This demurely decorated camel might feel under-dressed compared to other camels at the annual Pushkar Fair (or Pushkar ka Mela in Hindi)! The fair has just started, and it will end on November 4th on Katik Purnima, the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartik.
Usually a small town, Pushkar’s population will temporarily swell to hundreds of thousands of people (and at least as many animals) as traders from all over Rajasthan and even other states of India arrive and set up camp to buy and sell camels, horses, cattle, goats and other livestock at one of India’s largest livestock fairs. The usually bare sand dunes that surround Pushkar will be covered as far as the eye can see by make-shift camps, turbaned Rajasthani men and many, many camels.
They will be joined by pilgrims who come to Pushkar during the festival to bathe in the holy Pushkar Lake and to visit Pushkar’s Brahma Temple, perhaps the most important Brahma Temple in India.
Adding to this interesting mix of people are thousands of tourists, from other parts of India and from around the world. Accommodation will be hard to find and prices will quadruple!
To entertain the throngs of visitors in between sessions of bartering, worshiping and sight-seeing are rides in hot air balloons and on ferris wheels, never-ending shopping and eating opportunities and competitions for the most beautiful bride, the best decorated camel and the longest mustache (well over 2 meters, by the way)!
I was actually part-owner of a camel called Krishna a few years ago. You may remember my post when I talked about his sudden death: Goodbye Krishna the Camel