Have you travelled to the land of the brave kings of the desert -Rajasthan yet? Feel like travelling to Rajasthan? If yes, then this month is the best time to visit this fabulous and historic destination. Let us tell you why. November is not only when winter begins in Rajasthan, but it is also when you enjoy the century-old Pushkar Mela that starts on Kartik Poornima every year.
Called the Pushkar Camel Festival, the city of Pushkar decked in a variety of vibrant colours and is a way for you to enjoy traditional fairs of times before. The fair began to bring the camel and cattle traders together during the sacred Full Moon Festival i.e. Kartik Poornima festival. A carnival of myriad colours, grandiose, delightful food, traditional music, and dance, and loads of competitions is what you can expect at the Pushkar Mela. Don’t forget the stunning sand dunes you can enjoy. Make time for a holiday to create a precious memory for life when you visit the fair.
When is the Pushkar Camel Fair?
Held during the sacred Kartik Poornima each year. According to Hindu folklore, the full moon in the lunar month of Kartik is very favourable. Visitors over the world and India flock to this town, especially to take a dip in the holy waters of the Pushkar Lake and pay homage to Lord Brahma. This year, the Pushkar Mela starts from 4th November to 12th November.
Open hours: 9 am – 5 pm
Entry fees: No entry fees
Where and How is the Pushkar Fair Celebrated?
The fair is in the town of Pushkar in Rajasthan at the edge of the Thar Desert. This annual week-long fete is one of the oldest and most famous fairs in India. This fair is known as ‘Pushkar Mela’. It is one of the largest camels, cattle, and horse fairs’ in the world. This carnival held in Pushkar Fair Ground near the Pushkar Lake.
The Pushkar Camel Fair -History
Pushkar has been one of the pilgrimage places in India like the Jagganath Puri, Rameshwaram, Badrinath, and Dwarka. Ancient lore says, Lord Brahma vanquished the evil spirit Vajra Nabh in a battle with his Lotus flower. The petals supposedly broke and landed on earth around the town of Pushkar, where the lake sprang up.
Rites during the Pushkar Fair
The Pushkar temple close to the lake is a must-visit. One of the only temples’ in India that reveres Lord Brahma. This festival lasts for 5 days from Kartik Ekadashi right up to Kartik Poornima. The penultimate day of this holy pilgrimage is the most significant as it is the day when a lake sprung up in Pushkar. Many believe a dip in this sacred lake washes away your sins.
Pushkar Mela Attractions
Competitions, musical fests, and more are what the fair is all about. Of the many competitions held at the fair, there are two you must not miss. The camel beauty contest is the main attraction at this festival where the camels decked in colourful designs and saddles, jewellery, and other accessories. Camel races, beauty pageants, parades, camel dances, and camel shaving are some ways the traders display their camel’s virility. The camels take part in a parade dressed in all their finery and the camel with most people riding it wins the competition. Of course, the most majestic among them wins the beauty title. Another competition you must check out is the moustache competition for the men who compete for the best facial tresses title. Finding accommodation during fair may be difficult so plan your vacation well before time.
Activities to do in Pushkar Fair:
Glamping: What we mean is trying the luxurious camping at the fair. These camps offer the benefits of camping amid luxury. An example of this is the tented accommodations, which offer a choice of non-air-conditioned and air-conditioned for a fabulous glamping vacation at the Pushkar Fair. Don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular performances of renowned fusion geniuses from around the world.
One of the highlights of the Pushkar festival in Rajasthan is the cattle fair. The fair sees cattle owners bringing in their cattle – cows, sheep, goats, camels, and horses, dressed colorfully for trade.
Hot Air Ballooning
Hot-air ballooning is another fun activity you can try at the Pushkar Fair. Watching the fairgrounds from the sky gives is an experience unlike another. This exciting sport is one of the top reasons many visit the carnival. If you’re game for more adventure then check out paramotoring, horse riding, and quad biking.
Where there are camels, there should be a safari, isn’t it? At the Pushkar Mela travellers can take a camel ride through the rolling sand dunes and the desert. The panoramic views of the dunes, especially at sunset and sunrise, are hypnotic and stunning.
On your visit to the Pushkar Mela don’t forget to look for fantastic handicraft displays. There are several temporary stalls set up, which sell everything cattle requires from saddles, saddle straps, and beads to cowrie strings. Women in large numbers visit this fair, so you will find handcrafted bead necklaces, traditional silver ornaments, patchwork garments, printed textiles from Ajmer and traditional footwear, and more.
Make the most of the Elevated Seating Arena
Enjoy the fair from the elevated seating arena. The arena allows tourists to sit in a specially created tented viewing gallery with modern comforts. The opening ceremony is a grand event where you can see hundreds of riders dressed in traditional Rajasthani attire sitting atop adorned camels and horses.
Harmony Half Marathon
If you love running, then the Harmony Half Marathon is something you do not miss in Pushkar Mela. Held during the fair, the marathon starts from the Ajmer Dargah Sharif finishing at the Pushkar Stadium.
Places to See in Pushkar
Not just Pushkar, but there are several places you must visit close by. Ajmer is around 16 km from the fairground. It is known for its Dargah Sharif -a mausoleum built to honour the saint Khwaja Moin-ud-Din Chishti and the Mayo College for its incredible architecture. Next place can be the Savitri temple atop the Ratnagiri Hills. Don’t miss the glorious sunrise or sunset views and Instagram-worthy photos from the picturesque lookout. The Anasagar lake, Daulat Bagh, Taragarh fort, khimsar, Jaipur are other places you can visit and explore.
To reach Pushkar
Ajmer is the closet station to Pushkar with direct trains from the major cities in India. You can also book a cab or drive down the picturesque Snake Mountain to reach the city. If time is a constraint take a flight to Ajmer which has flights coming in from major cities like Delhi and others.
It is relatively safe to travel to Puskar Mela. However, take a few precautions and you are set. Don’t carry a lot of cash. Keep a check of your belongings and family around you. If you want to plan a holiday check with Kesari Tours for a good deal.