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Fairs and Festivals in Rajasthan
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Pushkar Fair
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Every November, the sleepy little township of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India comes alive with a riot of colors and a frenzied burst of activity and of course the occasion is the world famous Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan. Also known as Pushkar ka Mela, Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan, is the world's largest camel fair held in the holy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan. The Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan is no less than an encyclopedia on the tradition and culture of the state of Rajasthan. It is the event when a better population of the state can be found at one place and at one time. It seems as if the whole state has come alive at Pushkar to stand witness to its pulsating cultural heritage. Very few, if at all any, fairs in the world can match the liveliness of Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan. Most people associate the Pushkar Fair with the world's largest camel fair but it is much more than that. Competitions such as the "Matka Phod", "moustache", and "bridal competition" are the main attractions of this fair which attract thousands of tourists. It's during this period that the population of 14,000 swells to over 200,000 while the festival hosts over 50,000 camels which are sold, raced and decorated. Colourful sights at the fair can touch and move even the sternest heart. Hindu pilgrims can be seen flocking the place to take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake of Rajasthan, washing away all the sins of the past. Devotees and worshippers can be seen surrendering themselves at the only Brahma Temple of Rajasthan.

This small town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India becomes a cultural phenomenon when colourfully dressed devotees, musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, traders, comedians, sadhus and tourists reach here during Pushkar fair. According to Hindu chronology, it takes place in the month of Kartika (October or November) beginning on ashtmi 8th day of Lunar Calendar and continues till full moon (Poornima). The Camel and Cattle trading is at its peak during the first half of festival period. During the later half, religious activities dominate the scenario. It is also an occasion for Hindu pilgrims to converge for a holy dip in the sacred Pushkar Lake to "wash away the sins of a lifetime" and pay obeisance at the only Brahma temple in the world. Devotees take dips in the holy "Sarovar" lake, as the sacred water is known to bestow salvation. It is an occasion for villagers from far and near to gather together and enjoy a welcome break from their harsh life of the arid desert. For the tourists, it is an unparalleled and unforgettable experience to capture the vibrancy of the entire state of Rajasthan in one place.


In the month of Kartik each year, a staggering number of camels travel their way across the golden sands of Rajasthan to collect at Pushkar for the week-long fair devoted to them. Coming in from all directions, their masters astride them, they flick the sand at every step with casual ease. The horses that march to this site find the sand-trot a tough exercise. Numerous cows and sheep also come to the animal fair. Completing the scene thousands of men, women and children, come with their beasts, suddenly inhabiting the barren plain with the camel providing the backdrop.

The contrast to the dull desert landscape is the riot of colours - the large gaudy turbans of the native males arriving here to trade their animals or set up the stalls to cater to the booming captive market, and the loud hues of the pleated ghagaras (ankle-length skirts) of the women bangled by the armful, bejewelled from head to toe- adding charm and zest to the massive affair.

At Mela time, Pushkar is Rajasthan under one roof, a complete exhibition of its culture.

History and Legends of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

Pushkar is a sacred town for the Hindus, situated 11 km to the North-West of Ajmer of Rajasthan. The charm of this sleepy, lakeside settlement so captivated the great Indian poet, Kalidas, that it found a place in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam. The Great Hindu epics of Mahabharat and Ramayana make references to this religious place regarded to be Adi Tiratha. Evidence points to its having existed during the Fourth century B.C. Lake in the inhospitable surroundings of a desert is no less than a miracle. The legend about the Creator God, Bramha describes the creation of this lake. When the demon Vajra Nabha killed Brahma's children, he in turn struck him with his weapon, a lotus flower. Vajra Nabha died with the impact, and the petals of the lotus fell at three places. One of them is Pushkar, where a lake sprung into being. Brahma is supposed to have performed sacrifice at this lake on Kartik Purnima (the full moon day of the Kartik month), hallowing the place. Sacred to Brahma, Pushkar boasts of its temple dedicated to him, which is the only one of its kind in the world. A dip in the waters of Pushkar and worship at his temple ensure salvation.

