The Pushkar Mela held in the city of Pushkar is the world’s largest camel fair that attracts large tourists both national and international.
WORDS BY- SANGEETA S
THE Pushkar Mela is the largest camel fair in the country that is held in Pushkar, Rajasthan each year. Spread over seven days, the fair sees around 50,000 camels assemble at one place. The Mela is celebrated on the occasion of Kartik Purnima which could be anytime between the months of October and November every year.
The Mela also marks huge business value as hundreds of camels are bought, sold and exhibited in this fair. Though the main purpose of this fair is livestock trading, the fair has many other dimensions too. Since lot of tourists from India and across the world come to witness this fair, many Rajasthani and Gujarati traders use this platform to showcase their handicrafts and art like traditional paintings, jewellery, clothes etc. The traders with their local costumes made more colour to the fair with colourful vibrancy and life. Today, the Mela includes several exhibitions, competitions, interesting events, and much more.
The location of the Mela also holds religious value as many visit this place for religious purposes too. As per the mythology, once a swan was released by deities from the heavens with a flower in its beak. Lord Brahma performed a yagna where the swan dropped the flower and the place came to be known as Pushkar. The place became a sacred place for Hindus and during the fair, the devotees take a dip in the Pushkar Lake. The fair serves a dual purpose where people enjoy the festivities, pay homage to the religious city and also experience the uniqueness of this fair.
There are about 400 temples in the town of Pushkar.
The fair has a global appeal with tourists from all over the world coming to experience this unique fair which is one of its kind. Tourists love the local costumes and many even wear the local costumes to get the complete local feel of the place. The city of Pushkar starts getting ready for the fair at least 10 days before the fair begins. Traders can be seen in the city setting up their tents or arranging for a place to stay. They even make their camels ‘sale ready’ by painting them with vibrant colours and beautifying them so that they can attract the best buyers. The Mela starts with a camel race which is worth witnessing. The fair ends with a ceremony called Deepdan where several clay lamps are lit.
Other Highlights of the Pushkar Mela
HARMONY HALF MARATHON – The run starts from Dargah Ajmer Sharif and ends at the Pushkar Stadium Ground
HANDICRAFTS – You can buy an array of good quality local handicrafts and arts
HOT AIR BALLOONING – Enjoy hot air ballooning over the Mela GLAMPING – At Pushkar, the glamping experience is unique