12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year!

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Renowned worldwide for Pushkar mela, this tiny town, with its white buildings and serene lake, shines like a pearl in Rajasthan's crown. The significance of Pushkar can be traced back to over 2,000 years when it was revered as the city whose lake washes sins and cures terminal diseases.

Pushkar also hosts a massive livestock fair where people from all over the country gather to buy-sell camels, sheep and cattle, known as the Pushkar Mela. But this fair, with years, has grown into a massive congregation which displays Rajasthan's unique craftsmanship, colourful culture and one of a kind love for celebration. Visiting the Pushkar Camel Fair should be on the bucket list of everyone, but if you haven't given it a single thought till now, here are 10 reasons why should.

1. Witness the trading of camels as it was a hundred years ago.

Cattle trading is an age old practice which has brought together different communities for a single purpose, to earn livelihood. Hundreds and thousands of camel and cattle owners gather around the Pushkar lake to trade their livestock. This phenomenon of the event is what gave it the name, Pushkar Camel Fair. It's fascinating and thrilling to observe given the energy of the people and the whole vibe in the air.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 1/12 by Sreshti Verma
Credits: Swati Saxena

Pro Tip: If you want to see the massive gathering of camels and the real trade then wake up at the crack of dawn and head towards the sand dunes.

2. Get an aerial view of the glistening city from a hot air balloon.

Imagine watching thousands of people turn into tiny beings as you float higher and higher on a surreal hot air balloon ride. This experience and its awe-someness gets multiplied during the Pushkar Mela when you get to observe the town glistening from a far off distance.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 2/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: If you are going as far as Pushkar then you NEED to take the once in a lifetimes experience of a hot air balloon ride.

3. Watch the calm Pushkar Lake transform into Hinduism's holiest pool.

The Pushkar Mela is celebrated for seven days, from Kartik Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima. The full moon night of the Hindu month of Kartik is considered so auspicious that according to scriptures, this is the day when god Brahma sprung up the Pushkar Lake and 330 million gods and goddesses came to bath it. Since then, for centuries, people gather to take a dip in the Pushkar Lake, during the Pushkar Fair on the full moon night, to wash their sins and be closer to gods.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 3/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: This is the event which attracts MOST number of people. If you are traveling specifically for the Kartik Poornima then book your hotel in advance since it will be nearly impossible to get a room on the spot.

4. Attend concerts of India's most famous fusion bands.

Along with the livestock trading and display of craftsmanship, the Rajasthan government makes an effort to entertain the crowd with some really awesome fusion bands. Last year Indian Ocean lit up the stage and this year for 2016, Prem Joshua & Band and more are set to perform.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 4/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: There is no entry fee for the concert. The positions are taken on first-come-first basis. So be there ahead of time to get a good spot with a great view.

5. Participate in (or just be in awe of) the most fascinating competitions.

The Pushkar Mela grounds host all sorts of competitions which involve showing-off and winning of the most gorgeous candidate. This goes for camels, moustaches, stunts, even brides and grooms. Rajasthan takes pride in its glorious moustaches and colorful culture. A display of your well pampered moustache that can win you a lot of respect and recognition. Whereas in the Bride and Groom Competition Men and women dress in wedding attire and compete for the title for the best dressed.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 5/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: You can definitely take part in this competition, but remember that the best moustache holders from all over Rajasthan are going to be your competition. So you better start preparing right now.

6. Get a dose of glamorous camping with all the fun and no fuss.

There are many ways to spend your nights in Pushkar. From budget hotels, backpacking hostels, dingy heritage houses to luxury camps. Staying at camps, with hills of the Aravalli ranges on one side and with vast open countryside of rural Rajasthan on another is an experience worth going slightly off your budget. For those who are not comfortable with old-school camping style, definitely opt for a luxury alternative. Pushkar is known for its amazing luxury camps which offer every known facility but with a rustic touch.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 6/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: The Sky Waltz Camp at Pushkar sets up high end luxury tents with great food, away from the hustle bustle of the teeming crowds. They even provide adventure activities like paragliding and will also arrange pick and drop service with an access to the exclusive hospitality zone at the Mela ground.

7. Experience the beauty of Rajasthani art at Shilpgram.

The Pushkar Fair attracts the best of India's craftsmen. Gathered in Shilpgram are many rural artisan communities who are the heart of Rajasthani culture. The Shilpgram is an initiative by the Rajasthan Government to promote local arts and artisans. Situated near the mela grounds, Shilpgram invites craftsmen to set up permanent and makeshift stalls which sell everything from paintings and leather ware to puppets and jewellery.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 7/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: Given the massive number of people at the fair, you will be spoilt for choice but whatever you buy will feed the fading tribe of craftsmen in Rajasthan. Make sure to bring a souvenir!

