“Colors, crackers, music and lights, the celebrations are at its heights…”
– Palak Gogia
One symbolic representation comes into our minds when we think of Rajasthan and it is none other than the camel. It is the true origin of deserts and a mascot for the Rajasthanis. It is still a medium of transportation for people of Rajasthan. Not just the state animal, it is also a soul with a bane. It provides employment to many natives who roam around the lanes with Camel to attract numerous visitors and give them a ride. No doubt, people never miss the famous camel ride whenever they visit the state of deserts. With full fun and frolic in the streets of Pushkar, a small town in the district of Ajmer, people adorn the town with vibrant colors, wall decorations, welcome chimes and melodious bells. The ‘Pushkar festival’ usually begins in the month of October and the festivities last for about a week. The residents gather around the most sacred lake: Pushkar Lake and commemorate the day when 330 gods of Hindu Mythology, some centuries ago, had collected at the Pushkar Lake on the night of full moon in the Karthik month to consecrate it. Thus, the lake is being labeled as a ‘sacred’ one now. The water is considered as pure and is believed to wash off all the sins. Because of its popularity amongst the residents, it attracts crowds in thousands and people do have a belief that the sacred water has many healing properties and they come to bathe in this lake to remove all their evils and pay a tribute to their mythological Gods. Just to remember and celebrate the day of its origin, people from all over India still get together around this lake and make the most of this festival.
The Fair is also famous amongst the hoi-polloi because it is one of the largest cattle fairs and is known for the most colorful and vibrant surroundings created all over the town. Camels, in hundreds are assembled together and adorned with jewels and buntings, colorful papers and decorated like a bride. Pushkar Fair or Pushkar Camel fair is known mainly because of the authentic Rajasthani touch attached to it. No wonder, why everyone in and around Ajmer gets excited about it and make all the preparations to rejoice in the week and be pleased about the music and dance events. It is more of a function where all sorts of activities take place. The varied exhibitions of local market stuff and handicraft is one of its kind and is so renowned that tourists specially come and visit this place in this week to buy the unique and intricate stuff prepared by the local residents of Ajmer. Not just the clothes and handicrafts, the exhibition is famous for the most convoluted designs on the leather and cotton which is used for hosiery, jewellery, artistic items and footwear present in the market.
Where you can be delighted about the shopping, there are another highlights about the Pushkar Mela. The dance of contests and singing galas are one of its kind and all the folks interested wait for the day when dances come up. Usually, the dancing rave takes place in the evening when pandals are set up for the visitors to sit and have a look at the artists displaying their talent to the tourists and the locals. The food stalls are also set up and not just the ladies in the town come up with their skills but the men are also equally interested to show-off their flair in cooking the most prevalent delicacies of Rajasthanis. The traditional attire is one more attraction of this festival. People dress up in customary dresses and show-off their festivity by their colorful attires and traditional jewellery.
Not just this showy aspect of the fair, the Mela is also a stark religious affair in Rajasthan. Connected for its secular and spectacular facet, the fair is a huge popular success every year. People put up eatery stalls, artistic stands, apparels booths and earn huge amount of money from the tourists coming in the fair. Due to its high name and fame among the tourists, it even has a mention in the Rajasthan tourism industry.
Once you step into the land of Pushkar, you are open to many other options after having seen this fair. There are many spots worth paying a visit which one should not miss if stepped in Pushkar. The famous and only one of its kind: the famous Pushkar Temple of Lord Brahma has a mythological significance and is a must-to-visit place in Pushkar. The temple is usually open till the evening after which one can make use of its time by seeing the most beautiful sunsets of deserts by the side of lakes.
Savitri Temple, Anasagar Lake are two other major tourist spots in Pushkar and in the nearby town of Ajmer. Also, there is another fabled place to visit if you are in Ajmer. ‘Dargah-Sharif’ is known for its valuable and mythic importance in the lives of the people. They have a belief that no prayers are left unturned if you visit the shrine with true faith. Adding the crux, the Pushkar Mela or Pushkar Camel Mela is worth a visit. Just pack up the bags and turn’s the wheels towards the most attractive fair of the month starting on the 28th of October. Not just the festive value, but even the religious value is too applaudable to not miss it.
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