Every year over 11,000 camels, horses, and cattle are brought to Pushkar. It is a small town in Ajmer, Rajasthan. The reason is quite obvious, to be seen and sold. The Pushkar open-air livestock market is held on every November in Pushkar and is one of the world’s largest livestock markets. Owners of ranches come here to buy and sell animals. And at the same time there is a camel festival in here.
I travelled to India in 2008 and am very happy to be able to add this spot to my list of visited places. Remembering Pushkar is the same as remembering colourful and fancy camels in India, amusements of the festivals and a funny story of meeting with a Turkish guy named Alp. I was standing and watching the camels pass when I heard someone from behind “Are you Turkish?” I was shocked to hear someone who speaks Turkish. I was holding a handbag which had some Turkish words on it so Alp saw it and approached to introduce himself. He was working in a company in Gurgaon city which is close to Delhi and he was also there to see the festival, just like me. We chatted for a short while and found out that we have some common friends! I met with him again in Delhi before I fly back. A few years after that we met again in Istanbul and we had also a short trip to Syria together. The world is really a small place for travellers.
The Most Beautiful Camel?
Pushkar Camel Fair is held during the full moon time in the month of Karthik that is the equivalent of parts of October and November. It is one of the largest camel fairs in the world. Around 400.000 people visit the annual five-day camel and livestock fair. Some travel agencies organize tours that include luxury tented accommodation. It may be hard to find accommodation during fair. The hotels’ cleanliness is not so good in India that’s why I used my bed lining all the time when I was there.
Most official events take place at the Mela Ground that is a large stadium. Beside Miss Camel Beauty competition there are horse and camel races, Tug-of-War, traditional rural sports, wrestling, matka phod, turban and longest moustache competitions and displays. Beside the official events, you should also spend some time on the Mela Ground. You may see sellers present their animals to buyers. There are many stalls where you can enjoy delicious and spicy Indian food and buy some colourful handmade jewellery and textiles.
How to Reach Pushkar?
Pushkar itself is a really small town where you go everywhere by walking but to reach Pushkar here are some of the possible alternatives.
By Plane: The nearest airport is Sanganer Airport at Jaipur at distance of 146 km, around 3 hours away.
By Bus: There are direct buses between Pushkar and Ajmer (30 minutes), Jaipur (3 hours ), Udaipur (6 hours), and night buses to Delhi (10 hours)
By Train: Due to its mountainous location, trains to Pushkar are very infrequent and slow. However, the train station in nearby Ajmer provides great connections to most major cities in India such as Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Ahmedabad. From the Ajmer train station, you can either take a taxi to Pushkar (30 minutes) or you take a rickshaw or tuk-tuk to the Ajmer Bus Station and take a bus from there to Pushkar.
Pushkar is only 11 km away from Ajmer.
Keep these in your mind!
- Consumption of liquor and also meat is not allowed in the city. Don’t carry any liquor and meat with you while travelling to Pushkar.
- The whole town is considered to be sacred, so whatever rules that generally apply to places of worship in India, apply to the whole of the town.
- It is advised that men should wear full-length pants and t-shirt / shirt and women wear full-length clothes. Do not wear off-shoulder tops or shorts while roaming within the city.
- Smoking in public is not allowed by law.
- Take off your shoes at stairs if you are going near the lake.
- Do not take photographs of bathers in the lake.
- Suggest you take clean bed lining, insect repellent spray or cream.
Wish you a happy and safe journey to Pushkar India 🙂