Cultural Charm and Attractions of the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India

This small town of Pushkar of Rajasthan is transformed into a spectacular fair ground, as rows of make shift stalls display an entire range of objects of art to daily utility stuff. Umpteen numbers of traders gather for the Pushkar Fair and set up shops. Decoration items for Cattle, Camel and women, everything is sold together. Small handicraft items are the best bargain for buying souvenir. These traders sell a lot of products like woolen blankets of Merta, bead necklaces of Nagaur of Rajasthan, textiles printed in Ajmer of Rajasthan and Jodhpur of Rajasthan, brassware of Jodhpur of Rajasthan and Jaipur of Rajasthan etc. Saddles, ropes, and assorted household items are also on sale. Cultural shows and exhibitions are also organized in this fair to enliven the event. Movies are shown, competitions are arranged, bards and poets recite and sing tales of valour and heroism of bygone days. Animal races and other competitions also add the attraction. The Camel and Horse races have crowds to cheer. Camel judging competitions are quite popular with animal lovers. Each evening brings different folk dances and music of Rajasthan, performers delivering live shows to the roaring and applauding crowds.


Pushkar fair of Rajasthan has its own magic and it's a lifetime experience for travelers. It has featured in numbers of travel shows, films and magazine. According to lonely planet -"It’s truly a feast for the eyes. If you are any where within striking distance at the time, it is an event not to be missed.

Trading of the live Stock at the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India
Over the first five days of the fair, camels, horses, cows, goats, and sheep are sold and purchased. There may be long-drawn negotiations, or sometimes, a quick transaction. Hard bargains are struck, the vendor praising the long list of virtues of his camel to the prospective buyer.

Fashionable Women at the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India

Womenfolk seem to have little interest in the business of animals. They are more attracted to the glittering wares in the stalls under canopies. The large variety of intricate silver ornaments - hairpins and chains, nose rings and neckbands, waistbands, anklets, toe rings and the ivory bangles worn from wrist to shoulder - would send any woman on a buying spree.

The garments stalls, in no way less colourful, sell high fashion upper garments of patchwork and tie 'n' die. Tattoo stalls give many women beauty marks that last a lifetime. Whoever said that the unsophisticated are not fashionable!

Fashionable Camels at the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India

In Rajasthan even the camels are fashion-conscious and that too to a high degree, for they are soon to be part of a beauty parade! The proud owner of a newly acquired camel promptly goes to the stalls which the women bypassed.

At these stalls all the crafts of Rajasthan have been pressed into the service of the camel community. Handmade saddles to fit every hump; long strings of cowries, beads; colourful, woven saddle-straps, and embroidered back-covers to boot. After a shearing and a scrub, the camel is costumed and even perfumed! Surely the Rajasthani man loves his camel-and his wife!

Fun and frolic at the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India

As the tempo of business goes down, the men folk turn to merriment, for the day of the camel sports is at hand. Camel races are the first event. Usually a lumbering beast of burden, the camel all decorated in finery, imagines itself to be an ostrich, and rushes through the race like one. Then comes the event analogous to musical chairs. Here, as the music stops, the camel is supposed to manage to stick its long arching neck between two poles, each camel owner guiding its entrant by means of a silken cord attached to its nose ring.


Vying for the first pace in the beauty contest, splendidly bedecked camels are bought to the ring and paraded to catch the critical eye of keen judges. The gait of the camel, the choice of its equipment and ornament, its capacity to interpret and carry out commands and the variety of pranks it is capable of performing are the criteria of selection. The most thrilling camel event is 'laadoo oonth'. See how much weight the camel can can carry, man after man clamber onto the ridge-like back of the camel, each clutching at the other to retain the collectively precarious position. It is not an uncommon sight to see the human cargo come crashing down as the camel tries to get to its feet! It is yest to be known if this is the intention of the camel.

Culmination at the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India
Kartik Purnima, the day of ritual oblation, is also the closing day of the world's most colourful festivals. Bathing begins at dawn. There is quite a scramble for getting a place on the bathing ghats. The famed waters of the Pushkar Lake wash away the sins of a lifetime. The mystical water is also believed to cure skin diseases, making Pushkar the Lourdes of the east. After bathing, the devotees line up in long colourful queues to take their turn to worship the Creator, Brahma.

