Pushkar Camel Fair 2023, also known as Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Mela, is one of the most vibrant and culturally rich festivals in India. Held in the quaint temple town of Pushkar, Rajasthan, this nine-day extravaganza is a celebration of tradition, spirituality, and the unique culture of the desert state. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the important details, historical significance, main attractions, and things to do at Pushkar Fair 2023.
Dates and Location
Pushkar Fair 2023 is scheduled to take place from 20th November 2023 to 28th November 2023. The town of Pushkar is situated just 15 kilometers away from Ajmer, making it easily accessible for travelers. For those coming from distant places, Ajmer Junction is the nearest railway station, located 14 kilometers away. If you prefer air travel, Kishangarh Airport (46 kilometers) and Jaipur International Airport (151 kilometers) are the closest options.
Why is Pushkar Mela Celebrated?
Pushkar Fair is a grand celebration that revolves around the auspicious occasion of Karthik Purnima. This full moon day holds immense significance in Hindu culture, as it is believed to be a time to cleanse one’s sins and make wishes. The fair extends over nine days, with the first eight dedicated to various competitions, cultural performances, and trading activities, while the ninth day is reserved for religious ceremonies.
According to folklore, on the full moon night of the Karthik month, all 330 million Hindu Gods and Goddesses descended upon Pushkar Lake to bless devotees. This spiritual gathering has made Pushkar Fair a pilgrimage site, attracting visitors from across the globe.
Besides its religious roots, the Pushkar Fair was initially conceived as a commercial event to bring traders together. Over the years, it evolved into a major tourist attraction, showcasing the rich culture of Rajasthan. The fair features talented artists from around the world, including magicians, dancers, and snake charmers, who entertain the crowd with their mesmerizing skills.
Main Attractions at Pushkar Mela
- Camel Shows: With over 25,000 camels traded annually, Pushkar Fair is rightfully known as the Pushkar Camel Fair. The event features stunning camel shows, including camel dances, parades, beauty pageants, and auctions. The adorned camels are a sight to behold, dressed in colorful attire, adorned with jewelry, silver bells, and bangles.
- Cattle Fair: In addition to camels, cattle owners from the region dress up their cows, horses, goats, and sheep in vibrant clothing and bring them to the fair for trading. Cattle trading was one of the fair’s primary purposes in its early days.
- Cultural Performances: Pushkar Fair is renowned for hosting a variety of cultural performances, such as folk dances, acrobatics, matka phod competitions, and bride and groom contests. Artists from across the country come to showcase their talents, creating a vibrant cultural tapestry.
- Moustache Competition: Growing long and thick moustaches is a matter of pride for Rajasthani men. The fair organizes a moustache competition that attracts participants in large numbers.
- Souvenirs: The colorful stalls at Pushkar Fair offer a wide range of local products, including Rajasthani garments, bags, jewelry, brassware, toys, decorative items, and handicrafts. Camel souvenirs, in particular, are popular among tourists.
- Religious Activities: Devotees engage in various religious activities, such as taking a dip in Pushkar Lake, participating in Maha Aarti, and performing rituals like Deepandaan and Pushkar Abhishek.
- Other Activities: The fair offers an array of entertainment options, including magic shows, turban tying and tilak contests, tug of war, live music performances, carousel rides, and various interesting activities and competitions.
Things to Do at Pushkar Mela
While visiting Pushkar Fair, you can enhance your experience with the following activities:
- Desert Camping or Glamping: Experience the enchantment of Pushkar Mela by indulging in desert camping or glamping. Luxury tents with all the comforts are available, allowing you to enjoy the vast desert under the full moon.
- Camel Safari: Explore the mesmerizing desert landscapes with a camel safari. Witness breathtaking sunrises and sunsets as you traverse the rolling dunes.
- Hot Air Balloon Ride: For thrill-seekers, a hot air balloon ride offers panoramic views of Pushkar and its surroundings. It’s an experience you won’t forget.
