Rajasthan is famous for its temples, ghats, palaces and an annual five-day fair held in its holy town, Pushkar. This town is a famous pilgrimage center and lies in Ajmer district. This small and peaceful town is known for the first ever Brahma temple in the world. This hamlet has created a place of its own on the map of tourist destinations owing to the brilliance and magnitude of an annual festival called 'Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Mela.' This show facilitates the trading of camel and other livestock. Thousands of national and international tourists attend it every year.
The scale of the celebration of the Pushkar fair is immeasurable. For visitors, it is a first-hand experience to see the colours of Rajasthan and its rich tradition. The princely state has its own charm due to its magnificent palaces and wildlife. On that, the annual fair reflects the vibrancy and spontaneity of its people that leaves a deep imprint in tourists' mind and heart.
The holy town is the oldest in India and is believed to have built by the creator himself. It has a deep religious sentiment. There is a lake near the Brahma temple that is believed to purify the sins. The Hindu scripture states that the lake was created when the petals of the lotus fell in this place during a fight between Brahma and a demon Vajra Nabh.
Significance of Pushkar Fair
The auspicious occasion of the fair is the time when the god and goddess from the heaven descend to this town and bless the lake water. Therefore, thousands of pilgrims come during the festive period to bathe in the lake and pay obeisance to Lord Brahma. For pilgrims, a bath in the holy lake symbolizes washing away their sins.
The town has been mentioned as Adi Tiratha in Hindu scriptures. According of the epic, Ramayana, this was the place where Rishi Vishwamitra meditated for years. The heavenly elf, Menaka took a dip in this lake before proceeding to disrupt Vishwamitra's meditation. Mention about this lake can be found in the Mahabharata as well according to which Maharaj Yudhishthara bathe in this lake after crossing the Sind.
This town is the birthplace of Parasara, the sage. His lineage is still seen here who is known as Parasara Brahmans. The sanctification of the Jeenmata temple is taken care of by this clan for more than ten centuries. The King of Mandore renovated this town in the seventh century.
The fair is a platform for all buyers and sellers for trading livestock. It is the world's biggest fair and thousands of camels are traded in these five days. The owners bathe their pets and adorn them in colourful attires. The first day starts with a camel race. The winners not only bag the prize but also fetch a higher price for its owners. Stalls are full with exquisite handicrafts and artifacts. In addition, the traditional dresses, jewelry, rings, bangles, necklaces, and anklets available for purchase. Fashion freaks can satisfy their desire with printed textile, and silver ornaments. The bead necklaces are quite famous among tourists. Shoppers can spoil themselves by picking varieties of decorative and fashion related items. The best thing about buying these articles from the stalls is that they are not expensive.
Besides camel race, several other competitions make the atmosphere lively. The camel dance and the ramp walk of camels are rare to be seen anywhere in the world. Then there is the mustache, turban and beauty contest of camel that provides excellent entertainment for tourists. Rooster fight is another entertaining activity. Local musicians and dancers are busy entertaining the tourists. To satisfy visitors' taste buds, exquisite cuisines in Rajasthani style are available at the fair. This annual fair provides such a memorable experience to people that it feels like all the beauty and grandeur of the state is served on a single platter.
How to Reach Pushkar?
Pushkar is a home to temples. There are more than 400 temples in this small and peaceful hamlet. Situated at an altitude of 510 meters and 14 km to the northwest of Ajmer, this calm and serene town wakes up from its slumber during the annual camel festival that has become an attraction for world tourists. As the town has earned itself many attractions, the state and central governments of India has taken care that visitors should not face any sort of travel reaching to this place. This pious town is accessible from all the modes of transportation.
One has to alight at the Sanganer Airport in Jaipur that is 146 km from the town. Domestic flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Indore, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Kolkatta ply on this route. The airport also provides landing for international flights.
The Ajmer Railway Station is the closest and 11 km from Pushkar. It connects with every corner of India through rail route.
Pushkar is accessible through all national highways. The Marwar bus stand is the nearest which is 11 km.
The Pushkar Fair is organized to add grandeur to the holy festival held during the Kartik month appearing in October or November. Devotion, fun and frolic, and livestock trading are the highlights of this festival.