Monday 26 February 2018

Markets and Melas of India #1 Pushkar

 Pushkar, The City of Camel Fair

To the east of the mighty Aravalli range, lies the historical temple town of Pushkar. The great Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha have a vivid mention about this town. Some historians claim that the town of Pushkar has even existed in the first millennium, however the earlier available mentions about the town is found only in the Islamic texts. This little town of the Indian State, Rajasthan is known for its grand camel fair that attracts more than 2 lakh visitors every year.

The Hindu month of Karthik marks the beginning of this largest ever livestock fair of India. The month of Karthik or Karthigai generally overlaps with the October and November months of the Gregarion calendar. The Pushkar Fair, otherwise called the Pushkar Camel Fair, or Pushkar Mela, is a rich and lively show of exceptional exhibitions, energizing competitions and intriguing occasions. Stretching out to seven days, this yearly camel and domesticated animal fair, held in the town of Pushkar during the months of October and November, draws a wide range of visitors. Also, this fair is eminent for being one of the world's biggest livestock fairs.

Apart from its festive slant, this great occasion in addition has its own religious connotation. Throughout the years, the fair has discovered a fair specify in the tourism industry of Rajasthan and in the tourism industry of South Asia, at large.

A Brief History of Pushkar Mela

As per the Puranas, all the 330 divine beings gathered at the mighty lake of Pushkar upon the arrival of Purnima/Pournami (Full Moon) to sanctify and consecrate the lake. This is the means by which the lake came to be considered as holy. This is the reason  for a titanic immigration at the Pushkar Lake for the holy bath to wash away their wrongdoings and offer their prayers at the Brahma Temple. It is noteworthy to mention that only a handful of temples in India are dedicated to the God of Creation, Brahma. Furthermore, the waters of this mighty lake are believed to possess the properties of healing and rejuvenating. Pushkar has also got a mention in the great Indian epic of Mahabharata. Other than this, it has also been alluded to in the Hindu sacred texts as one of the five holy towns.

When and Where?

As the name suggests, Pushkar Camel Fair, or Pushkar Mela, as it's usually known, is held over a time of seven days in the town of Pushkar, which lies in the Ajmer region of Rajasthan. The Pushkar Mela is praised between the long stretches of October and November on the event of the blessed Kartik Purnima. This year it will be begin from fifteenth November - 23 Novermber 2018 on the propitious day of full moon in Kartik month.

In spite of the fact that the Pushkar Mela is essentially held to exhibit the livestock of the fertile Indo-Gangetic plains, there are different events and highlights which are the outlandish features of this fair. These events exalt the whole experience of the fair by blessing the tourists with some dazzling nodes in their memory. 

Highlights of the Mela

There is the elevated sitting arrangement, which enables the people to be situated in an extraordinarily outlined gallery view furnished with all the advanced amenities. The inaugural function, of the mela is itself a great occasion. It's set apart by many camels decorated brightly and stallions mounted by riders clad in dynamic customary Rajasthani sartorial.

The camps of the Pushkar mela join the delights of outdoors in the midst of extravagance. A case of this is the risen convenience at the Sky Waltz Camp which offers a choice of AC and cooled and non-AC options of glamping stay in Pushkar Fair. The other momentous allure is the dazzling exhibitions by famous combination maestros from around the globe. 

One can likewise enjoy the hot air ballons at the Pushkar Fair. Watching the buzzing movements from the sky gives a memorable experience. This exhilarating and thrilling activity is one of the top most priorities to most of the visitors of Pushkar Fair. Further, combined with this amazing experience, one can likewise enjoy various adventurous activities like paramotors, quad biking and horse riding, among others.

Camel and Livestock Fair
Obviously, there is the camel and cattle fair, which is one of the major highlights of Pushkar Festival, Rajasthan. The visitors will be able to witness the owners of camels, cows, oxen, bulls and other livestock adored with vibrant clothing to be sold and bought.

Religious Gatherings 
In any case, it must be recollected that this mela has a concrete religious affiliation with it as well. This is too the time when a large number of devotees visit the lake to commemorate the religious and the spiritual importance of this might little town of Rajasthan.

Delightful Handicrafts

One should also try to visit the acclaimed Pushkar Mela for bringing home with some of the delightful handicrafts of Rajasthan and Northern India. Amid the occasion, various stalls and pushcarts are established to offer an assortment of goods from saddle straps, saddles and beads to strings of cowries. The fair is also attended by a large number of women who culminate their yatra with purchases of traditional silver ornaments, bead necklaces from Nagpur, garments of patchwork, printed textiles from Ajmer and traditional footwear, besides others. 

Pushkar is surrounded by enormous number of tourist destinations like Jaipur, Ajmer, Khimsar and is dotted with the marvelous fort of Taregarh and the mighty lakes of Savitri and Anasagar. Visiting Pushkar during the months of October-November will be blessing one with abundant memories of this mela, which attracts more than lakh of visitors every year.

Reaching Pushkar
By Air: Sanganer airport in Jaipur is the nearest airport to Pushkar, at a distance of 146km. From there, one can hire taxis or private vehicles to reach Pushkar.
By Train: Pushkar Terminus Railway Station, which has been in operation since 2012, is connected to Ajmer railway station, located at a distance of 11km.
By Road: Pushkar is well connected to the national highways of Rajasthan. Regular buses ply from Pushkar to the major cities of Jaipur, Jodhpur and Ajmer from the Ajmer bus stand.

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