- Harmony Half Marathon: Join the locals and tourists in the Harmony Half Marathon, a 14-kilometer run from Dargah Ajmer Sharif to Pushkar Stadium Ground. It’s a thrilling event for running enthusiasts.
- Take a Dip in Pushkar Lake: Visit the holy Pushkar Lake and take a dip during Karthik Purnima. It is believed to lead devotees to a path of salvation and purification.
- Indulge in Rajasthani Food: Savor a diverse range of cuisines at the fair, including Indian, Italian, Chinese, and Lebanese. Don’t miss the delectable Rajasthani dishes, such as Dal Baati Churma.
- Handicrafts Shopping: Explore makeshift stalls where craftsmen offer intricately designed products, from patchwork garments and Rajasthani footwear to printed textiles and silver jewelry. These make excellent souvenirs and gifts.
Interesting Facts about Pushkar Mela
- The fair attracts over 200,000 people from around the world each year.
- Pushkar boasts approximately 400 temples and 52 ghats around Pushkar Lake.
- Taking a bath in Pushkar Lake during Karthik Purnima is believed to have curative properties for skin diseases and bodily ailments.
- Horses at the fair are more expensive than camels.
- The camels at Pushkar Fair are adorned with clothes, jewelry, silver bells, and bangles, parading them for all to see.
- The historical town of Pushkar is associated with the remains of Mohenjo-Daro, the largest settlement of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization.
Pushkar Fair is a spectacle that showcases the vibrant culture of Rajasthan, attracting visitors of all ages. If you plan to visit Pushkar Fair 2023, it’s advisable to book your accommodations well in advance, as the town experiences a significant influx of tourists during the festival.
Have you already experienced the magic of Pushkar Fair? Share your thoughts and memories with us in the comments below. Travelers from all over the world converge at this cultural crossroads to witness the colorful traditions and festivities that define Pushkar Fair.
Suggested Tour Itinerary for Pushkar Fair
5 Days Pushkar Fair Trip:
- Day 01: Arrival at Delhi to Jaipur
- Day 02: Jaipur – Pushkar Fair
- Day 03: Pushkar Sightseeing
- Day 04: Pushkar – Jaipur
- Day 05: Jaipur – Delhi (Drop)
8 Days Pushkar Fair Trip:
- Day 01: Arrive in Delhi. Visit heritage places in Delhi.
- Day 02: Drive from Delhi to Mandawa.
- Day 03: Visit heritage places in Mandawa.
- Day 04: Drive from Mandawa to Pushkar. Later, visit heritage places in Pushkar.
- Day 05: Drive from Pushkar to Jaipur. Visit heritage places in Jaipur.
- Day 06: From Jaipur to Fatehpur Sikri to Agra.
- Day 07: Visit heritage places in Agra.
- Day 08: Drive from Agra to Delhi.
Celebration of the Pushkar Festival
This festival is celebrated in the month of November every year, although it may commence in October according to the Hindu calendar. Typically, it takes place in the first week of November.
- Q. What is the best time to visit Pushkar?
A. The best time to visit Pushkar is October and November.
- Q. What to wear in Pushkar Mela?
A. The traditional attire for Pushkar Mela is ‘Ghaghra’ and ‘Lehenga’ for women and ‘Dhoti-Kurta’ for men.
- Q. How many nights in Pushkar are enough?
A. Two nights are enough to explore Pushkar Mela.
- Q. Which is the biggest fair in Rajasthan?
A. Pushkar Fair is considered to be the biggest fair in Rajasthan.
- Q. Which day is best to visit the Pushkar Camel Fair?
A. Kartik Poornima is the full moon day and the main day of the fair, with hundreds of Hindus bathing in Pushkar’s holy lake.
- Q. Can we see the desert in Pushkar?
A. Yes, you can explore the desert in Pushkar with breathtaking views of sand dunes, particularly through desert safaris.
Pushkar Fair 2023 promises to be an unforgettable experience, with a perfect blend of tradition, culture, spirituality, and entertainment. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the magic of this grand event in the heart of Rajasthan.