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Pushkar Camel Fair

Added 11 Jun 2014
Pushkar Camel Fair
 

As Pushkar is revered for being one of India's oldest recorded cities as well as one of only five divine Hindu pilgrimage sites, you may feel that there is already reason enough for a visit however, come November, it's a slightly more surreal experience that draws in the crowds.

Situated in central Rajasthan, in the northwest of India, Pushkar is home to one of the largest camel fairs on Earth and if you're hoping to find out what all the fuss is about then Explore's Rajasthan - Land of the Maharajahs tour has special departures to whisk you into the Indian desert.

Aside from the general livestock buying and selling that takes place along the sacred shores of Pushkar Lake you'll also be treated to no end of traditional and random events with the annual moustache growing contest (matka phod), always a firm favourite. Even if you're not into facial hair and camels there's still lots to get excited about with locals v's tourists cricket and football matches always providing plenty of opportunities to get all hot and sweaty in the sand.

This really is an incredible spectacle and from camel racing to bridal competitions, there's no denying that if you're wishing to discover a truly authentic Indian experience then the Pushkar camel fair certainly ticks all the right boxes. With regular attendance figures topping the 300,000 mark things can get a tad crowded but as the event takes place over five days, to coincide with the full moon, you're bound to find your own personal patch to sit and watch the weird and wonderful world pass by.

Of course, with such a remarkable backdrop, anyone who's into photography will more than find themselves in their element with a wide range of subject matter combining with the beautiful sites of Phushkar providing a magnificent few days worth of finger clicking potential. Pushkar Lake itself has over 50 ghats (bathing steps) which lead down to the water and although the water quality isn't exactly pristine the advent of the full moon is often one of the busiest times of the year for Hindu pilgrims to indulge in a spot of purification. In addition to the ghats the lake is also surrounded by over 500 temples devoted to Hinduism (Mandirs) with the Brahma temple definitely being one that you absolutely have to visit even if you've only come for the matka phod.

Once you've had your fill of photographs then there are plenty more means of grabbing some souvenirs of a more materialistic nature at the outdoor stall market that's awash with women who prefer to browse for handicrafts, fabrics and trinkets as opposed to anything slightly more bitey.

As the sun sets over Pushkar Lake and the camp fires start to burn long into the November night's sky you'll have the chance to soak up the nomadic ambience of the Indian desert before heading home with a satchel full of sand and a head full of happy memories.

If you're interested in visiting the Pushkar Camel Fair then take a look at our Rajasthan - Land of the Maharajahs or Cycle Rajasthan tours.