One of the most popular and
colorful fairs of the Thar desert is the Pushkar fair, which begins
on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi & goes on for five days till Kartik
Purnima. The time of the fair coincides with the bright half of
the moon during the months of October-November. The lake at Pushkar
is one of the most sacred in India.
Every year thousands of devotees throng the
lake around the full moon day of Kartik Purnima in October-November
to take a holy dip in the lake. Huge and colourful cattle fair
"The Pushkar Fair", is also held during this time. Pushkar
fair is well-known for it's Camel trading and other attractive
Dance music and colourful shops spring up during
this fair. Also on sale are mouth-watering traditional delicacies.
Colourfully attired village folk enhance the fun of the occasion.
A host of cultural event against the backdrop
of this pretty setting is also organised including attractive
puppet shows. Cattle auction and camel races are also a part of
The picturesque lake of Pushkar is set in a valley just about
11 kilometres northwest of Ajmer, surrounded by hills on three
sides and sand dunes on the fourth. Pushkar forms a fascinating
location and a befitting backdrop for the annual religious and
cattle fair. Turbaned heads of men, and colorful veils and skirts
of the women, bring alive the arid desertscape. The village women
dress in their best colourful clothes and finery for the five-day
Pushkar Fair -
Rituals and Traditions
These five days are a period of relaxation and merry-making for
the villagers, despite being the busiest for them, as this is
one of the largest cattle fairs in the country. Animals, mainly
camels, are brought from miles around. Trading is brisk as several
thousand heads of cattle exchange hands. All the camels are cleaned,
washed, adorned, some are interestingly shorn to form patterns,
and special stalls are set up selling finery and jewelry for the
camels. Camels at the Pushkar fair are decorated with great care.
They wear jewelry of silver and beads. There are silver bells
and bangles around their ankles that jingle-jangle when they walk.
An interesting ritual is the piercing of a camel's nose.
Races and competitions are organized. Camels
lope across the sands sometimes throwing their riders on to the
vast sands, amidst cheers and jeers from thousands of spectators.
An interesting event is the camel beauty contest, where they are
adorned and paraded. The camels preen before the crowds, enjoying
every moment of the attention they get.
It is believed that for five days every year,
all the gods visit Pushkar and bless the devout. This accounts
for the unbelievable number of devotees who flock to the lake
to wash away their sins.
Air : Jaipur at 146-km is the nearest airport.
Rail : Ajmer
at 11-km is the nearest railhead from Pushkar.
Road : Pushkar
is well connected by road and is 11-km from Ajmer.