skills by a way of a cricket match between the team of the local club of Pushkar and a team of the random tourists.
Many of the professional folk music and dance artists give different entertaining performances on each day and set the stage for long hours of fun-filled recreation. The social-cultural phantasm is further illuminated with the traditionally dressed and colorfully decked up devotees, native people, musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, traders, comedians, ‘sadhus’ and also tourists coming together for a gala time. With all such engaging activities and programs and an increasing presence of the major chunk of populace each year, this grand event is a good evidence of the sprightliness of the city at the time.
Also, being a spiritual destination, the religious activities are also on a high at this time for the spiritual disciples take dips in the holy waters of the Sarovar Lake of Pushkar holding a strong belief that the holy waters are sure to bestow salvation and powerful to heal and cure of all sins and diseases. Other attractions include rows of numerous stalls displaying a whole range of ethnic items and decorative stuff and the traditional art and handicraft pieces of the local artisans.
Crowd cheers and loud uproars are the fashion of the fair during the time of the camel and horse races, wherein these animals are also nicely decorated to grab in the public appeal and for judging competitions. Tourists can also enjoy the art of tattoo making at the stalls and get tattooed with some of the traditional, religious motifs. The sumptuous Rajasthani delicacies with pure ghee and natural Indian herbs and spices are sure alluring delights for all visitors, especially those from distant parts of the world. It is certainly a great opportunity to mingle in the rich culture, tradition and religious blend of the desert city and is a must visit during one’s journey of India around the time.