At the start of winter in Rajasthan, Pushkar city is decorated for the beginning of the Pushkar Mela. The carnival is held at the city of Pushkar – the only city in the world to have a dedicated Lord Brahma temple located 150 kilometres from Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan.
The festival is celebrated each year with great zeal and enthusiasm. The world’s largest cattle fair brings together thousands of horses, camels, and cows for trading. Apart from animal trading by merchants, many events include camel rides, horse rides, shopping arenas, and hot air balloon rides. The Pushkar Fair goes on for 9 days from the day of Kartik Purnima of the Hindu religion, and this traditional carnival is celebrated every year for more than 100 years. It is the largest cattle fair in the world.
This year, the Pushkar Mela 2023 will be celebrated with equal zeal. Its enigmatic culture and activities have attracted thousands of tourists from India and foreign countries. You can enjoy many rides here and carnival activities like shopping and trying out street food. You can take in the sight of the animals beautifully adorned with traditional Rajasthan attire and jewellery for trading.
HISTORY OF PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR
Pushkar Camel Fair started more than 100 years ago to commemorate the beginning of the Kartik month of the Hindu religion. The Pushkar Mela also kicks off on the full moon night as the month starts. The fair initially started for trading animals between merchants, but as it gained popularity among locals and tourists, the Mela expanded to include many activities.
According to legend, on the full moon night of the Kartik Maas, all Gods and Goddesses, along with Lord Brahma, descend to the city to bless those who take a dip in the holy Pushkar Lake; it is also said that their sins are also washed away here on this particular night. This legend has helped gain fair popularity among tourists worldwide, and many people arrive here on the first day of the Kartik Maas to take a holy dip in the lake.
PUSHKAR CAMEL FAIR ACTIVITIES
The Pushkar Mela is a great place to go if you wish to enjoy many thrilling activities such as camel rides, hot air balloons, dance shows, religious activities and more.
Camel Rides: You can enjoy a camel ride through the desert during the carnival. Charges for rides go as low as Rs. 50 per person. They take you through the complete desert, and you can observe the marvellous vastness of it with your own eyes.
Camel Shows: You can also witness the beautifully dressed camels here that have been put up for sale by the local merchants for other merchants and banjaraas. These camels are the Fair’s main focus, hence the name Pushkar Camel Fair.
Horse Rides and Shows: You can also ride and witness their beauty. In the Fair, horses are sold at a higher bid than camels are!
Cattle Fair: Cattle owners from around the country visit this carnival to buy and sell their cattle, including goats, horses, camels, cows, sheep and more. The cattle are brought to the fair in pretty clothing and jewellery and are a beautiful sight.
Shopping: Many shops align the carnival premises with multiple products like jewellery, home decor items, food items, clothes, and so much more. You can buy dainty jhumkas from here and clothing at unbelievably affordable rates. There is a massive bazaar at the Fair for selling souvenir items. There are many handicraft items and textiles available on sale here as well.
Moustache Competition: The moustache competition is another highlight of this magnificent festival. People from around the state come to compete for the longest moustache. The person with the longest moustache wins the competition. Participants and audience come in large numbers as the size of the moustache matters a lot in Rajasthan.
Cultural Performances: Cultural performances like dance and singing occur throughout the Fair. Women and men performed dance, singing, puppet, and theatre shows for others to enjoy. You can enjoy the Kalbeliya dance form here as well.
Magic Shows: The Pushkar Mela houses many magic shows daily to entertain visitors. They are a treat to watch.
Ferris Wheel Rides: There are many adventurous rides like the Ferris wheel rides, ‘break dance’ rides, boat rides, and more that you can engage in with your friends and family at the festival.
Religious Activities: As the fair commemorates the beginning of the Kartik Maas, it is of great religious significance. People engage in Maha Aarti and holy dips in the lake from one of its 52 ghats to wash away their sins and have good fortune. Devotees pray to Lord Brahma at the Brahma Mandir.
