Location: Rajasthan in India
Time to Visit: October to March
How to Reach: It takes around 30 minutes to drive to Pushkar from the city of Ajmer. The nearest airport is located in the city of Jaipur. Regular buses and cars ply between Pushkar and Jaipur.
Nearest Railway Station: Ajmer
Nearest International Airport: Jaipur Airport
Time required for sightseeing: 2-3 hours or a full day
The ship of the desert is well known for its worth, utility and perseverance. It is not particularly adored for its beauty, or so you thought. Come to the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, and you are bound to change your mind. Once the buyer and the trader settle on a rate, after long drawn bargaining, it is time to dress the camel. Long strings of cowries, beads, colorful saddle-straps, embroidered back-covers and boots, handmade saddles and even perfumed water are applied on the unsuspecting creatures to make them shine like a new guinea.
You have seen fairs that trade in all kinds of things, from household goods to garments, from books to musical instruments. You may have gathered a taste of theme fairs too — Medieval fairs, Jazz fests, and the list go on. Cattle fairs are common too, but camel fairs! Thousands of camels arrive from all parts of India and the Middle East to be bought and sold at the fair at Pushkar, Rajasthan. Every November, the serene and small town of Pushkar in Rajasthan comes alive with the vibrancy of colors and frantic bustling of activity. There is no better place for experiencing the cultural vibrancy and charm of India than the Pushkar Fair. The first five days of Pushkar Fair are meant for the trading of livestock, where the ubiquitous camels are a major draw.
The annual camel fair in Pushkar is the biggest camel fair in the world. However, it is lots more than just being a camel fair! The fair in fact is a portrayal of the sanctity, cultural vivacity and richness of the place. Moreover, the fair also serves as a major business center for the villagers who buy and sell camels. The Pushkar Fair is held for a period of 12 days during the month of Kartika. As per the Gregorian calendar, the fair takes place sometime between the months of October and November.
Coming to Pushkar is also easy and convenient. You can avail of buses, cars of taxis for coming to the town. It takes around 30 minutes to drive to Pushkar from the city of Ajmer. The nearest airport is located in the state capital city of Jaipur. Regular buses and cars ply between Pushkar and Jaipur. If you want to visit Pushkar at a time other than the fair, choose the months between October and March, as Pushkar experiences extreme desert type climate.
The intensity of fun and frolic during the fair will strike you with awe and wonder. Around 20,000 people take part in the fair every day. A tented city is made next to Pushkar Lake, particularly for this event. Thousands of men and women enjoy the fair and indulge in livestock trading, festivities, camel races, dances, drama, and music and cultural events. The fair is truly a picture of a great event that glitters and shines with the rich flavors of pulsating life.
Pushkar Fair is an ideal shopping destination if you wish to shop for a wide range of beautiful Rajasthani handicrafts and local artifacts. From colorful turbans and ghagra, blankets to local jewelry, you can pick up almost every type of local artifacts here at extremely reasonable rates. The fair is also an ideal time for women to go on a shopping spree. The fair is flooded with stalls which sell beautiful silver ornaments, ivory bangles, chains, nose rings, necklaces, waistbands, anklets, toe rings, hairpins and lots more. There are also tattoo stalls where men and women crowd to get permanent beauty marks on their bodies. If you are a food lover, you can taste mouth-watering Rajasthani snacks and refreshing beverages in the fair. The last two days of the Pushkar Fair are a time for festivals and competitions. Thousands of men dressed in large bright turbans and kurtas, women wearing ghagaras and colorful jewelry and children dressed colorfully take part in the events. Among them, the camel race is the main attraction. A number of camel events like camel races, Musical Chairs for Camels, Camel Beauty Contest is held here. Around 50,000 camels participate in various events.
To cater to the huge tourist inflow, there are plenty of lodges, resorts and hotels in Pushkar which are equipped with contemporary facilities and services. Discounts and packages are offered during the fair season to lure more guests. Some of the popular hotels are Jagat Palace, Pushkar Palace, Hotel Pushkar Resort, Pushkar Fort, Hotel Navratan Palace, Pushkar Villas Resort, and RTDC Hotel Sarovar.
Pushkar Fair is also a well-known pilgrimage site for the Hindus. On the last day of the fair, devotees take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake which they consider sacred. Hindus believe that the water of the lake has curative powers that can wash away their sins. After the holy dip, pilgrims visit the adjacent Brahma temple to pay their homage. You possibly cannot grasp the vibrancy and spirit of the place unless you be there in person.