The term ‘Pushkar’ literally means ‘to be born due to a flower’. It is stated in the Hindu mythology that once the deities released a swan with a lotus flower in its beak and made it drop on earth where god Brahma performed a huge yagna. The place where the lotus fell came to be known as Pushkar.
Pushkar is a town in the state of ‘Rajasthan’ in India, which is situated 14 km from Ajmer and is regarded as one of the five sacred pilgrimage sites for people practicing Hindu religion.
Pushkar being a sacred place, houses several altars of worship to devotees. Braham Temple which is the only temple of Lord Brahma, Savitri Temple, Varah Temple, Pushkar Lake, Ghats, Apteshwar Temple, Rangnath Temple are a few famous temples that attract tourists from all over the nation. Anasagar Lake, Rose Gardens, etc. Camel safari ride on sand dunes of Thar Desert, trekking on picturesque hills, etc are some of the exciting activities which provide vacationers a wonderful opportunity.
Every November, the people of Pushkar organize a fair which begins on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi and continues for five days till Kartik Purnima. This fair is regarded as one of the largest camel and livestock fair, which conducts buying and selling of livestock and many fascinating and traditional competitions such as the ‘Matka Phod’, ‘Longest Moustache’, ‘Camel Races’, ‘Bridal Competition’ and ‘Cricket Matches’.
An approximate of 50,000 camels are brought in this mela with handicrafts being much in demand as tourists from all over the world visit Pushkar fair in order to withhold and buy the attractive arts and crafts put up here.
What takes away the heart of the tourists is the way in which camels, bulls, cows, sheep, goats and the horses are decorated before being sold. The animals are washed, scrubbed, cleaned and then decorated with jewellery, beautiful clothes and accessories such as bells of all shapes, sizes and colors.
The Pushkar Lake is one of the most sacred place in India. Among the recital of Vedic mantras people take bath in the Pushkar Lake which is believed to have curative powers and also is able to wash away the sins of a man’s lifetime.
One of the main activities during the fair is shopping, where Rajasthani men and women wear beautiful traditional attire and shop for jewelry, garments, silver ornaments, bead necklaces, trinkets, waistbands, anklets, toe rings and the ivory bangles. Garments of patchwork and tie-n-dye are also on sale with women getting a permanent beauty spot on their body in the tattoo stalls.
The fair commences with cattle trade, which involves a lot of bargaining and negotiation among the buyers and sellers. This is followed by the organization of various events in which camels participate such as the Camel Races, Musical Chairs for Camels, Camel Beauty Contest and Laadoo Oonth. On the day of Kartik Purnima the Pushkar Festival in Rajasthan comes to an end with the ritual bathing on the ghats of Pushkar Lake which begins at dawn. After the holy dip, devotees visit the Brahma temple to get his blessings. Pushkar Festival is the perfect assimilation of fun, faith and tradition.