Romance touches Pushkar on the full moon night, as tiny leaf boats, each carrying flowers and an oil lamp, are set afloat on the placid lake. Twinkling like thousands of stars, their flickering flames reflected in the water. The next day dawns for the exodus. Long caravans hump their way along, taking many camels to their new homes. Little does a camel know which master it will serve after the coming Pushkar Fair.

Events of the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India





 Day 1

 10:00 AM
 11:00 AM
 11:30 AM

 Flag Hosting
 Mandana Competition
 Cricket Match (Local V/S Visitors) 

 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground

 Day 2

 11:30 AM
 01:30 PM
 03:00 PM

 Football Match (Local V/S Visitors)
 Satolia Match
 Bullock Decoration Competition by Rajasthan tourism 

 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground

 Day 3

 08:00 AM
 09:00 AM
 10:00 AM to 10:00 AM
 11:00 AM
 12:00 NOON
 01:00 PM
 03:30 PM
 07:00 PM
 07:00 PM to 10:00 PM
 08:00 PM to 10:30 PM
 10:30 PM Onwards

 Safed chitti
 Classical music & devotional song
 Horse dance competition by Rajasthan tourism
 Camel race competition
 Camel dance Competition by Rajasthan tourism
 Inter panchayat samiti rural sports competition
 Opening of Shilpgram art & craft bazaar
 Nagara & shehnai vadan by rama kishan
 Folk song/devotional dance
 Inter panchayat samiti cultural programme
 Rajasthani kavi samelan

 Cattle area
 Old Rangji Temple
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Tourist Village
 Mela Ground
 Old Rangji Temple
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground

 Day 4

 09:00 AM to 10:00 AM
 10:00 AM
 11:00 AM
 11:00 AM
 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM
 11:30 AM
 01:00 PM
 05:30 PM
 06:00 PM
 06:15 PM
 07:00 PM
 07:00 PM to 10:00 PM
 08:00 PM
 10:00 PM Onwards 

 Spritual Walk (Pushakr Parikarma)
 Classical Music & Devotional Song
 Turban tying & tilak competition (for visitors) by  Rajshtan tourism
 Animal competition (camel,horse & nagauri bullock)
 Shilpgram Art & Craft Bazar
 Moustache’s competition by Rajasthan tourism
 Inetr panchayat samiti rural sports competition
 Inaugration of gir & cross breed cattle exhibition
 Milk (stripping) competition
 Inaugration of vikas pradarshini
 Indian bride competition (for visitors) by Rajasthan  tourism
 Folk song/Devotional dance
 Folk dance & music by Rajasthan tourism
 Raas Leela

 From Brahma Temple
 Old Rangji Temple
 Cattle Area
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Tourist Village
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground
 Cattle Exhibition  Ground
 Cattle Exhibition  Ground
 Exhibition Ground
 Mela Ground
 Old Rangji Temple
 Mela Ground
 Mela Ground

Other Attractions of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

Pushkar of Rajasthan boasts temples, though few are as ancient as you might expect at such an important pilgrimage site, since many were destroyed by Aurangzeb, a Mughal ruler and were subsequently rebuilt. The most famous is the Brahma Temple of Rajasthan, said to be the only temple in the world dedicated to this deity. It stands on a high plinth with the Marble steps leading up to it. A silver turtle is set on the floor facing the Sanctum-Sanctorum or Girbha-griha. Around the turtle the Marble floor is inset with hundreds of silver coins. Coins engraved with donors names are also embedded in the walls. Peacocks adorn the temple walls as they are supposed to be the vehicle of Lord Brahma's consort Saraswati. A small image of the milkmaid Gayatri, flanks the four-faced image of lord Brahma and is called Chaumurti The sanctuary has silver doors inside a carved marble gateway.
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Savitri Temple of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

The one-hour trek up to the hilltop Savitri Temple overlooking the lake is best made early in the morning; the view is magical.

