Location: Pushkar, which is 11 kms away from Ajmer, Rajasthan.
Significance : Hindu pilgrimage site
Time of Celebration : In the month of Kartik that usually falls in October or November.
Excitement, gaiety and a keen sense of competition fill the air as the long journey to Pushkar begins. The only temple dedicated to Lord Brahma (the creator) is located at Pushkar. The Pushkar lake is surrounded by 52 flights of steps called ghats. Legend has it that Lord Vishnu appeared at the Varah ghat in the form of a boar. Brahma took a bath here and performed yagna at the Brahma Ghat accompanied by Vishnu & Mahadev. The ashes of Mahatma Gandhi (Father of the Nation) were immersed at the Gandhi ghat. Pushkar is among the five principal places of Hindu pilgrimage. People consider the water of the Pushkar lake to be very sacred and the ritual of taking dips in the holy water IS believed to bestow salvation. It I s customary to float lighted eastern lamps ed on pattals (plates made of leaves) on the waters of lake.
This creales a spectacular view when the sacred lake takes on a mystical tint sprankled with twinkling spots of light. In conjunction with he religious fair, a cattle fair is also organised. The ancient town of Pushkar is transformed into a spectacular fair ground. The fair grounds reverberate with festivity and woman folk shop for bangles, clothes, utensils, sundry household items & leather goods. The highlight of the Pushkar fair is the trading in camels. The camel, horse & donkey races are events that draw huge attendance. Body tatooing is yet another favourite activity. Come dusk, and the rich strains of haunting music are carried across the desert sands as the merrymaking continues deep into the night.
The well-known and marked with largest participation of all the festivals of Rajasthan, Pushkar is an important pilgrimage as well as the venue of a mammoth cattle fair. Bazaars, auctions, music and sports are highlight of this event. It also offers some of the most exquisite handcrafted items of Rajasthan that are sure to entice you. The festival is well organized with enough arrangement for accommodation in the tents.
The famous Pushkar Fair is a great tourist attraction. People from around the globe come to the ancient religious town of Pushkar which is transformed into a spectacular fair ground in the month of Kartik. People bathe, worship and delight in the dazzling wares of roadside stalls. Camels are bought, sold, beautified, raced and parade. Most unusual are the small groups of men and women seen busy tattooing their hands and other parts of the body.
The fair is predominantly a rural gathering. Villagers come from different parts of the state and bring their cattle with them. On spectacular sanddunes camel, horse and bullock races are great crowd pullers. All roads lead to the lake, which is flooded with pilgrims. The movement of the crowd is like a tide of colour with currents of crimson, yellow and turquoise. Evenings at the Pushkar Fair have their own charm. The silent night is pierced by calls of camels. Ballads are sung by actors in passionate tones. Folk dramas, skits and folk dance are organised for the entertainment of the tourists.
The Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation (RTDC) puts up a tourist village during the fair. The tourist village is self sufficient and specially designed to complement the natural beauty of the site. It has a Coffee Shop and Dining Hall which can cater to 1 500 guests at a time. The village is arranged in blocks of tents, each with its own identity, being named after the famous dances of Rajasthan. The village also has huts with attached western style toilets and running water. One can also stay in Sarovar Hotel, Pushkar and Khadim Tourist Bunglow at Ajmer.