(Last Updated on : 12-09-2015)
One of the most popular and colorful fairs of the 'Thar' desert of Rajasthan is the Pushkar fair which is held in Pushkar, the quiet little town of eastern Rajasthan and is located 13 km from Ajmer, on the edge of a small and beautiful lake. The fair begins on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi and goes on for five days till Kartik Purnima. The time of the fair coincides with the bright half of the moon during the months of October-November.
Pushkar fair is associated with the world's largest fair where craft on decorative items to utilitarian items, to jewelry to household items. The fair showcases textiles printed in Ajmer and Jodhpur, bead necklaces of Nagaur, woollen blankets of Merta, brassware of Jodhpur and Jaipur, saddles, ropes, and many others assorted household items. Cultural shows, competitions and exhibitions are organized and movies are shown to enliven the event of the Pushkar fair. The fair authority arranges programmes on songs and poems and bards that recite tales of valor, romance and heroism of bygone days.
A very important part of the Pushkar fair is that it promotes the trades along with creating a pleasing atmosphere of frolic and recreation. The camel fair and camel, horse and donkey races are the featured events of the fair. This fair is considered as the centre of mass trading of camels. Being the centre of animal fair, Pushkar fair trades cattle and other livestock, but its camels hold center stage at Pushkar. Over 25,000 camels (on the conservative side) are traded; making the Pushkar fair as world's largest camel fair of the country. An interesting event that attracts attention of the local people as well as the tourists is the camel beauty contest, where they are adorned and paraded. Camels at the Pushkar fair are decorated with great care. The camels are adorned with jewelry of silver, beads, silver bells and bangles around their ankles. An interesting ritual is the piercing of a camel's nose. The twelve days Pushkar fair also allows the vendors to flog their dazzling range of wares at hundreds of roadside stalls. Small groups of men and women can be seen tatooing names and pictures on their hands and other parts of the body.
The Pushkar fair is not only a gathering of fun and frolic but it encourages the craftsmen to showcase their creativity, culture and folk tradition in front of the native as well as the people from abroad. Moreover, Pushkar fair plays a significant role in enhancing the travel and tourism trade of India.