Rajusthani pastoralist preparing his camels for the day at the Pushkar camel and livestock fair which takes place in the Hindu month of Kartik (October / November) ten days after Diwali (Festival of Lights). Pushkar has always been the the region's main market for herdsman and farmers buying and selling camels, horses, indigenous breeds of cattle and even elephants. Over the years this annual trading event has increased in volume to become one of the largest in Asia. Temporary tents and campsites suddenly appear to accomodate the thousands of pilgrims, villagers and tourists. Entertainers and contests abound and a festive funfair atmosphere prevails over Pushkar during the Mela's 2 week duration. Thousands of men come first with their camels, horses and cattle and camp on the dunes to transact business. 3 days before the full moon the women arrive beautifully attired. The town of Pushkar is one of the holiest centers of Hinduism and houses one of the few Brahma Temples in India. It is one of the 5 essential pilgrimage centers which a Hindu must visit in his lifetime along with Badrinath, Puri, Rameshwaram and Dwarka. The 12 day fair culminates in a religious Hindu pilgrimage and reaches a crescendo on the night of the full moon (Purnima) when pilgrims take a dip in the holy lake.
Pushkar, Rajasthan. INDIA