The more than hundred year old Pushkar Fair or Mela has been seeing a steady rise in the number of foreign tourists year on year. While the tourism dept has done its fair bit in routing tourist interest towards Pushkar, its the much talked about experiences of previous travelers that has spiked a considerable interest in new travelers planning a trip to Rajasthan.
The town gets maximum visits during the iconic fair held every October / November during Kartik Purnima or full moon. This is when more than a million people visit Pushkar for diverse reasons including religious, trade and/or tourism. During this time there are many cultural and traditional activities that are organized creating a kaleidoscopic revel unmatched anywhere in the world
Lets look at a few reasons why the Pushkar Fair is becoming such a big hit with the international traveler:
1) To witness an unchanged practice of cattle (primarily camel) trading that has been in existence for more than a hundred years. Thousands of camels congregate at the mela ground on the outskirts of the town, ushered in by their respective owners having traveled on foot from far and wide. This is also a happy hunting ground for professional and amateur photographers who line up before sunrise to net the perfect shot at the first crack of light.
2) The Pushkar Lake is surrounded by numerous ghats & temples all revered deeply by thousands of believers who come from all over India & abroad. Its a fascinating sight to watch and hear the priests perform the famous arti or puja to the sounds of bells & conches. For many international tourists its a glimpse into age-old Indian rites & rituals.
One of the main sites, Brahma Temple is a one of its kind and is dedicated to Lord Brahma in India. Lord Brahma is known as the creator of everything and hence holds a prominent position among the Hindu deities. As per the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma performed a Yagya on the exact place where the temple stands.
The splendid Brahma Temple is built with marble. At the entrance of the temple is seen a Hans or Goose, the symbol of Lord Brahma. The temple has been adorned with silver coins. The black and white floor is decorated by a silver turtle.
The uniqueness of this temple is its grandeur and magnificence.
3) The fair offers a melange of vivid cultures and traditions of the colourful state of Rajasthan. A wide range of traditional competitions like ‘Camel Beauty Contests’, horse dances, camel dances etc. The festival marks excellent performances by musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians and other entertainers demonstrating the diverse beauty of India. Some of the main activities in Pushkar Mela that one shouldn’t miss are temple dancing, folk and classical music and arts and crafts bazaar. There are also folk performances, cultural shows, musical theatrics, fusion concerts, acrobatics, ancient magic tricks and lots of other activities that bring out the spirit of Rajasthan
4) A special mention of the opportunity that foreign tourists get to participate in traditional contests like Indian Bride & groom, moustache competition, Langri taang, matka phod, satolia etc. They also get to compete in some contemporary sports like football & cricket. Last year in fact had a “Lagaan” movie style cricket match which had the local team dress up in traditional rural attire as in the movie. The local team won on better performance.Also this is the only kind of its destination in India that has hot air balloon flights as a unique experience
5) The landscapes of Rajasthan never fails to amaze people. Tourists love doing sunset camel safaris and jeep safaris. Staying at Pushkar offers an opportunity for international tourists to soak the rich and profound culture and tradition of Rajasthan.
6) Pushkar is an excellent option for people who love to eat. There is a wide range of cafes and eateries that offer cuisines like Italian, Spanish and Israeli. Famous cafes include sunset café, pink Floyd café.
Foreign tourists love to savour the famous delicacies like kachoris, maalpuas & lassi. The cafes and restaurants here offer a friendly and relaxed atmosphere.
7) International travellers also love to check out the exquisite handicrafts that are exhibited at the Pushkar fare. Be it clothes, jewellery or souvenirs.
8) Last but not the least, the easy connectivity and accessibility of Pushkar makes it a preferred destination. The town is easily connected by road through Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. The closest airport is the Jaipur International Airport located in Jaipur which is 150 kilometer from Pushkar. Buses and taxis can be used for this part.
Ajmer is the closest major railway station is which is approximately 20 km from Pushkar and there are regular trains passing through the township from/to various large cities of India.