Desert Camping: The Pushkar Camel Fair offers people wonderful opportunities to stay and enjoy the carnival. One of these beautiful stay ideas is staying in the desert in a camp. There are two options available to tourists that they can choose based on their budgets. If you are on a low budget, you can set up a normal tent in the desert that is available for rent in the city. You can also ‘glamp’ and camp in a tent made particularly for tourists with all the lavish comforts of a 5-star hotel room.
Hot Air Balloon Ride: A popular activity among tourists in the carnival is the hot air balloon ride. You can take in the panoramic views of the whole town from the balloon.
Harmony Half Marathon: The Harmony Half Marathon is a popular marathon organized during this 9-day festival to honour the legacy, diversity, culture and land of Rajasthan. It starts from the Ajmer Sharif Dargah and ends at the Pushkar ground – 14 kilometres long. If you love running and cardio, you will love this marathon. Do participate in it by registering for it on the festival’s official website.
Holy Dip: You can take a holy dip and get pooja done at the Pushkar Lake like many other devotees here for the Fair. It is said that bathing in the lake’s water during the Kartik Maas is healthy for you and removes all skin problems like acne. A holy dip in the water is also considered important, as it is believed that the Gods forgive the sins of those who perform this activity.
Indulge in Food: Indulge in the variety of food here, from traditional Rajasthani to the street food of Rajasthan and all over India. The city is also home to many Israelis, so that you can find tasty Lebanese food here. Try the famous Daal baati churma of Rajasthan or the Tikki chhole here.
Pushkar Mela date 2023
In 2023, the Pushkar Camel Fair India will be celebrated from November 20 to November 28.
Pushkar Mela Entry Fees
Entry to the Pushkar Camel Fair India is free. However, the costs of rides, activities, and other things like food and shopping differ.
Places to Visit near Pushkar Mela 2023
While visiting the Fair, please take advantage of the beautiful city that hosts it. Pushkar is a quaint little city that is a mix of Indian and Israeli culture. It has a lot to offer anyone who goes there.
[Pro Tip: To commute within the city, you can rent two-wheelers such as scooters and cycles for smooth travel. They are available at minimal rates.]
Lord Brahma Temple: This temple is the only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma in the world. Its interiors are circular to represent the circular earth and infinite universe that Lord Brahma created.
Main Market: The Market is full of unique and quirky clothing. It sells glow-in-the-dark t-shirts, psychedelic printed dresses, and more. The products here will catch your eye because of their innovativeness. The prices are also very cheap with good quality products.
Ghats: The Ghats here are famous for bathing in and immersion of ashes of a person after their death. There are designated ghats for performing these activities here. There are 52 ghats here that you can visit! You can also get a marvellous lake view from here and immerse yourself in the surroundings. The Ghats are a bird watcher’s paradise; you can find many ducks in the lake.
Man Mahal: The Man Mahal is a monument on the banks of the Pushkar Lake. It was a palace built by Raja Man Singh that has now been converted into a tourist hotel. You can stay at the building and enjoy the beautiful scenic views of the sunrise and sunset from the windows of your rooms.
The Laughing Buddha Café: This café is a small coffee shop hidden in the streets of the main Market. The place serves breakfast and Lebanese food. Their food is a must-try for anyone who visits Pushkar.
Café Lake View: This is also a quaint café lesser known to others. It provides a fantastic view of the Pushkar Lake, and their food is finger-licking delicious.
The Pushkar Mela is an important festival in Rajasthan, the world’s largest cattle fair. It attracts more than 2,00,000 visitors annually and is jam-packed with public activities. The fair initially started as a way for merchants to trade animals but gradually became popular among locals and tourists and developed into a full-fledged carnival.
You can enjoy many activities and rides here, like camel rides and Ferris wheel rides. While in this city, take a holy dip in the waters of the Pushkar Lake; as legend has it, it washes away all your sins and provides good luck.
The Pushkar Mela 2023 will be held from November 20 to 28. You must be there!