(Last Updated on : 27/11/2014)
The Pushkar Fair, or Pushkar ka Mela, the worlds largest camel
fair, is an annual fair held in the holy town of Pushkar
in Rajasthan state of India
. It is celebrated on Kartika Purnima during October- November for twelve days. The festival at Pushkar goes on for a whole week and attracts great crowds, particularly from Rajasthan.
Mythological Story of Pushkar Mela
, the Creator, was cursed by Shiva
not to be worshipped. Though there is no cult of Brahma, he is invoked in all the major and minor sacred ceremonies. And Pushkar is the only place in India where Brahma is worshipped in a living shrine. The Pushkar Lake
is believed to have had a miraculous origin. According to a legend, a demon called Vajra Nabha, living at Pushkar had killed the children of Brahma. In revenge, Brahma killed him with a lotus
stalk. As he did so, petals from the lotus flower
fell at three places in Pushkar where three lakes arose, Jyeshtha the main one, Madhyama the middle one and Kanishtha, the third one.
Brahma decided to perform the Yajna
at Pushkar on Kartika Purnima. He invited devas and the sages. All was set for the worship and the auspicious hour was drawing near but there was no sign of Brahma's wife, Savitri. Brahma was growing nervous and repeatedly sent for her but did not arrive on time. A religious ceremony could not be performed without a wife. Fearing that the auspicious hour would soon be over, he quickly married a local girl Gayatri, who was grazing her cattle nearby. The Yajna was in full swing when Savitri arrived for the ceremony. Seeing another woman in her place, Savitri flew into a rage and cursed all devas and sages present at the ceremony. She left for her hilltop shrine and it is believed that she has not come down till today. To counteract the effect of the shraap (curse) Brahma, quickly created another goddess
called Shraap-Mohini and asked everyone present to have her darshan, so that they could be freed from Savitri's curse. Shrap-Mohini has a temple
on top of a hill facing that of Savitri.
Attractions of Pushkar Mela
It is mainly a camel fair, where the camels from all over to be sold are brought here. On the main day of the fair, people bathe in the holy Pushkar Lake
and then worship at the temple of Brahma
. Competitions such as the "matka phod", "moustache", and "bridal competition" are the main draws for this fair, which attracts thousands of tourists. Horse and cattle shows are held and is an occasion for vigorous trade in camels, bullocks and horses. This fair also witnesses beautifully attired men and women, singing and dancing, thus the small sleepy village
of Pushkar is suddenly transformed into fairyland, full of colour and music, which is enhanced by the brightest full moon night of the year when Jal puja takes place. In memory of deceased relatives, hundreds of lamps are set afloat after the evening prayers.
Actually, Brahma's idol is there, only because of his wife Gayatri, since she refused to have a shrine dedicated to her, unless Brahma also had his shrine there. A bath in the lake and worship at the temple of Brahma is said to give one salvation. More than 2 lakh people throng to Pushkar during the fair.