Traditionally, India has always been a land that gives a lot of respect not only to fellow human beings but also to animals. Given that India is a land of a lot of animals that will not find their respect anywhere else in this world, India has also dedicated a lot of festivals that honor these animals. One of the proudest animals of India is the camel command not because the animal is proud but more because we take pride in the presence of this animal. The state of Rajasthan tribes entirely on Camels. Be it navigating the Thar Desert or even the well-paved roads of Jaipur, camels are everywhere.
To commemorate these camels and to also give commercial gardeners to the seal and trade of Camels, India has dedicated special festival called the Pushkar camel fair. It is locally known as the Kartik Mela or the Pushkar Ka Mela.
The name Karthik Mela is given because this festival is said to fall in the month of Kartik which is one of the most auspicious months according to the Hindu calendar. In the Gregorian Calendar comma, it falls somewhere between late October and early November.
The town of Pushkar takes a very festive flavor when it comes to hosting this festival. It is to be noted that in the year 1998, there are records that one million people came to visit the place throughout the year. The Pushkar fair alone attracts $200, 000 annually.
One of the most important aspects, not just of this fair but for any fair is the trade aspect. People come to sell their prized Castle, camel and any other livestock including horses. These animals such a very high price as you can expect a lot of colleges to visit the place. Even if not for the commercials, there are a lot of people who genuinely would like to buy these animals for the value that they bring in, apart from the auspiciousness. The trade not only comes from the commercial part of selling and buying but also in the very presence of these animals. There are camels that are so magnificent and Kathy’s that are so well built that people, and especially the international tourists would not mind paying a few rupees to just watch them and stand in admiration of how magnificent they are.
Rajasthan is a place that is so full of traditional and cultural aspects of art, performing arts and sports that make it one of the most vibrant States. The rich history of the Rajputs is something that contributed to the cultural awesomeness of Rajasthan. To commemorate this culture and using the Pushkar camel fair as the occasion or rather the excuse, there are a lot of competitions and events that take place. There are dances performed by the women of the traditional Rajasthani community that is sure to leave any foreigner spellbound with the intricacy and the energy that goes into it and all of us have seen Deepika bring this energy to live in the song Nagada Sang in the film Ram Leela. It is not just about the grace of dance but also about the energy of sports. The tug of war happens between the theme of women who compete in a sport that was traditionally meant for men. The man on the other hand, have a very weird competition as to who has the longest mustache. There is also a competition that judges the winner by the breaking of a pot filled with goodies but in a blindfolded manner. There are also bridal competitions that take place to showcase the promise that people of the region have in makeup and jewelry. To top it all up, there are camel races that take place and the camels that win in the phrases which a very high price in the auctions that are held immediately after.
The religious aspect
The Pushkar fair is not just about camels and fun. It is also about a pilgrimage season. The month of Karthik is regarded as a very Holy month for Hindus and the last 5 days from the Ekadashi to the Purnima is seen as one of the most auspicious times especially in the region of Pushkar. The Pushkar lake is an important pilgrimage center and the last 5 days see a huge influx of pilgrims who not only come to Pushkar to attend the fair but also to participate in The Pilgrimage activities. The temples around the region are of vital importance to the people in the region and people finish their religious affair by taking a dip in the Pushkar lake.
Pushkar is situated in the East Central part of Rajasthan and on the Western side of the famous Aravali mountain range. The nearest airport to reach Pushkar is the Sanganer airport in Jaipur and is about 150 km North East. The 150 km range is quite commutable by any mode of transport and there are people who not only take luxury sedans but also offroading four-wheel drive vehicles and even Royal Enfield to commute from Jaipur to Pushkar. The nearest railway station and the nearest bus terminus is Ajmer.
India has always been a great place for this kind of cultural activities but it is the special things like the Pushkar fair and the importance that they give to camels that make India even more special. Given the fact that Indians can add a dash of festivity to any occasion, the Pushkar fair is not an exception. In addition to camel races and cultural activities, you can see a lot of other auxiliary activities like merry go rounds, Ferris Wheel and a lot of other aspects of entertainment that make the Pushkar camel fair a treat for all ethnicities, all cultures, and all ages. If you are a resident of India and if you are a person who has a love for the is kind of weird yet beautiful cultural aspects, Pushkar is one place that you should never miss visiting and it only gets better during the Pushkar camel fair!