Every winter I would hear from my friends about the Pushkar Fair that is been celebrated in Pushkar during full moon every year somewhere in October - November. One thing I couldn’t understand what is so adventures about animal fair that people got excited at that level! After all, one ordinary person would think what could be so thrilling about seeing a sea of camels and cattle? Intrigued, I decided to give it a shot and boarded the Express Train (Rajdhani Express) to the city of Ajmer from where Pushkar is a 30 minute drive.
Pushkar Fair Dates for 2017:
This year the fest starts on 23rd October 2017 and ends on 4th November 2017
As soon as I entered the city, the electric atmosphere and vibrant costumes of the locals immediately cast a spell on me. Pushkar himself a famous place as the place has the only temple of Lord Brahma e in the world, but during the camel festival, the emphasis is less religious and more carnivalesque. People descended the event ground near the Pushkar Lake to witness regally dressed camels and competitions which made me go – what? Yes, you could see the competitions to believe them. The major highlights of the festival were the camel race, matka phod contest and the bridal competition. But the clincher was the moustache competition. Wearing colourful bright turbans and dazzling smiles, some contestants have been known to have moustaches 11 feet long! How would they manage that little difficult but they do so!!
The beauty of the Pushkar Fair lies as much in the charged party atmosphere as it does in the serenity it offers towards the evening. The view of the Pushkar Lake from Out of the Blue restaurant was breathtaking the thing that no one can miss yes how could I forget the fire work at its bank which lasted for more than an hour surly it well kept you in rapt attention. The Naga Sadhus along the lake, in a state of eternal trance, made for perfect clicks too. Along with the visual festivities, I was blown away by the epicurean delights Pushkar had to offer. A meal of dal bati churma, malpua, and lassi was perfect to get myself ready for the next best thing in Pushkar – shopping!
(Note – Being a holy town, Pushkar is a non-alcoholic zone and the food is strictly vegetarian.)
The shops in the tiny alleys next to the Pushkar Lake are a shopper’s paradise. Stone and silver jewellery, Rajasthani puppets, tie-and-dye clothes, are some of the most popular buys. The day ended with a mesmerizing performance of Kalbelia dancers at the RTDC huts, organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Board. Graceful and dare devilish – they were dancing with fire and swords.
Pushkar Fair is a riot of colour and culture. What you will bring back from your experience are three things – entertainment, entertainment, and entertainment! My bags are already packed, What about you?