The Pushkar Fair
The Pushkar Fair is celebrated in the month of November every year in the town of Pushkar in Rajasthan. During this festival, people from all over Rajasthan meet at Pushkar with their cattle stock like cows, goats, sheep, horses and camels. It is regarded as one of the largest camel festivals in the world. Pushkar Fair attracts domestic as well as foreign tourists. The festival looks like an exhibition of colours with men wearing colourful turbans and women in floated ghagras of different tones. The festival offers a wonderful opportunity to see people selling and buying camels, goats, horses etc./br>
Pushkar is a small town located near Ajmer. It is one of the four pilgrimage destinations considered extremely holy by the Hindus, the other four being Badrinath, Rameswaram, and Dwarka.Pushkar is the only place in India to have a temple dedicated to Brahma.Pushkar has found mentions in holy books like Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Vamana Puranas as well.
Pushkar is home to the Pushkar Lake which has distinctive mythological stories of its own. Pushkar also organizes the famous Pushkar Fair in the month of November for several days where not only pilgrims but traders and tourists visit the place in huge numbers.
The Pushkar Lake is considered a ‘Tirtha Raj’ or ‘A Sacred Body’. The Lake has various mythological stories attached to it. The Lake also boasts of having a good number of bathing Ghats and few hundred temples, of which many pay homage to Lord Brahma, The God of Creation.
As said already, there are a good number of stories attached to the Pushkar Lake.
One of the stories says that once Lord Brahma was travelling to Earth to perform a Yagna (Fire Sacrifice). While discovering a place, a lotus petal fell from his hand on the earth and suddenly water started pouring from three places; one of them was Pushkar.
The other story which goes was that Lord Brahma had once killed a demon by the name Vajra Nabh with a Lotus flower. The petals from the flower fell in Pushkar in different places which created many lakes.
It is because of the lake being so holy that pilgrims take a dip in the lakes on a full moon night. It is believed that by doing so all the sins are absolved and the person receives special blessings.
The lake is also famous since the tenth Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh chanted verses from Guru Granth Sahib on the banks of Pushkar Lake.
The desert area near Pushkar is seen crowded with camels and tourists as well as local people, pilgrims and traders. An interesting part of the Pushkar Fair is the mass trading of camels. They are the highlight of the show since they are decorated and dressed and made to take part in a beauty contest, racing, and dance contests and ultimately traded. The whole town of Pushkar is lit, and a huge carnival is held where snake charmers, musicians, dancers, magicians etc. come to showcase their talents.
The Pushkar Fair also sees pilgrims coming from all over India to take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake. It is said that by doing so, all their sins are absolved and they also get special blessings.
The Fair also witnesses performances in temples and folk dancing and fine concerts put up by music artists. Arts and Craft Bazaar are set up which allows the tourists to do a good amount of shopping as well.
One can also witness the fair from above in a hot air balloon which is an experience in itself, as one could catch the entire proceedings happening below without any noise, as you enjoy the serenity around you.
Camel traders and villagers from miles away converge at Pushkar to take part in the fair to trade and participate in various competitions themselves. The people here take part in various competitions such as, ‘matka phod’, ‘mustache competition’, ‘breaking the pot’ and ‘bridal competition.’
The Fair is also one of the most exotic shopping locations for tourists. One can shop for textiles, embroideries, jewellery and paintings. The fair is also famous for selling many unusual camel products such as camel dung products, camel notebooks and most famously camel milk ice-creams.
In the end, the Pushkar Fair is a lifetime experience and an avid traveller should not miss this opportunity which shows a part of the diversified culture our country is famous for. The Pushkar Fair as scheduled will happen this year in November. Probably, that is the time when one should visit this fair and become part of this exotic event.