Pushkar fair, to say the least is a coming together of many events, and conglomeration of diverse population from different places. It brings together potpourri of culture at the same spot. Held each year in Pushkar, a small town in Rajasthan, with a population of around 14,000 people, the event is the world’s largest cattle and camel fair in Pushkar.
This small town swarms with tourist, pilgrims, traders and performers, each year in November. The population swells to over 200,000 people, and the quite town springs back to life for five days during the full moon (kartik Poornima) with many activities, late into the night.
The fair has both cultural and religious significance. People often come for various purposes, but the fair unites them and make their trip more memorable. In a way, the fair acts as a catalyst for their prompt or planned visits.
Apart from many pilgrims and foreigners who flock the place; the fair provides the much needed platform for the locals to come together to celebrate and break free from their hard life in the dry, sparse land. It a time for them to regale stories to each other and to commune together in singing and feasting.
Each year around 50,000 camels make stamping entry into the fair, apart from thousands of other livestocks. Traders arrive from different parts of the state with their goods and establishes shops by cramping into every tiny space available. This makeshift market is a color museum, but again the range of commodities is so diverse. You can buy anything from woolen blankets to necklace; from as far as Jaipur and Jodhpur. Selling and buying of livestocks and camels is one important activity during the fair.
Camel race is one event that attracts many people, as it is weird and unheard of until you see it for yourself. Apart from the participants, most people stand behind the finishing line, facing the vast, open field.
To watch camels running together is a funny sight. Camel race is comical and done out of fun, because most camel doesn’t even finish the race. They run out of the racing field, like balls kicked out of the football field.
The fair exhibits the rich cultural heritage of the Rajasthan people and India in the whole. Young women and men adorned in traditional dresses and turbans are photographer’s delight. The casual and jovial atmosphere nurtures the right mindset for various kinds of people and race to mingle and to learn more about each others culture.
Events are organized which can be participated by both Indians and foreigners. “Matka Phod”, a traditional competition for longest mustache and Bridal competition are some indigenous events for the locals.
Pushkar is a small valley, surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on one side; with a lake in the middle. It’s worth a visit, even for its sheer beauty. Pushkar host one of the five holiest dhams or pilgrimages for Hindus.
It is because of this religious significance that thousands of people pay tribute to this holy pushkar lake each year. Legend has it that the holy Pushkar lake was once surrounded by 500 temples but nonetheless even today, Pushkar is still home to some 400 temples.
The fair draws many people to pushkar, like animals drawn to the waterhole in dry season. It is one place that fulfills many purposes.
Where to Stay : Pushkar provides accommodation at various ranges. The Greenhouse resort is one of the most well known Hotel in the area. Pushkar Fort, Pushkar Palace, Master paradise, Hotel gulab Niwas etc. are some places to stay in pushkar. They offer comfort and best services, no lesser to any big cities. Some heritage Hotels like Jagat Palace Pushkar and Pushkar Palace are made in such a way, so as to recreate the aura and splendor of Kings and queens.
How to Reach : Pushkar is a small town and it is not accessible by plane or train. The nearest airport is Jaipur and the nearest train station is Ajmer, 11 km from pushkar. Bus service are available even for long distance like Delhi, Jodhpur and Bikaner. Traveling by bus gives you the edge in terms of getting close with the exotic beauty of this diverse State.
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