The Pushkar Fair, also known as the Pushkar Camel Fair which held in the town of Pushkar in November at the time of Kartik Purnima. This traditional carnival brings thousands of camels, cattle, and horses together.
This is a colorful, unique exhibition that attracts a large number of tourists from all over the world. Apart from trading the livestock the main attractions of the fiesta are camel and horse races, cultural performances, exhibitions, magic shows, longest mustache competition, bridal competition, and many more. Besides, this fair is renowned for being one of the world’s largest cattle fairs.
Pushkar is one of the five dhams or sacred places that are highly revered by Hindus and the four other dhams are Puri, Badrinath, Dwarka, and Rameswaram. Devotees from various parts of the country also come here for religious purposes and they take a holy dip in the sacred Puskar lake. There are more than 300 temples around the shore of the Puskar lakes with 52 Ghats. According to the Hindu mythology, a person attains salvation if takes a dip in the holy lake during Karthik Purnima, this act also helps to clear all their sins and show respect to the sole Brahma Mandir on the globe.
The original intention behind the Pushkar Camel Fair was to attract local camel and cattle traders to do business during the holy Kartik Purnima festival. Today the Pushkar Mela creates a stir among travellers with its awe-inspiring celebrations at this grand event cherished with life oozing activities, cultural and musical events, thrilling camel safari tours and a stay in the traditional yet modern camps. Images of silver bells making heart pleasing jingles, animals walking over sparkling sand dunes and beautifully decked up camels with their owners sitting on their backs has become the most fascinating norm at this stunning cultural retreat. A huge carnival is held, with an array of musicians, magicians, dancers, acrobats, snake charmers and carousel rides to entertain the crowd.
With increasing mechanisation and globalisation Pushkar is growing in fame as an exotic Indian tourist destination and a mecca for photographers from all over the world but there had been decline of the mela since last 10 years. Even as It has been attracting more tourists but is slowly losing charm as a cattle fair as the number of animals turning up at the event has fallen sharply in the last couple of years. Ironically, it is their status as state animal that is partly seen as a reason for this. There has been a decline in the overall camel population as the utility of the animals as beasts of burden has reduced. In 1991, India had the 7th largest camel population in the world with more than 10 lakh of them. But it is now ranked outside the top 20 with just 2.5 lakh camels left. In 45yrs, number of animals sold at Pushkar fair has dropped by almost 75%.camel owners say that it is very difficult to look after camels, especially to make arrangements for their fodder. Apart from this, they do not get the right price for camels, due to which camel owners have now given up camel rearing.If this situation persists, then camels might not be seen at the Pushkar fair infuture.
Though the number of cattle is decreasing per year, the attraction of Pushkar fair is increasing every year among global tourist. Religious faith among people of Rajasthan, brings lakhs of pilgrims every year .Shortage of transportation or long queues don’t stop them from gathering at Pushkar on Karthik purnima to take holy dip at the pushkar lake and attend the fair. From quirky competitions to live fusion band performances to witnessing the largest camel fair in the world, the Pushkar Mela is truly an exhilarating spectacle that’s bound to leave you speechless. The Pushkar fair is opened for all and during this period, you’d get to see the magnificent splendour of this tiny desert town. The grand occasion of the Pushkar Mela is definitely a priceless treat for those who wish to eye the vibrant culture and traditions of Rajasthan.
About Pritam Dutta
Pritam Dutta is an independent photographer who currently lives in Kolkata, India. His professional career started as a software engineer, but in 2015 he decided to make a change to pursue his true passion for photography. The curiosity and hunger for learning that had motivated his engineering career did not vanish. Pritam now uses photography as vehicle to understand and help depict issues that puzzle him, and satisfy his passion for learning. Love for painting drove him towards photography to capture the emotions and actions of people . Among his most prominent themes are culture, religion and people. To him photography is the best platform to represent moment of truth. His images have now been shown in curated exhibitions and have won numerous awards. His work has been published in print and digital magazines and featured on various photo-related sites. [Official Website]