Pushkar Fair : Guide to the Iconic Festival in Rajasthan

Pushkar Fair is an annual livestock and camel fair held in Pushkar town, which is located in the Ajmer district of the western Indian state of Rajasthan. The fair spans over seven days and it is one of the biggest animal fairs in the world. Pushkar, situated on the banks of holy Pushkar Lake, holds significance as a holy Hindu pilgrimage as well. According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Brahma performed penance in the holy city of Pushkar. Pushkar is the one of the few cities in India which has a temple dedicated to Lord Brahma.

When is it happening?

Devotees flock to the holy city Pushkar in the ‘Kartik’, a month according to Hindu calender which usually falls around late October and early November. This is also the time when Pushkar Fair is held in th town, with lakhs of tourists and devotees flocking to the town. The Pushkar Fair is scheduled to be held from 30th October to 6th November this year, and over the years it has become extremely popular even among the foreign tourists.

What is it all about?

The Pushkar Fair is not only known for the camel and livestocks but for various other cultural and sports programmes. You will get to watch camel race, participate in the tug-of-war and be a spectator to the various exhibitions.

A special event for the foreign tourists is oraganised in which the foreign tourists are pitted against each other in tying turbans. If you thought that India is not good in sports, correct yourself! – Yes, the foreign tourists are pitted against the locals in a Kabbadi match, a traditional Indian sport; and there are no prizes for guessing who wins the match 🙂

Kabaddi Match during Pushkar Fair
Kabaddi Match during Pushkar Fair | Image Credits : RTW_Phil

If you are planning to visit Pushkar more for watching the camels than ending up on the losing side in a Kabbadi game 😉 , you must visit the town a week before the main fair. The buying and selling of camels takes place a week ahead of the fair and many of the traders head home after the trade. Hence, make a visit to Pushkar a week before and you would get to see a sea of camels. After the main event begins, the camels move to the outer and the various cultural extravaganza take the centre stage at the Pushkar Fair. The moustache contests have gained immense popularity over the years.

Pushkar Fair Moustache Competition Winner
Pushkar Fair Moustache Competition Winner| Credits : Massimiliano Raposio
Pushkar-fair-moustache-competition
Owner’s Pride | Image by Swati Kulkarni

Accommodation Tip

If you are planning to visit the Pushkar fair, do arrange for your accommodation well in advance as you would end up paying upto ten times the actual amount on accommodation, if you look for a room during the Pushkar Fair. You would also get some options if you look for a hotel room well in advance; ranging from the budget to the star hotels. Whereas, you may not get good deals on accommodation if you are a backpacker, during the Fair.

So, this November, go out there and visit the Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan where the Golden Desert is ready to welcome you!

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