The Pushkar Camel Fair

Elvis lives!

Imagine camels as far as the eye can see with their distinctive silhouettes and fancy tetherings in illuminous colours, horses with unusual turned in ears native to these parts and people, people everywhere. Men selling chai, calling out the word in that distinctive tone, women dressed in the most exquisite colourful saris with bangles stretching the full length of their arms and with nose jewellery in the style of ornate gold discs that are larger than most earrings attached by a delicate gold chain to their ears, turbans galore in all shapes, twists and sizes, contortionists and tight-rope walking minors, sadhus dressed in every shade of orange, smoke and smells from street food stalls and a funfair with no less than 4 ferris wheels. And cows of course, cows of all colours, shapes and sizes roaming free - that's a taste of the Pushkar Camel Fair.

Pushkar Camel Fair happens once a year to coincide with the full moon in October or November, fortunately it fell late this year which meant we arrived in time to experience this incredible spectacle. Around 200,000 people, along with 50,000 camels, cattle and horses descend upon this normally quiet holy village to sell their camels and other livestock, all manner of camel accessories and everything else you can imagine that might sell at a populated fair. Some travel for over 3 weeks on foot with their camels and goods to reach here. The trading happens right at the start of the week which is when we arrived and then when the business is done the fair becomes about the people.

Stoner's corner
Camel accessories
So many people and so many characterful faces, I only managed to catch a few on camera and with hindsight now wonder if I should have handed over the requested 10 rupees almost every time I asked to photograph someone, especially the women who were either very camera shy or tourist-savvy. Duncan and I decided when we got to India that we wouldn't give money to people begging and decided to follow suit when people asked for money for photos, I suppose we believe it then creates expectation for all those who come after us. Fortunately though some people didn't mind their photo being taken, like this nice chap...

We really enjoyed relaxing in Pushkar and spent 5 days here - the longest we've spent in one place yet. It was incredibly busy because of the fair but the hustle and bustle was easy to escape. Pushkar has a peaceful lake, with holy ghats, a lovely place to watch the sunset and the world go by.

At our cute hotel with its very own Indian Basil Fawlty we discovered Bhang Lassi. After a bit of research ie. asking friends who have been to India, we tried a couple, opting for the medium version and very nice it was too. We giggled and felt suitably chilled and ate banana and nutella pancakes when the munchies kicked in.

Next stop, the Blue City of Jodhpur...


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