Pushkar Fair is the yearly five-day camel and livestock fair,
celebrated in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan,
India. It is one of the world's largest camel fair apart from
buying and selling of livestock, and its highlights have become
competitions such as the "matka phod", "longest moustache", and
"bridal competitions" are the main draws for this fair which
attracts thousands of tourists. People throughout the country
are allowed to visit the fair to sell their live stocks as well.
Handicrafts have much demand in the mela as worldwide tourists
visit the destination to buy attractive arts and crafts. An
estimated number of around 50,000 camels are brought in the
Pushkar camel festival. In recent years the fair has also
included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar
club and a team of random foreign tourists. People enjoy the
dances, music, camel races and many other exciting competitions.
The Pushkar Festival in Rajasthan comes to an end on the day of
Kartik Purnima. On this day, ritual bathing on the ghats of
Pushkar Lake begins at dawn. There is quite a rush for getting a
place on the bathing ghats. The water of the Lake is believed to
possess medicinal powers and also wash away the sins of a
lifetime. After holy dip, the devotees visit the Brahma temple
to get his blessings.
The first five days of the festival in Rajasthan are for selling
and purchase of the cattle. The prospective buyer is attracted
by the owner by admiring his animal with long list of qualities.
The buying and selling may take some time because of long-drawn
negotiations and bargains. Once the deal is over, the animals
are groomed and ornamented at the festival particularly the
camel. After shearing and scrubbing, the camel is costumed and
sometimes even perfumed handmade saddles, long strings of
cowries, beads, colorful saddle-straps, embroidered back-covers
and boots are available for the camels.
Pushkar Fair is also the time when women folk go on a shopping
binge. The stalls of trinkets, silver ornaments, chains, nose
rings, necklaces, waistbands, anklets, toe rings, hairpins and
the ivory bangles worn from wrist to shoulder are attract the
women in the pushkar festival. Garments of patchwork and
tie-n-dye are also on sale. Tattoo stalls are also crowded with
women getting a permanent beauty spot on their body.
Pushkar Festival in Rajasthan attracts a large number of tourist
from India and abroad. The entire village is arranged in blocks
of tents named after the famous dances of Rajasthan and each
having its own identity.