India’s Pushkar Camel Fair is a celebratory feast for the senses

Photo by: Zahid Sardar

Every year during the full moon around October/November, Rajasthan plays host to one of India’s most spectacular and colorful festivals, as around 300.000 visitors and around 50,000 camels and livestock descend on the dusty desert town of Pushkar for its annual Camel fair.

pushkar_north_india_1422453494
Photo: EasytoursofIndia.com

For 5 days, it’s a total sensory overload as the locals not only trade their livestock, but also compete in friendly competitions such as ‘the longest moustache’, take rides like the ‘cage of death’, and enjoy a kaleidoscopic whirlwind of camel racing, snake charmers, acrobats, fire dancers, magicians and musicians, and the ubiquitous fortune tellers.

This is a riotous festival that stimulates the senses, as the invitingly rich aromas of spicy pakoras and fiery Rajput curries compete with the even richer pungent fragrances of more than 50,000 camels, horses, sheep, cattle and goats.

pushkar_camel_fair_2013_zahid-sardar-06
Photo by: Zahid Sardar
pushkar_camel_fair_2013_zahid-sardar-10
Photo by: Zahid Sardar
pushkar_camel_fair_2013_zahid-sardar-11
Photo by: Zahid Sardar

Hypnotic fluting of snake charmers, the brassy traditional gypsy music, all mixing with the cacophony of traders and visitors alike, compete with the cries and moos of the livestock, as your eyes feast on a rich tapestry of every color imaginable – from the garish costumery adorning the livestock to the vibrant market stalls, to the ornate and multi-hued traditional garb worn by the locals.

pushkar_camel_fair_2013_zahid-sardar-09
Photo by: Zahid Sardar
pushkar-camel-fair-rajasthan-india-oleg-doroshenko-dreamstime-27822572-28522312-e1446232455311
Photo: Oleg Doroshenko/TrazeeTravel

The camels themselves all come washed, clipped and dressed up for the show, as the owners proudly display them for trade or sale.

There is even a Camel Beauty contest!

Photo from: Kissfromtheworld.com
Photo from: Kissfromtheworld.com
Photo: Unknown
Photo by: Zahid Sardar
Street dancing in Pushkar
A young woman dances during a street parade. Photo by: Russ Taylor/Nomadruss.com

Camels are an important commodity worth their weight in rupees, as their uses in agriculture and transport, and providing milk all compete favorably with the ever-increasing price for oil. They can also live up to around 80 years, and if all else fails, they can provide meat for sustenance and skins for clothing.

Photo: Oleg Doroshenko/TrazeeTravel
Photo: Oleg Doroshenko/TrazeeTravel
pushkar_camel_fair_2013_zahid-sardar-14
Bathing rituals at Pushkar lake. Photo by: Zahid Sardar
Photo By Dew - Canon EOS 350D, Copyrighted free use, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3502808
Photo By Dew – Canon EOS 350D, Copyrighted free use, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3502808

Tie it all in with rolling ochre-colored sand dunes, the heady perfumes of wafting incense, morning bathing rituals in the nearby lake, and the tribal chanting from Hindu pilgrims, and you have an intoxicating, magical mixture that might just change you forever.

Source: Fest300

 

Save

Save

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply