Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Colourful Pushkar Camel Fair of Rajasthan

Pushkar is considered as among the five pilgrimages that are highly placed in Hindu religion. According to the legends it is said that when Lord Brahma killed the demon named Vajra Nabh with a lotus flower, the petals of the flower floated down to the earth and landed in three places in and around Pushkar where lakes were formed.

According to the beliefs related to the fair, it is said that on the day of Poornima, all the 330 million deities of Hindu religion come to Pushkar Lake to bless the worshippers. Because of this belief, thousands of devotees gather for a holy dip at the lake on this occasion who consider that their sin will be washed away by doing so and pay their homage at the only Brahma Temple, situated in Pushkar and which is nowhere else in the world.

The Pushkar Camel Fair is truly the world’s biggest camel fair. During this hundreds of stalls are established in this region selling camels, horses, bulls, cows and other cattle. The fair provides perfect circumstances for the commercial growth as well as the religious faith of the people.

This popular fair is celebrated for five days from Kartik Ekadasi to Kartik Poornima. According to Hindu calendar, Kartik Ekadasi is the 11th lunar day in the bright fortnight of the Hindu month of Kartik, and Kartik Poornima is the full moon day or the 15th lunar day of Kartik. Kartik Poornima is considered as the chief day of the Pushkar Fair, as according to the mythology it is believed that  on this day the petals of the lotus flower of Brahma had fallen on to the earth. On this holy day devotees take a bath in the Pushkar Lake to wash away their sins. According to the Georgian calendar this fair falls between the months of October to November.

Activities of the fair
Uncountable numbers of traders gather at this place during this fair. These set their shops which exhibit a wide range of various products like woollen blankets of Merta, bead necklaces of Nagaur, textile printed from Ajmer and Jodhpur, brass ware of Jodhpur and Jaipur and many more. During this fair cultural shows and exhibitions are also organized to add colour to the event. In addition to all these, movies are also shown and competitions are also held where poets recite the tales of heroism of the early days. Animal competitions and many other races are also held which fascinate the tourists.

The fair is initiated with a camel race, which is followed by music, songs and exhibitions. On this fair, one also gets a chance to taste a vast variety of Rajasthani delicacies. Vibrantly dressed villagers singing their folk songs also attract the tourists as they represent the true culture and tradition of Rajasthan. In addition to the wide range of shows exhibited during this fair, puppet shows are also organized, which also forms a unique form of attraction, as the puppet shows are quite rare these days.