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Pushkar Mela - Camel Fair
The otherwise small town of Pushkar, near Ajmer, located in the Indian State of Rajasthan witnesses a grand and lively Camel fair every year in the month of November. It is called the Pushkar Mela or Pushkar Fair or Camel Fair. The exact time period of the event depends upon the cycle of the moon. The magnificent Pushkar camel fair marks the beginning of the festival, after which the focus of the festival shifts to intense religious ceremonies.
What To Expect at Pushkar Mela
During the first five days of the Pushkar fair, the camels are brought to the ground, all decked up and fully accessorized for participating in parades and beauty contests. An array of musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians, snake charmers, etc. can be seen during the carnival.
The later days of the Pushkar Mela witness pilgrims who come here to seek forgiveness for their sins by bathing in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake. The Hindu mythology has it that the first two days around the full moon are considered to be the most pious days of the year for taking a Bath in the holy lake. It is believed that those who bathe on the auspicious day of the full moon receive special blessings of the almighty.
With a sudden influx of pilgrims, visitors, camel traders as well as the locals, Pushkar swells up to more than 200,000 people and the sand dunes seem to have been stuffed with camels as far as the eyes can see. It's a captivating and unusual sight, and a great occasion to observe an ancient Indian festival at its mesmerizing best.
The show stealer is undoubtedly the incredibly dressed camels but the hot-air balloon ride that lets you witness the entire scene from above, has a charm of its own.
Apart from being one of the world’s largest camel carnivals, the festival also witnesses buying and selling of livestock along with competitions such like "matka phodo", "longest moustache", and "bridal competition", etc. In the recent years the festival also comprises of a display of cricket match between the local Pushkar club members and a team of random foreign visitors.
Located at a distance of 11 km from the main bus stand of Ajmer, Pushkar can be easily reached via buses. Rajasthan Roadways has comfortable deluxe bus services from Jaipur. Buses from Jaipur to Ajmer, Indore, Nagda and other parts of Rajasthan operate on regular intervals. Pushkar is just a two hour drive from Jaipur so the pink city is the gateway to Pushkar for many visitors.
Pushkar is well connected with major Indian states and cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Patna, Bhopal, Trivandrum, Indore, Kanpur, Lucknow, and Cochin. via Railway networks and is easily accessible via train.
Pushkar Fair Accommodations
The inflow of tourists during the camel festival creates a great demand for accommodations which in turn increases the price too. Accommodations in Pushkar range from Desert tents to decent guest houses, farm stays and heritage hotels. The place has different options for different tastes and budgets but make sure you book in advance.