Pushkar fair is well-known all over the world and thousand of devotees take a plunge in the sacred lake of Pushkar on this occasion. Held each November at the time of the Kartik Purnima full moon, It is one of the most famous festivals in Rajasthan attracting more than 11,000 camels, horses, and cattle and visited by over 400,000 people over a period of around seven days.
This festival is not like other festivals of Rajasthan, it’s quite different from other festivals which attract thousands of domestic and foreigners every year. So let’s explore more details what makes it different and how it is celebrated!
Type : Cultural
Duration : 08/11/2016 – 14/11/2016 (The festival concludes on the full moon of the Hindu lunar month of Kartika, which falls in October or November)
Location : Pushkar, Rajasthan
Pushkar Fair is quite known for the amazing camels. The ship of the desert is seen in huge numbers. The camels are dressed up in colorful garbs, adorned lovingly. The beasts of the desert are lovingly washed, adorned and ornamented with clothes, jewelry, silver bells, bangles and other finery. The camels bedecked at their best are paraded around for all to see.
The interesting thing to see that should not be missed in Pushkar festival is Camel Beauty Contest. Camels are entered into races, competitions dance shows and trade of cattle. One interesting contest turns the camel into a clown car. Numerous people climb aboard until the camel starts bucking vigorously to get down people from its humps.
This festival has religious origins which draw pilgrims from far and wide to this festival to bathe in the holy waters of Pushkar’s lake. The two days around the full moon are considered to be the most auspicious time of the year for bathing in the lake. It is believed to absolve their sins with the holy waters. Sadhus, holy gurus and people from all walks of life come to take a dip in the lake.
The sand dunes of Pushkar appear in the carnival mood. There is a huge inflow of pilgrims, camel traders, and tourists. It is a fascinating sight, and a great opportunity to witness the colors, aromas, and mood of an old traditional style Indian festival. A huge carnival is held.
There are musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians, snake charmers, rides and food stalls to entertain the guests. The festival highlights are temple dancing, folk and classical music, and arts and crafts bazaar as well. The mustache competition where menfolk compete for the award for their facial tresses is definitely worth witnessing.
It is possible to witness the spectacle of the camel fair from up in the sky, in a hot air balloon. There are tour companies which offer exhilarating hot-air-balloon flights over Pushkar. Savor the beautiful sight of the desert landscape in the early sunrise hour or any time of the day. An International Hot Air Balloon Festival is also organized during the fair.
The Pushkar Fair is celebrated every year on the holy Kartik Purnima. The full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Kartik has been known to be very auspicious. Pilgrims from far and wide come to take a dip in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake and pray to Lord Brahma. In 2016, the official dates for the Pushkar Fair are November 8 to 14.
The Pushkar Fair is one of the significant tourist attractions in Rajasthan. The huge influx of visitors during the camel fair causes the demand for accommodations to rise, and prices increase accordingly. Before you attend the festival make plans for your stay. There are two main options for organizing a place to stay, either arrive a couple of days before the fair starts and find accommodation or book in advance. Lodgings include simple guest houses, desert tents, heritage hotels, and farm stays.
The nearest airport to reach Pushkar is in Jaipur. The Jaipur International Airport is around two and a half hours away. Buses, state-owned and private luxury ones play on the route. Taxis and other private vehicles can be booked for comfortable travel.
The closest railway station, which receives long distance Indian Railways trains, is Ajmer. There is a single train line linking Ajmer and Pushkar. Either take a taxi from Ajmer railway station or reach Pushkar by train coming from Ajmer.
By Road, Pushkar is well-connected through Jaipur and Ajmer. A 30-minute drive through the aptly named Snake Mountain (Nag Parbat) takes you to Pushkar. State-owned buses, deluxe Volvos, and taxis ply on the route.