Pushkar Camel Fair, also called Kartik Mela and Pushkar Mela, is an annual multi-day cultural event celebrated in the holy town of Pushkar, Rajasthan. This festival puts camels and other livestock at the core of the celebration. Staring from the Hindu calendar month of Kartik and ending on Kartik Purnima, this vibrant festival sees hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to witness the colorful and energetic spectacle. The fair was started with an intention to attract local camel and cattle traders for business. After 100 years of celebration, it has now become a major tourist attraction. Apart from the trading of livestock, Pushkar is an important pilgrimage site, as well as an amalgamation of colorful cultural themes.
Activities at Pushkar Fair
Cattle Fair: Numerous activities take place at the fairground, where camels are shaved, padded, and dressed up to be entered into various competitions, the most famous being camel races. Other competitions like beauty contests and dances also take place, a sight that both astounds and delights the onlookers.
Music: These vigorous competitions are followed by calm evenings filled with local music. Several famous fusion bands perform live on the stage.
Food: Foodies are in for a treat as they can feast on local delicacies like Daal Bhaati Churma, Mohan Maas, Kachori, Kalakand, and many others.
Rituals: Visitors also partake in spiritual and heritage walks, adventure zone, and arts and crafts bazaar. During this festival, pilgrims take a dip in the holy lake to be absolved of their sins. A grand ritual in the form of Maha Aarti is held alongside Pushkar Lake in the evening. To experience the blend of Mughal, Rajput, and South Indian architecture, one must visit Rangji Temple, devoted to an incarnation of Lord Vishnu.
Adventure: Visitors can also witness the spectacle from high up in the air, in a hot air balloon. During Pushkar Fair, walking tours are also organized, in the mornings as well as evenings. The fair includes other adventurous activities like quad biking, paramotors, and horse riding.
Sports: Whether it be a village-style cricket match, kite flying, turban tying, musical chairs, and hilarious mustache competition, there’s no dearth of exciting sports.
Marathon: Another interesting event during Pushkar Fair is the Harmony Half Marathon, which starts from Dargah Ajmer Sharif and ends at Pushkar Stadium Ground. This event sees active participation from tourists as well as local people.
Camping: One interesting activity to do here is the Pushkar Glamping Experience, which combines the thrill of camping and luxury. Various tented accommodations are present at the Fair premises, keeping you close to the fair while encasing you with luxury. The preferred mode of accommodation for tourists is camping. However, you can also stay at nearby hotels and lodges.
Market: Numerous makeshift stalls are set up during the fair selling items like handicrafts, saddle straps, bead necklaces, ornaments, textiles, garments, and traditional footwear. Visitors can also visit the two prominent markets of Pushkar- Shilpgram Bazaar and Sarafa Bazar. You can find a wide variety of items like Rajasthani costumes, fabrics, puppets, bangles and beads, bags, decorative pieces, souvenirs, etc.
- Naga Pahar is a famous tourist destination. It is the site of Nag Kund and is a photographer’s paradise. Sitting on a hill, you can capture breath-taking views of the town.
- Visitors also like to visit Rose Garden. Nature lovers feel at one with nature, surrounded by a multitude of beautiful roses.
- Anasagar Lake is located in the heart of Pushkar. You can enjoy a relaxing boat ride here, or savor the local snacks stalls.
- At a distance of 16 km, Ajmer is also an exciting option. Ajmer is famous for Dargah Sharif, the famous mausoleum. Mayo College is also a popular destination, famous for its incredible architecture. Taragarh Fort, one of India’s oldest hill forts is also located here.
How to reach Pushkar
The nearest airport to Pushkar is the new Kishangarh airport, located 40 minutes away. The second closest airport, Sanganer Airport, is located in Jaipur. The Jaipur airport is connected to all major Indian cities. It is at a distance of 145 km from Pushkar. You can take a cab from the airport to reach Pushkar. Pushkar is easily accessible by road from all neighboring cities like Ajmer, Jaipur, Indore, and Nagda.
Planning for Pushkar and India travel
It can be quite chaotic at the fair and one can feel lost if not accompanied by a local guide. Also if you are planning India for the first time, Pushkar fair is a great way to start, as it showcases India in all its colorful layers. Along with Pushkar you may like to experience the Taj Mahal, forts of Rajasthan and the heritage of Delhi. You may consider this specially curated group tour built around Pushkar fair 2021, click here to open. You can also get our travel experience designers to customise the plan for your group of friends and family.
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