On the edge of the Thar Desert lies the holy little lakeside town of Pushkar, small enough to explore in one day, yet full of travelers who have changed their plans to stay indefinitely. The entire town is dedicated to the worship of Brahma, creator of all things, so it's only fitting that so much inspired creativity should take place here every year for the three day Pushkar Camel Fair held in late October/early November. What started as a venue for buying, selling and trading camels has become a spectacle of music, dance and artistry. The sheer number of camels themselves cause sensory overload, and are living canvasses for colorful textiles, embroidery, and jewelry.
At first the camels' blank, oddly contented stares seem humorous in contrast to their ornate costumes. Once you become used to it, the contrast becomes the perfect symbol for the Pushkar way of life, where tranquility is surrounded by explosions of creativity. Unique Rajasthani artistry brings so much color and vibrancy to its dessert surroundings, and is on full display in the fabrics and jewels that the women wear as they dance to the pulsing tabla beats under the full moon at the bazaar. Not to be outdone, even the camels dance in a hilarious competition. A horse dancing competition is also on the ticket, and though they're not the guests of honor, the horses make much better dancers.
Coinciding with the Camel Fair, a pilgrimage comes to Pushkar. Millions of worshippers arrive to pay tribute to Brahma and wash their sins away by bathing in the Pushkar Lake. Away from the ghats and back on the streets, the Pushkar Camel Fair pays homage to Brahma as well, with astonishing displays of inspired energy and creative expressions everywhere you look.
The Pushkar Camel Fair typically falls near the end of October and in early November , coinciding with the full moon of Kartika. The nearest train stop is Ajmar junction. Pushkar is 30 minutes away and there will be plenty of drivers at the station to compete for your business.
Odds n' Ends
Pushkar is said to be the only place devoted to Brahma. Being a holy town, alcohol and meat are both forbidden. If you are asked if you'd like to make Puja (a ceremony involving throwing flowers in the holy lake) and receive a "Pushkar Passport" be aware that you will be expected to pay afterward. Whatever you deem a fair price you will probably be asked for more. Some travellers will refuse this, others find that doing it once and receiving the red bracelet will prevent them from being hassled any further during their stay.
Witness one of India's largest and most colourful livestock and religious festivals. Thousands of people from rural India flock to Pushkar during the fair and around 50,000 camels are sold, decorated, shaved and raced. After the festivities, discover the beautiful pink city of Jaipur.
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There's only one way to sum up this attraction-packed region of India: all killer, no filler. Take your pick from timeless sights like the Taj Mahal, the milky-white city of Udaipur, Delhi's manic medieval bazaars or the Pushkar Camel Fair. Overwhelmed? Escape the crowds and head for the desert
Held each November at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon, Pushkar Camel Fair is one of India’s most highly-rated travel experiences, a spectacle on an epic scale, attracting 200,000 people and 25,000 camels, cattle and horses.
Every year thousands of devotees throng the lake around the full moon day of Kartik Purnima in October-November to take a holy dip in the lake. Huge and colorful cattle fair "The Pushkar Fair", is also held during this time. Pushkar fair is well-known for it's Camel trading and other attractive activities.
Rajasthan has so much to see, with long travel distances between top sites, that a trip here requires careful planning (particularly if you're going to hire a car and driver, which is the best way to tour the state).
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