The annual multi-day cultural fête and livestock fair, Pushkar Camel Fair known as many names such as Pushkar fair, Pushkar ka Mela or Kartik Mela. This festival is mainly celebrated in Pushkar, Rajasthan. Pushkar fair is one of the largest camel trading festivals in India. Additionally, it is also a significant pilgrimage festival season for the Hindus based on the mythological importance of the Pushkar lake.
As per the Hindu calendar, the Pushkar fair in Rajasthan begins with the month of Kartik and concludes at the Kartik Purnima. It can be said that, as per the Gregorian calendar, this festival overlaps the ending of October and starting of November. As this festival mainly occurs during the cooler season, it has become an attractive festival and tourist spot for international and domestic tourists. The colourful cultural representation mostly attracts international tourists as it represents the rich and colourful culture of India.
Apart from camel trading, in Pushkar fair, individuals will get to see cultural competitions and events which involve tug of war, dance, Matka phod [breaking pots], bridal competition, longest moustache competition, and camel races among many others. Along with local people, tourists also can participate in these competitions and fun games. A wide number of individuals go to the Pushkar Lake banks where the main fair takes place. And in this fair, men not only trade camels but also trade goats, sheep, cows and horses. On the other hand, women from rural families hop various handicrafts shops and purchase fabrics, textiles, clothes, and bracelets. Race of camels starts off the fair along with exhibitions, songs and music. One of the main attractions of the Pushkar fair is the testing part of the traded camels to examine how good the traded camels are in carrying and bringing goods.
What is Pushkar Fair about?
Pushkar fair is a significant pilgrimage festival season for the Hindus based on the mythological importance of the Pushkar lake. It has deep religious importance. India’s one of the holy lakes in Pushkar lake. Every year, as per the Hindu calendar, the Pushkar fair in Rajasthan starts with the month of Kartik and concludes at the Kartik Purnima. During this time, an uncountable number of priests and pilgrims come to visit the holy Pushkar lake. The main reason to visit Pushkar lake during this time is to pay their respect and worship Lord Brahma. Core religious Hindu individuals believe that a dip in the Pushkar lake, specifically at that time, has the capability to take away all the sins from an individual’s life. With this belief and respect for Lord Brahma, a huge number of people from India as well as international tourists visit Pushkar in Rajasthan at this time of the year.
Apart from the religious importance of the Pushkar fair, another main attraction of this festival is the trading of the camel. Pushkar fair is one of the largest camel trading festivals in India. And in this fair, men not only trade camels but also trade goats, sheep, cows and horses. Live-stocking is one of the major attractions of the Pushkar festival. The opening ceremony of the Pushkar festival started with the parade of the royal looking horses and camels which is a quite rich cultural experience provided by the fair to the domestic and international tourists.
Another attractive and fun experience provided by the Pushkar fair, specifically for the tourists is staying in the tented camps. Surrounded by various colourful arrangements of the fair, royal and well-dressed camels, along with traditional food is whole another level of experience which should not be missed by anyone whoever plans to visit Rajasthan for Pushkar fair. This Pushkar Fair is all about witnessing the colourful culture of India with a lot of joy and happiness. Apart from local rural families, visitors from outside of Rajasthan also get to see and purchase various traditional Rajasthani delightful handicrafts such as traditional souvenirs, silver ornaments, footwear, printed textiles and many other things.
Where is Pushkar fair held?
Pushkar Fair mainly takes place at the Pushkar Lake banks in Rajasthan. Pushkar is a centred-east part of Rajasthan as well as it also comes at the western side of the Aravalli mountains. The easiest way to reach Pushkar in Rajasthan is to land at Kishangarh Airport in Ajmer as it is the nearest airport to Pushkar. This airport is about 40 km away from Pushkar and takes a minimum of 25 minutes to reach from Kishangarh Airport to Pushkar by any vehicle. Individuals also can take the railway as a way of transportation. Ajmer is also the nearest and one of the main railway stations to reach Pushkar. Therefore, for the individuals who are not quite accustomed to the airline route, they can easily take the railway as their way to Pushkar.
Impact of COVID-19 on Pushkar Fair 2021
One of the major outbreaks due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been faced by the whole world. There is no place in the world that has not been affected by this pandemic and Rajasthan is the same. India is a place of a wide range of cultures which are celebrated throughout the whole year by a wide range of diverse cultural people. In India, festivals like Deepavali, Dussehra as well as Pushkar Fair, all have been majorly affected by the outbreak of the pandemic.
Individuals need to maintain strict social distancing and hygiene factors in order to prevent the drastic impact of the pandemic. One of the main issues which will be faced by Pushkar Fair 2021 is the prohibition of international tourists in domestic festivals like this, because of the social distancing norms levied by the Indian Government. However, despite all these restrictions and challenges, Indian people will not stop their cultural celebration, Pushkar Fair, which will be held from 11th to 19th November in 2021.
Also Read: Deepavali 2021 – A Festival of Bright Lights