Pushkar Fair Introduction :
One of the most popular and colorful fairs of the Thar desert is the Pushkar fair, which begins on Kartik Shukla Ekadashi & goes on for five days till Kartik Purnima. The time of the fair coincides with the bright half of the moon during the months of October-November. The lake at Pushkar is one of the most sacred in India. Lakhs of people from rural India flock to Pushkar, along with Camel and Cattle for several days of live stock trading, horse dealing, pilgrimage and religious festival. This small town, becomes a cultural phenomenon when colourfully dressed devotees, musicians, acrobats, folk dancers, traders, comedians, sadhus and tourists reach here during Pushkar fair. The Camel and Cattle trading is at its peak during the first half of festival period. During the later half, religious activities dominate the scenario. Devotees take dips in the holy "Sarovar" lake, as the sacred water is known to bestow salvation.
Legend of the fair :
Puskar has has the only temple of Lord Brahma in the country. Myth says that Lord Brahma was on his way to search for a suitable place to perform a 'Yagna' (a fire sacrifice) while contemplating, a lotus fell from his hand on the earth and water sprouted from that place. One of them was Pushkar where Lord Brahma performed "Yagna". Worship of Brahma was considered highly important at the end of the first millennium BC. The holy lake has 52 ghats and pilgrim taking a ritual dip in the lake is a common sight. Although a serene town, Pushkar bustles with life during the joyous celebration held on Kartik Purnima. Every year thousands of devotees throng the lake around the full moon day of Kartik Purnima in October-November to take a holy dip in the lake. Huge and colourful cattle fair "The Pushkar Fair", is also held during this time. Pushkar fair is well-known for it's camel trading and other attractive activities.
Celebrated on :
According to Hindu chronology, it takes place in the month of Kartika (October or November) beginning on ashtmi 8th day of Lunar Calendar and continues till full moon (Poornima).
Celebrations of the festival :
Pushkar forms the backdrop for the annual religious and cattle fair. Turbaned heads of men, and colorful veils and skirts of the women, bring alive the arid desertscape. The village women dress in their best colourful clothes and finery for the five-day mela. 400 temples of which the most important is dedicated to Lord Brahma - the creator of the universe. Fifty-two ghats bind the lake. During the days of the mela, the otherwise tranquil lake is engulfed with religious fervor. Thousands of devotees collect to take a dip, sadhus descend from the Himalayas and people pray for salvation to the sound of verses from the Holy Scriptures, which fill the air. In the afternoons, people crowd the stadium where camels, horses, and cows are paraded and raced. Camels are bought and sold during the Pushkar fair. An interesting thing of the Pushkar Fair is the mass trading of camels. Cattle and other livestock are also traded, but it's camels that hold center stage at Pushkar. Camel-traders and villagers from miles away converge to Pushkar with their humped beasts. Over 25,000 camels (on the conservative side) are traded; making this world's largest camel fair.