India’s Most Exuberant – The Pushkar Camel Fair
The Pushkar Camel Fair is an annual event that people come from all over the globe to witness for the sheer grandeur and cultural experience. The scale of the event is spectacular and one can see more than 11,000 horses, cattle and, of course, camels. It is undoubtedly the best travel experiences when you are in Rajasthan. Close to 400,000 people visit the event which takes place over 14 days.
When and Where
This fair is held every year in the Month of November on Kartik Purnima and is an event that everyone needs to witness. It is best that you book your travel and stay in advance as the area is packed during the festival. Ideally, you should have your bookings done by October.
The fair is held in Pushkar which is near Ajmer. This entire event is set up at the edge of the Thar desert in Rajasthan.
Where to stay
Prices tend to increase during the festival thanks to the influx of tourists. You have two options for stay. One is to arrive early and make bookings. The other option is to book well in advance. You can choose from heritage hotels, guest houses, farm stays or even desert tents based on the kind of experience you want to have during the festival.
How to get there
Ajmer is the closest railway station that is well connected to different parts of the country. From there you can take the Ajmer-Pushkar Passenger. There is one train that leaves at 9.15am from Ajmer and reaches Pushkar at about 10.40 am. You have to buy tickets on the spot and cannot book in advance. Of course, you can even travel by road. Taking a bus or a private vehicle from Ajmer is an option.
Activities at the Pushkar Fair
There are several cultural events that you can enjoy by just walking around. There are dance shows, music shows, camel racing events and even beauty contests for camels that are beautifully adorned for the festival.
If you like shopping, you can enjoy several small shops that are set up to sell local handicrafts and even art and crafts that popular in Rajasthan.
There is a hot air balloon festival that takes place simultaneously attracting hot air balloon enthusiasts from different parts of the world. You can go up in a hot air balloon and even witness the fair from the skies.
There are specially arranged Vedic walks that you can register for as part of the Pushkar fair walking tour. This is followed by pilgrims taking a dip in the local lake.
What to visit
The Pushkar lake is considered extremely pious and holy. This is a spot that you can visit to enjoy the faith of all the devotees. Taking a dip on the full moon day is said to wash off all sins.
Man mahal is a fabulous place located on the eastern side of the Lake. In addition to this you can also visit the popular Brahma Temple in Pushkar that is known for its magnificence.
One of the frequently visited places is Merta. You can visit the 400 year old temple of Meera Bai in Merta. Other attractions in Merta include the Mosque of Aurangazeb and Bhanwal Matta Temple.
Of course, Ajmer is about half and hour away and is home to several tourist attractions such as the Taragarh Fort, the Magazine museum and the Anasagar Lake.
So go ahead and plan a trip to enjoy the Pushkar Camel fair and let the spirit of the desert leave you spell-binded by the sheer magnitude of this cultural bonanza.