The Pushkar Fair is also famously known as the Pushkar Camel Fair. The local name of the fair is Kartik Mela or Pushkar ka Mela. It is an annual multi-day livestock fair and cultural fête which takes place in the small town of Pushkar (Rajasthan, India).
The Pushkar fair starts in the Kartik month of the Hindu calendar and the fair ends on the Kartik Purnima. In the Gregorian Calendar, this basically overlaps with the late October and early November. In the year of 1998, Pushkar welcomed more than 1 million visitors throughout the year. The fair finds over 2 lakh visitors each year.
It is one of the largest camel, horse, and cattle fairs in the country. This is an important pilgrimage place for the Hindu devotees. The Pushkar fair is an attractive tourist destination for travelers from all over the world. You will find several cultural themes around this time of the year. Many Cultural events, as well as competitions, are held including dances, tug of war between the women and the men teams, the "Matka phod", "longest moustache" competition, "bridal competition", camel races, etc.
People visit Pushkar Lake during the time of the Fair. Trading of the livestock takes place including camels, horses, cows, sheep, and goats. You will find the families of the rural community shopping at the various stalls at the mela such as clothes, textiles, and fabrics. The festival is started off with a camel race.
Pushkar is a small town located in the district of Ajmer in the central-east part of the state of Rajasthan. The pink city of Jaipur is around 150 kilometers from here. It is a popular pilgrimage site for the Hindus and Sikhs. Kishangarh Airport is the nearest airport from Pushkar located around 40 km northeast. The nearest railway station is Ajmer. Interestingly, the only Brahma Temple found in India is located in Pushkar.
The peak celebrations of the Pushkar Fair take place in the last five days from the Kartik Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima that is the full moon day of Kartik (October–November) as per the Hindu calendar. Around this time, you will find many Hindu pilgrims attending fairs, visiting the temples and taking a dip in the sacred lake of Pushkar.
The Pushkar Mela had started a century ago and had begun as an annual fair where the merchants used to come to trade, sell or exhibit their cattle or horses. Although, today you will find that the festival is celebrated on a very large scale.
The Camels are found decorated with beautiful looking clothes as well as ornaments for the exhibitions. You will get an opportunity to get to know the local people of Rajasthan and learn about their culture and traditions. You will also find the women selling exquisite Rajasthani clothes, ornaments, jewelry, and decorated pots. Various events will be organized such as the traditional Rajasthani Folk dances, songs, and dramas.
There are various places to see in Pushkar. The Brahma Temple has been constructed using marble and has been decorated with silver coins and a silver turtle is placed on the floor of the temple. You will find a life-size idol of Lord Brahma that is four-headed.
Pushkar Lake is another must-visit place of Pushkar and is one of the holiest places in India for Hindus. History says that the lake has been created by the lotus petals that had fallen from the hands of the Lord Brahma. The Lake is shaped like a semi-circle and has been surrounded by 52 ghats. It is believed that a dip in the lake brings salvation to the Hindu devotees on the day of Kartik Poornima.
The dates of the Pushkar Mela vary, but most of the time it begins around Kartik Purnima (i.e. late October and early November) The Fair will be held at the banks of the lake of Pushkar.
The Pushkar Fair 2019 will be celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and will be visited by thousands of tourists just like every year. You will get to experience the local life of Rajasthan by living like a local during the fest. It is possible to take part in competitions and various activities. You will get to learn how Camel trading is done. Enjoy the amazing cuisine of Rajasthan. The famous fusion bands of India will be coming so gear up for the festival. The fair is going, to begin with, the Harmony Marathon so if you wish to participate in a marathon, do visit the fest. The Marathon will start from the Dargah Shareef in Ajmer and will end at the Brahma Temple in Pushkar.
Pushkar Camel Fair Festival – List of Things To Do
- Go on a Camel Safari
The Camel Fair will see over 50,000 camels, cattle as well as horses. The Safari will show you these animals that look absolutely mesmerizing. Camel Trading, camel decoration contest, as well as the camel dance contest, are some other events to enjoy during the Pushkar Camel Fair Festival. You will find this sunset camel safari to be completely magical.
- Camping at the Pushkar Fair
Pushkar is situated close to Ajmer. However, there are many hotels in Pushkar as well as Ajmer but if you are looking for a more traditional and authentic experience then think of staying in a camp. If you decide to stay in a camp at the Pushkar Mela then it will be made sure that you do not miss any of the events.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot air ballooning is something that is on most people's bucket lists and at the Pushkar Fair, you will get to finally do the hot air balloon ride. The aerial view of the entire fest will be beautiful to look at and the experience is a once in a lifetime kind of experience.
- Enjoy a variety of Competitions
The moustache competition, turban tying & tilak contest, a football match with the foreigners, kabaddi game and many more competitions to water or take part in at the fair. The other activities include the camel and horse race, Matka race, tug-of-war, ‘Lagaan’ style cricket match, quad biking, and many others.
- Enjoy Folk dances and Live Music & Dance Performance
You will be completely mesmerized by the Rajasthani folk music and the fusion bands. There will be plenty of fun entertainment activities during the fair. There will also be mega cultural performances, Sufi & Bollywood fusion dance as well as live music to keep you entertained throughout the day.
- Feast on the Rajasthani Cuisine
The Rajasthani cuisine includes the amazing mouth-watering dishes such as Bajre ki roti with Sarson ka Saag, Daal Baati churma, laal maas, pooris and kachoris, gujia, ghevar and many other delicacies. You will get to experience the Rajasthani cuisine in the best way at the Pushkar fair.
- Go on a Shopping Spree
You can go Shopping in Pushkar during the fest. Rajasthan is very popular for its colorful bazaars. During the fair, the markets of Pushkar look lively and filled with stalls selling goods from handicrafts and spices to leather goods, jewelry, trinkets, pottery, flavored-teas, clothes (bandhani), home décor items, antiques, etc. Everything will be available at extremely affordable prices.
- Attending the Maha Aarti at the Pushkar Lake Ghat
During the Fair, you should definitely attend the Maha Aarti or Pooja performed at the Ghats. Also, on the last day of the fair, the Maha Aarti is the one that you cannot miss as it is stunningly beautiful.
- Taking a Holy Dip in the Pushkar Lake
Pushkar Lake is surrounded by a total of 52 bathing ghats. You will find a large number of Hindu devotees who will come to the Ghat for a sacred bath during the Pushkar Fair. It is a ritual and a belief that taking a dip in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake will wash away the sins and help cure any skin diseases.
Also read:-Travel Guide to Udaipur Rajasthan