Pushkar is at most times a sleepy desert town about 11 km (6 miles) from Ajmer with Nag Pahar (Snake Mountain) separating the two. Pushkar is surrounded on three sides by hills and has one of the holiest lakes in India with 52 ghats (landings). The city is one of the oldest in the country mentioned in the Great Epic, the Mahabharat as well as in other Indian mythological stories. There are over 500 temples in Pushkar bearing the architectural style of different eras in the country’s history with some very ancient shrines on top of steep hill.
Pushkar comes into its own at the time of the famous camel fair during the week preceding the Kartik Poornima. It is the world’s largest Camel Fair with 50,000 Camels, hundreds of horses and cattle and over 300,000 people gather on the sands of the desert. Camels are bought and sold and the local people gather in their colorful attire to enjoy a week of trading and revelry. The charm of the fair lies in the in the evening as it is a surrealistic scene with camels standing guard with their owners cooking on wood fires and swapping stories with friends. During the day the mela comes to life with Camel races, cultural performances etc. The most fiercely contested event is the “Laado oonth” literally “loading the camel”. The group that is able to seat the maximum number of people on a camel wins the event. Villagers from the distant villages of the great Indian Thar desert participating with enthusiasm. The bleak desert landscape comes alive with the vibrant colors of Rajasthani turbans, lehengas and odhnis (skirts and scarf’s). It is something that has to be seen to be believed.
Pushkar Fair starts with the arrival of the first camels and the people took a dip in the lake and ends when the devout will once again take a dip in the holy waters of Pushkar lake to the chanting of prayers and ringing of temples bells. The local priests are much in demand that day.
To cater for the influx of visitors, we set up tented accommodation.
The festivities over, camels and villagers start the journey back home nursing dreams of the next Pushkar Fair. It is an experience that will exceed your wildest dreams.