Throughout most of the year, Pushkar appears to be just
another tranquil little town along the Thar Desert, but for one week
every fall it comes alive in a festival of sights and sounds unlike
anywhere else. The Pushkar Fair originated as a festival to honor Lord
Brahma, creator god of the Hindu religion, since Pushkar is the site of
the only pilgrimage shrine in all of India dedicated to Brahma. Today,
the fair is a major cultural event and attendants include musicians,
holy men, performers, merchants and, of course, tourists.
Upon joining the fair, you will find yourself surrounded by
the experiences and wonders of another world. Camels, one of the centers
of the festivities, participate in thrilling desert races and are
specially adorned and paraded around for a beauty contest. Amidst the
celebration, religious devotees gather to bathe in the sacred waters of
Pushkar Lake to wash away their sins. On the night of the full moon, tiny
leaf boats are set afloat on the lake’s surface, each lit with a small
candle, creating an amazing spectacle of moving, floating stars.
Perhaps the most famous aspect of the fair is the trading
and shopping. Horses, goats, sheep and especially camels parade about
everywhere as deals are discovered and negotiations are made. Jewelry and
crafts are abundant as well. Beaded necklaces, silver ornaments, clothing
and pottery are just a few of the offerings that will delight consumers of
all kinds. Although alcohol and meat-dishes are prohibited, the vast array
of food and drink available will ensure that you will never miss them.