The Pushkar Camel Fair; one of India’s most highly rated travel experiences is held in November during Kartik Purnima (full moon). Thousands of camels converge on the small desert town of Pushkar in Rajasthan along with horses and cattle. More than 4 lac people attend this fair every year to witness this spectacle on such an epic scale. It offers a really fascinating and peculiar sight for the tourists and an opportunity to be a part of a traditional and old Indian festival. It’s considered to be the best time to visit Pushkar as the whole experience is so unique and overwhelming,
The inception of this fair was actually a business event back in the time. During the holy Kartik Purnima festival, held in Pushkar around the full moon in the Hindu lunar month of Kartik, local camel and cattle traders used to gather to do business. With time it became a popular attraction for tourists, and Rajasthan Tourism started promoting it as an event to attract visitors. This year the fair begins from the 4th of November to the 12th of November.
It’s one of the most colorful fairs that happen in India, with a lot of things happening during the period. Most of the activities and celebrations of the fair happen at the designated fair ground, which is a huge mass of arid land situated at the intersections of the Brahma Temple Road and the National Highway 89. Besides the trading of cattle that used to be original reason of the fair, they have come up with a lot of fun activities to attract more tourists and give them a memorable experience to take home. Entertainment is infinite with the provincial crowd, comprising puppet acts, bridal contest, camel sports, and dance performance.
The first day of the Pushkar Camel Fair hosts a mind boggling camel race where a lot of visitors gather just to get the sight of this amazing activity. Because of the race, other activities like beauty competition and rural sports have earned tremendous reputation among visitors. Not just people from the country but people from as far as Middle East visit Pushkar during this time as this is the largest camel fair in the world.
History and Rituals
According to the Hindu mythology, all the 330 Gods and Goddesses assembled at Pushkar Lake on the day of Kartik Purnima (full moon night) to consecrate the lake. This led to the lake being deemed as holy and sacred. An enormous number of pilgrims come together to take a holy bath in the legendary Pushkar Lake to wash away their sins. They also pay respects at the Brahma Mandir there, which is the only one of its kind it the whole of India. The water from the lake is also believed to have healing properties. This is why people come such a long way to take a holy dip.
The two days around the full moon night are considered to be the most auspicious time of the year to bathe in the lake. It’s believed that those who bathe on the day of the full moon receive special blessings. Since the Pushkar camel fair is also held around that same full moon night it’s considered to be the best time to visit Pushkar. This is also because you get to be a part of this holy ritual.
Here is a list of 5 reasons on why November is the best time to visit Pushkar
1. Camel Safari
Since the whole fair is about camels, you can’t really expect the main reason to be also related to them. Camel safari throughout Pushkar Fair is a fabulous experience. It allows you to traverse the sturdy region of the magnanimous Indian Desert of Sahara. The stretch of Aravalli Range there is amazing. Imagine yourself on a camel back, passing by the undulating sand dunes on the desert terrain while watching hypnotizing sunrises or sunsets. Doesn’t it sound like enthralling experience?
While you’re doing the safari, you also get to visit small hamlets along the route and you might also get to witness the alluring and enchanting activity of crop reaping. This peculiar experience of a camel safari during the Pushkar camel fair makes it the best time to visit Pushkar.
Camping at Pushkar Camel Fair is very different from the usual camping that you know about. It’s a rather decadent affair with huge and spacious luxury tents, and you’re provided with all the necessary amenities, even butler services. There’s a myriad of vendors, which grants the leisure tents in a tranquil setting, usually a short stroll away from the fair ground. ‘Tent cities’ is the main spot where there is a line-up of the tents to pick from. The serene atmosphere combined with the magical view of dawn after a full moonlit night is a moment worth treasuring.
3. Hot Air Balloon Ride
Since the fair is on a large scale, no one would like to miss the opportunity of seeing it from a bird’s eye perspective. A really unique experience that the Pushkar Camel Fair has to offer is riding on a giant hot air balloon, miles up in the sky. It’s not something to do for the faint hearted. But people who aren’t afraid of heights, it’s a highly thrilling experience. It offers unmatchable panoramic views of the whole fair and the surrounding desert land as well.
There are various vendors who offer these invigorating balloon flights over Pushkar. During the fair, you can also witness the International Hot Air Balloon Festival. This once in a lifetime experience surely makes it the best time to visit Pushkar.
4. Horse Safari
Besides the camel safari, the Pushkar Camel Fair also offers an amazing experience of a horse safari in a desert. There are a lot of beautiful locations near to the fair ground which you might want to explore. You can’t walk the distance as they aren’t close by. If you have a horse to ride on, then you might be able to cover all the locations. There are various vendor options that offer horse safari at minimal prices.
*We don’t support animal abuse so unless the horses are unharmed, don’t opt for this.
5. Quad Biking
This is again a very unique experience that you might not have ever experienced before. We’ve all watched movies wherein the lead actor is surfing through the desert on a quad bike. Well, here you get to do that too.
Various vendors of the fair offer the quad biking activity during the Pushkar Mela. You get to pick from various All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) which include 90cc, 200cc or even 300cc of extreme fun and adventure. The average duration of a single activity is of around 15 minutes costing around Rs. 500 only.
Besides all the special activities, the whole fair is a very entertaining affair. The camel races are definitely a highlight, and the beauty contests with shaved camels is amusing in a good way.
There are folk and fusion music concerts, temple dancing and spiritual and heritage walks. There’s also an adventure zone, and an arts and crafts bazaar. You might also witness a mustache competition during the fair since you’re in Rajasthan.
There’s also a “maha aarti” by the Pushkar Lake in the evening ceremony. All kinds of experiences of the fair combined together surely make it the best time to visit Pushkar.
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