Pushkar’s Camel Fair

Pushkar’s Camel Fair is like no other! For about ten days prior to the full moon in either late October or early November, the holy town of Pushkar in India is overrun with camels, horses, cattle and people.

The official programme for the fair runs for seven days but for the local farmers, the most important days are those before the fair officially starts when trading of their live stock takes place. For many weeks camel teams can be seen on the road all  heading to Pushkar.

Our first foray into the area where the farmers gathered was by cart…sitting on rugs and cushions on the back of an open cart. Nothing as fancy as this one…

Cart at Pushkar Camel fair

 

We passed makeshift camps that had been set up. The women were busy with their house hold chores whilst their children ran around enjoying the freedom. The men had business to discuss!

Local tents at Pushkar Camel fair

 

Over the next few days,  we wandered around the camp. Camels were decorated and looking their best, horses were being ridden at break neck speeds along a small track to check their speed and the cattle were munching quietly, oblivious to all that was happening around them.

Pushkar Camel Fair

 

Pushkar Camel Fair

 

 

Pushkar Camel Fair  

 

Camels at Pushkar

Camels waiting for their big moment

 

Groups of men squatted in front of their tents, huddled in discussion.

Wheeling and dealing at Pushkar

Wheeling and dealing at Pushkar

 

Others wandered, ever on the look out for that bargain!

Faces in the crowd at Pushkar

Faces in the crowd at Pushkar

 

For those not interested in the camel trading, there was all the fun of the fair. Families flocked to the fair stalls that lined a makeshift street along with stalls selling cheap plastic toys and camel decorations.  The fair ground entertainment included riding competitions and a best dressed camel competition.

Camel decorations at Pushkar

Camel decorations

 

Best dressed camel competition, Pushkar

An entrant in the best dressed camel competition

 

It’s a busy time of the year for this small religious town. Hotel groups build tented camps for their clients…some very luxurious and the Pushkar Palace Hotel on the lake is booked a year in advance. This is the place to stay with its stunning views of the lake. Lake Pushkar is sacred to the Hindus. Temples and bathing ghats surround the lake and it is here that pujas (prayers) are offered.

Pushkar Lake

Lake Pushkar

 

The view from the Pushkar Palace Hotel

The view from the Pushkar Palace Hotel

 

Commercially it is a busy time too. The markets, shops and restaurants in the town are busy.

The busy streets of Pushkar

The busy streets of Pushkar

 

The busy streets of Pushkar

Street scenes

 

Market days at Pushkar

LImes for sale at the market

 

Women in the Market at Pushkar

Women in the market

 

In the streets of Pushkar

The boys out on the town!

Pushkar is one of the highlights of a trip to Rajasthan. Time your visit so you too can enjoy all the fun of the fair!

Have you been to the Pushkar Camel Fair?

 

Other articles you may enjoy:
Romantic Udaipur
The Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai
Bukhara Restaurant in Delhi
The Faded Frescoes of the Shekawati

 

 

This post is part of the 2014 A to Z Challenge You can read all the posts on my theme “Off the Beaten Track”  here 

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4 Responses to Pushkar’s Camel Fair

  1. Anabel April 18, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    Bling for camels! Fantastic, would love to see that.

  2. Calli April 19, 2014 at 12:56 am #

    Wow, what a wonderful event to catch! Your photos of the lake and the colourful women at market are really great 🙂

  3. Sandy August 20, 2016 at 6:03 pm #

    I went to Pushkar last year. Almost towards the end of the fair though. Got some beautiful pictures. It can be quite overwhelming though I know. The colors, smells & pungent food too. I live in Mumbai but was visiting a town the size of Pushkar after almost 5-6 years…despite so many travels within India, it never stops surprising me

    • Jenny Freedman September 5, 2016 at 11:00 pm #

      It’s interesting that you are still surprised by your travels in India after all the years of living there Sandy. Pushkar is a fabulous sensory and visual overload. I really need to come back to India. It’s been a few years since my last visit.

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