Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar mela, as it’s locally known, is an annual fair in the town of Pushkar, Rajasthan where camel and other livestock are traded among the local communities. The fair goes for about five days from Karthik Ekadashi to Karthik Poornima, but the festivity remains in the air for much longer. There is a belief that on the fifth day lord Brahma sprung from the Pushkar lake, and so it’s an important day for Hindus to come and take a holy dip in the temple lake.
Reflecting the vibrant culture of Rajasthan through sparkling activities and events, the 100 years old Pushkar Mela is definitely one of the most famous and largest camel fairs in the world. From letting you witness the beauty of the golden sand to embracing the vibes of Rajasthani culture, this fair is a land of colors you must visit.
With multiple reasons for why you should attend the Pushkar Mela Rajasthan at least once in your life, here’s all the essential information about this popular fair and why you need to book your Rajasthan trip right away!
Why should you visit the Pushkar Fair?
- It helps you witness the beauty of Rajasthan like a local
- Let’s you be a part of entertaining competitions and events
- You get to listen and watch the most famous fusion bands of India
- It lets you experience the fun of staying in luxury and old-school style camps
- You get to witness the trading of camels
- Helps calm the adventurer in you with a range of pulsating activities
- It lets you witness the magical desert from up in the air
What are the highlights of the Pushkar Fair
While every day of the Pushkar Camel Festival is loaded with fun and cultural events, each day has a specialty, which will add onto your experiences. The true beauty of Rajasthan’s culture is best reflected through every bit of this fair, and so it’s essential for you to make a note of all the following highlights of all the events happening every day so that you don’t miss out on anything.
Day 1: Harmony Marathon, Hot Air Balloon Flights, and a renowned band (preferable Indian Ocean) will be playing to call the day off
Day 2: Langri Taang with foreigners, Camel decoration and dance contest, and sunset safari at the dunes
Day 3: Horse dance contest, Shilpgram Handicrafts Bazaar, and cultural evening
Day 4: Spiritual Walk from Gurudwara to Mela Ground and cultural performances on the ground
Day 5: Lagaan style cricket match, Mustache competition, turban tying, and kite flying
Day 6: Matka race, musical chair, and best of Rajasthan
Day 7: Adventure activities on the adventure zone
Day 8: Mega cultural event & closing ceremony, Matka race, Camel race, and Kala Jattha
When is the Pushkar Fair in 2018, 2019, and 2020?
The dates of the Pushkar Camel Fair are linked to the Hindu lunar calendar. The Fair has two components — camel trading and religious rituals. The camel trading, which is the main attraction for tourists, happens at the commencement of the festival and then winds up as the focus shifts to the religious aspect.
- In 2018, the official Pushkar Fair dates are November 15-23.
- In 2019, the official Pushkar Fair dates are November 4-12.
- In 2020, the official Pushkar Fair dates are November 22-30.
Detailed Information About Pushkar Fair Dates
If you’re interested in the camels (and other livestock), you should plan to arrive a few days before the official start of the fair. The official dates are when the government-sponsored cultural activities take place. However, camel traders tend to arrive early and leave early. Here’s what you can expect in the lead-up to the festival and during it.
- November 12, 2018 — camels, herders and traders start arriving and setting up camp at the sand dunes.
- November 13-14, 2018 — arrivals continue and the gathering grows at the sand dunes. Lively trading starts taking place. This is a great time for photography, as it’s possible to move around freely and observe the scene.
- November 15, 2018 — the sand dunes are at their most crowded with camels, horses, other livestock, traders and herders.
- November 16, 2018 — more and more people arrive in Pushkar, and the official program of camel races, competitions and other activities begins at the fairground.
- November 17, 2018 — the scene at the sand dunes gets busy with camel cart rides, vendors, musicians, gypsies and tourists. Camels and traders start disappearing back into the desert as their business concludes.
- November 18-19, 2018 — the town starts to swell, especially around the temples and market area near the lake, as pilgrims begin arriving for the religious part of the fair. Official events for tourists continue at the stadium. There are amusement rides, folk dances, music performances, stalls, and other entertainment including turban tying and mustache competitions.
- November 20, 2018 — the town is full of colorfully dressed pilgrims from all over the region, while most of the camels and their herders have now left the sand dunes.
- November 21-22, 2018 — The town is busy with pilgrims. Bhajans (devotional hymns) and religious ceremonies take place at the temples. The most important temple, which is the center of celebrations, is dedicated to Lord Brahma (the creator) and the religious part of the festival is held in honor of him.
- November 23, 2018 (Kartik Punima) — this is the holy full moon night when thousands of pilgrims gather to bathe in the lake to absolve themselves of all sins, drawing the fair to a close. There’s a grand finale of events, including a maha aarti (worship with fire) by the lake and fireworks display.