8. Watch the sun set into the Pushkar Lake with a thousand devotees.

The Pushkar Lake is one of the most revered water bodies in Indian mythology. Its mention can be found in 4th century coins and inscribed on 2ndh century Stupas. This shows that the lake was a pilgrimage thousands of years ago and though it didn't lie on the trade route, Greek, Chinese, Persian and Mughal travellers found their way to this revered site. The lake looks divine when the sun sets on its horizon. Lit golden with the last orange rays, people travel long distances to get a glimpse of it. And during the Pushkar Fair, this entire landscape is dotted with numerous devotees and tourists alike.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 8/12 by Sreshti Verma
Credits: jatin Jindal

Pro Tip: There is a popular sunset point in Pushkar, you can find its way through the Brahma Temple. Many devotees also make it to the point to take a dip during the Kartik Purnima, but the sight is worth the effort.

9. Run a marathon and fly kites at Pushkar Mela's first ever events.

The Harmony Marathon is a 14 km run from Ajmer Sharif to Brahma Temple. Taking place for the first time ever in Pushkar Mela, the marathon is aimed at celebrating the uniqueness and oneness of the incredible state of Rajasthan. Another such event is the Pushkar ki Patang - Kite flying competition and contest where ace kite-flyers will display their skill at 'patangbazi'. Local kite makers from all around India will also be seen here with beautiful, intricately crafted and unique kites.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 9/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: The Pushkar ki Patang will take place on the Day 4 (11th November) at 11:30 am in the fair grounds. The Harmony Marathon starts from Ajmer Sharif at 6 am on 14th November.

10. Get a high power dose of thrill and adrenaline.

Pushkar Mela provides a melange of activities for all types of travelers. If you are an adrenaline junkie, choose from a range of rides on adventure bikes or zip through the Pushkar skyline on a para-motor craft. For those who prefer a slightly gentle route, can sway into the Pushkar sun set on a picturesque camel safari.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 10/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: Contact numbers of service providers are available at the local tourism office close to the Mela ground or can be easily found on the program pamphlets and flyers.

11. Watch the nation's favorite cricket match of 'Lagaan'.

Locals and a group of foreigners are going the length in showcasing their love for cricket. The two teams will be dressed in full 'Lagaan' costumes to recreate a cricket match. Once in costume, the teams will play a very real cricket match (not scripted) and you will get to root for real! This match takes place on the 5th Day at around 1:00 pm.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 11/12 by Sreshti Verma
Credits: Trigon Films

Pro Tip: For those who prefer other sport there is loads of action like kabaddi, volleyball, Langri taang, matka phore and more. Don’t miss the foreign participation which happens with a lot of zest!!

12. Dive into the best of Pushkar's food (including Italian, Lebanese etc cuisines).

The cafe culture of Pushkar will take you by surprise but the most decadent discovery will be the authentic and affordable Daal Bhaati Churma. Though everything at the fair will be double its price, but the food there is definitely worth each penny since all cooks and shop-owners are eager to impress.

Photo of 12 Reasons Why You Can't Miss The Pushkar Mela This Year! 12/12 by Sreshti Verma

Pro Tip: Check out Funkey Monkey Cafe, Nirvana Cafe, Kabir Cafe for the not-so local food. Kumavat Bhojnalayae is most popular for its Daal Bhaati.

Pushkar Mela 2017

23 October – 4 November

So, when are you going?

4 Comment(s)
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Pushkar is one of the oldest existing cities of India. It lies on the shore of Pushkar Lake. The date of its actual origin is not known, but legend associates Brahma with its creation. The tiny town of Pushkar with its white buildings and serene lake shines like a pearl in Rajasthan's crown. The significance of Pushkar can be traced back to over 2,000 years when it was revered as the city whose lake washes sins and cures terminal diseases. Visiting the Pushkar Mela 2016 should be on the bucket list of everyone, but mine top 7 reasons are. #ChaloPushkar 1. Witness the trading of camels as it was a hundred years ago. 2. Get an aerial view of the glistening city from a hot air balloon. 3. Watch the calm Pushkar Lake transform into Hinduism's holiest pool. 4. Experience the beauty of Rajasthani art at Shilpgram. 5. Watch the sun set into the Pushkar Lake with a thousand devotees. 6. Run a marathon and fly kites at Pushkar Mela's first ever events. 7. Dive into the best of Pushkar's food
Mon 11 07 16, 03:12 · Reply · Report
Hey, it's such a nice piece abt Pushkar! Although my roots are from Rajasthan but have never visited this festival.. Shall definitely make it this time, thanks to ur story :) Guys, anyone interested? I'm from Mumbai, so can plan together... Maybe a road trip!
Thu 08 18 16, 08:15 · Reply · Report
Quite comprehensive..but i guess u forgot to mention the weed culture of the place..
Sun 08 14 16, 03:28 · Reply · Report
Hello, I belongs to Ajmer which is around 15 Km far from Pushkar. I have visited this place many time and loved it. I regret not visiting this place in evening to see the beautiful sunshine. One more thing about Pushkar is that the lake is complete mess and full of polluted. Apart from that the market is very good. Bramha temple and that outside food is delicious. Thanks for sharing this wonderful information as i will visit pushkar in camel festival later this year.
Sat 08 13 16, 03:34 · Reply · Report