Pushkar’s Camel Fair is like no other! For about ten days prior to the full moon in either late October or early November, the holy town of Pushkar in India is overrun with camels, horses, cattle and people.

The official programme for the fair runs for seven days but for the local farmers, the most important days are those before the fair officially starts when trading of their live stock takes place. For many weeks camel teams can be seen on the road all  heading to Pushkar.
Our first foray into the area where the farmers gathered was by cart…sitting on rugs and cushions on the back of an open cart. Nothing as fancy as this one…
Cart at Pushkar Camel fair
We passed makeshift camps that had been set up. The women were busy with their house hold chores whilst their children ran around enjoying the freedom. The men had business to discuss!
Local tents at Pushkar Camel fair
Over the next few days,  we wandered around the camp. Camels were decorated and looking their best, horses were being ridden at break neck speeds along a small track to check their speed and the cattle were munching quietly, oblivious to all that was happening around them.
Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Camel Fair  

Camels at Pushkar
Camels waiting for their big moment

Groups of men squatted in front of their tents, huddled in discussion.

Wheeling and dealing at Pushkar
Wheeling and dealing at Pushkar

Others wandered, ever on the look out for that bargain!

Faces in the crowd at Pushkar
Faces in the crowd at Pushkar

For those not interested in the camel trading, there was all the fun of the fair. Families flocked to the fair stalls that lined a makeshift street along with stalls selling cheap plastic toys and camel decorations.  The fair ground entertainment included riding competitions and a best dressed camel competition.

Camel decorations at Pushkar
Camel decorations
Best dressed camel competition, Pushkar
An entrant in the best dressed camel competition

It’s a busy time of the year for this small religious town. Hotel groups build tented camps for their clients…some very luxurious and the Pushkar Palace Hotel on the lake is booked a year in advance. This is the place to stay with its stunning views of the lake. Lake Pushkar is sacred to the Hindus. Temples and bathing ghats surround the lake and it is here that pujas (prayers) are offered.

Pushkar Lake
Lake Pushkar
The view from the Pushkar Palace Hotel
The view from the Pushkar Palace Hotel

Commercially it is a busy time too. The markets, shops and restaurants in the town are busy.

The busy streets of Pushkar
The busy streets of Pushkar
The busy streets of Pushkar
Street scenes
Market days at Pushkar
LImes for sale at the market
Women in the Market at Pushkar
Women in the market
In the streets of Pushkar
The boys out on the town!

Pushkar is one of the highlights of a trip to Rajasthan. Time your visit so you too can enjoy all the fun of the fair!
Have you been to the Pushkar Camel Fair?
Other articles you may enjoy:
Romantic Udaipur
The Dhobi Ghats of Mumbai
Bukhara Restaurant in Delhi
The Faded Frescoes of the Shekawati