The narrow lanes, earthy smell, crowded alleys, stalls and well decked up rooftops and houses. This was the very first impression I had while struggling to make my way to reach the hotel. Rajasthan being one of my favourite destinations in India, the urge to explore a new destination is always evident in my travel talks. So when I decided to finally land up in Pushkar during the famous Pushkar Fair, the level of excitement reached the sky. And I happily ticked off one more destination from my bucket list.
Situated at the edge of Thar Desert, Pushkar is a charmingly tranquil town. Popularly known as the temple town of Rajasthan, Pushkar is home to almost 400 temples and 52 Ghats. Not just that, it earns the reputation of housing the only Brahma Temple in the world. With the rich cultural heritage, the thriving history, and the mythology, Pushkar is considered as one of the sacred destinations in India. One of the most picturesque sights of the town is the famous Pushkar Lake.
I was mesmerized by the scenic view of the lake which was surrounded by many Ghats along with the towering Nag Pahar or the Snake Mountain. The reflection of those white old fashioned houses in the lake was simply beautiful. People from far off places come to Pushkar to take a holy dip in the Pushkar Lake around Kartik Purnima. It is believed that the holy Pushkar Lake has unique powers to heal all kinds of diseases and wash away all kinds of sins.
I was very much intrigued by this place in my very first impression and decided to take a stroll around to get a sense of the town. The view of the town was overwhelming. While walking down the lanes, I felt as if I was part of the colourful carnival where sparkling lights brighten those dark lanes, endless crowd moving from one end to another, irresistible smell of famous Kachori and Malpua and those happy faces all around. The energy and vibe in the air was simply incredible. The festivity was in full swing.
The main attraction of Pushkar is always the famous Pushkar Fair, which is an annual event where camel and other livestock are traded among local communities.People from different parts of Rajasthan come to Pushkar to trade. This fair happens during the holy month of Kartik (according to the Hindu calendar) between Ekadashi to Kartik Purnima. This 5 days affair in Pushkar is no less than a cultural extravaganza.
One of the most interesting things to look out in Pushkar fair is undoubtedly the crowd.Nowhere in the world can one see this kind of colourful crowd. I was mesmerized by the burst of colours everywhere.
Be it their colourful costumes, gorgeous looking jewellery or be it the dazzling turbans. The rainbow of colours dominated the whole area. And those happy faces add to the charm of the surrounding. People from different ages were equally charged up and enjoying the festive mood.
The whole fairground looked like a small world where one can shop intricate silver jewellery, gorgeous traditional attire, utensils, decorative stuff for animal and what not.Among all these, you should not miss the food stalls which offer mouth-watering spicy Rajasthani cuisines. And if you are an adventure junkie who enjoys the air ride in giant wheels, Pushkar fair has it all for you.
But the moment I inched forward towards the open field and saw the herd of camels beyond my horizon, was truly a treat to my eyes. Camels and more camels.
The entire Thar Desert was full of thousands of camels, their owners and those tents spread across the miles. I stood still for a while to soak into it. The decorated camels and their herders were equally captivating.
I would call this ground a Photographer’s Paradise. You can’t go wrong with any of your pictures. There is so much to capture into your lens.
Be it the characters, the landscape, camels, lifestyle, culture or the tents.
Pushkar Fair is celebrated with great zeal by the people of Rajasthan. Owners buy colourful ropes and other ornamental stuff to decorate their camels to attract buyers.The Pushkar fair is considered as world’s largest Camel fair, due to which it draws a lot of tourists .
Interestingly, a variety of competitions are organized during this fair where camels are decorated at their best to take part in these competitions. Among them, camel decoration , camel dance , and moustache competition are few to watch out for. Not just that, you will be thoroughly entertained by Rajasthani Folk Dance and Songs by the evening.
While capturing those priceless moments into my lens, my photographer friend Brian Thomas, asked me to accompany him to a local’s house for a cup of tea. I was a little apprehensive in the first place as I could not see any house from the fair ground. But then I decided to go with him. It was almost a half a km from the main fair ground; I landed up in a small hut.
I was surprised to see the way they greeted him. Later I got to know that he was a regular to their house for last couple of days. And for the first time I had tea, which was made of goat’s milk. I was floored by the hospitality of the family. It left me speechless when I experienced this kind of simplicity which is unimaginable in the most civilized modern cities. And because of those priceless moments, I can go those extra miles to explore remote corners of India, where people still practice “Atithi Devo Bhava” and you can find those simple, humble and incredibly beautiful people.
Pushkar as a destination just surprised me to the core. This tiny little place which is most famously recognized for the Pushkar fair has so much to offer that you can’t comprehend everything in one visit. From temples to ghats, and lifestyle to culture, I was spellbound. Pushkar is undoubtedly a beautiful experience which not only stays with you for a long period, but will also leave you with a strong urge to come back once more before long. Similarly, Pushkar Mela is a priceless treat for those who wish to experience the cultural magnetism of Rajasthan.
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