Varah Temple of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

Originally built in the 12th century, Varah Temple was, like many others, destroyed by the bigoted Emperor Aurangzeb (who, it is said, was particularly upset by the huge idol here of Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of the boar.) Reconstructed BY Raja Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur of Rajasthan in 1727, the temple has an interesting and richly ornamented image house.


Mahadeva Temple of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

A Beautiful temple built in the 19th century; it was described by a British traveler of the time as "by far the most remarkable, for the elegance of its structure and the nature of its ornaments, of all the temples Pushkar boasts of." It is also noteworthy for its white marble Mahadeva image, with its five faces (and its traditional tufts of hair).

Ramavaikunth Temple of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

One of Pushkar's largest and most intricate temples, the Ramavaikunth Temple was built in the 1920's and has beautifully sculpted images of no less than 361 different deities. The ornate outer gopuram over the entrance is said to have been built by a team of masons specially brought here from south India.

The Holy Lake and the Ghats of Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

Many Ghats run down to the Holy Lake where pilgrims are constantly bathing in the holy waters. Joining people at the ghats has to be with some respect for their culture and privacy. And for this reason, removing shoes before approaching the ghats, no smoking and restraining from photographing bathing people is Important. The famed waters of the Pushkar Lake wash away the sins of a lifetime.

The mystical water is also believed to cure skin diseases, making Pushkar the Lourdes of the East.

Shopping in Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India

Pushkar of Rajasthan occupies an important place in Rajasthan as a source of souvenirs and visitors who visit this holy town definitely go the bazaars to purchase textiles, clothes with elaborate embroidery, ethnic jewellery which is a speciality of Rajasthan, alluring miniature paintings, leather goods, lovely brass utensils, mesmerising puppets and pottery. Pushkar is considered to be one of the most interesting places in Rajasthan to buy costume jewellery and embroidered clothes. Major shopping areas in Pushkar are Sarafa Bazar, Baza Bazar and Kedalganj bazaar.


At the time of Pushkar fair of Rajasthan, one can purchase various items like beads, brass utensils, lovely colourful bangles, leather goods, unique embroidered clothes, camel cover, and much more.

Camel Safari in Pushkar in Rajasthan, India

Pushkar of Rajasthan is primarily a pilgrimage spot; it is also visited for the exciting camel safaris in the desert sand dunes. All those who travel to the holy town of Pushkar of Rajasthan should never miss a chance to go on a camel safari. This is a great way to explore the vast expanse of the desert landscape in Pushkar which pulls travelers from every corner of the world.

Camel Safari in Pushkar is a great experience where one can explore the rugged terrain of the Great Indian Desert of Sahara using camels as ones carriers. The Aravalli Range here are one of the world's oldest, and have sandy fields, small dunes, beautiful hills and mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets. The camel safaris in Pushkar takes one to the destinations where one witnesses small villages along the way and if one happens to visit during crop harvesting , the views are exceptionally alluring .

Location and Transport of the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, India

Pushkar of Rajasthan lies at a distance of 11 km from Ajmer of Rajasthan, which serves as the base for the most of the long-distance journeys to and from Pushkar of Rajasthan.

The nearest airport from Pushkar of Rajasthan is located in Jaipur of Rajasthan which is 131 km away.

Ajmer of Rajasthan which is situated at a distance of 11 km from Pushkar of Rajasthan is the nearest railway station. Ajmer of Rajasthan in turn is well connected with major destinations in Rajasthan.

Pushkar of Rajasthan has to two bus stands. The Marwar bus stand is situated to the north of the town by the post office and has buses to some long distance places including Delhi, Jodhpur of Rajasthan and Bikaner of Rajasthan. The Ajmer bus stand of Rajasthan is located east of the Pushkar town and offers bus services to Ajmer of Rajasthan and Jaipur of Rajasthan.

Facts & Figures of the Pushkar Fair of Rajasthan in India

Population of Pushkar of Rajasthan: 14,000
Population of Pushkar of Rajasthan (During the fair): 200,000
No. of Camels in the fair of Rajasthan: Around 50,000
Best time to visit: October to March
Highlights of Pushkar Fair: Camel trading, folk performances, body tattooing, ethnic shopping, puppet shows, acrobatics, best breed contest, moustache competition, bridal competition etc.


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