The largest camel-livestock fair ,Pushkar, Rajasthan, India -

Pushkar camel fair, Rajasthan.

.Pushkar camel fair, Rajasthan.

Above image: Normally men wear traditional Rajasthani dress. 

Came-livestock fair,Pushkar,Rajasthan,India

Camels at Pushkar fair,Rajasthan.

The Pushkar fair is one of the world's largest camel fairs, and apart from trading of livestock, it has become an important tourist destination. Since 1972 the Rajasthan government has taken over the organization of this big camel-cum-cattle fair, also called ''Pushkar ka Mela,'' and added interesting competitive events such as the ''matka phod''- longest mustache (sign of male superiority and valour?), bridal competitions, etc mixed with social, cultural and religious events in order to add zest to this otherwise a dry and dusty event. The Imperial Gazetteer of India, recorded an attendance of 100,000 pilgrims in 1900.

 A man with long mustache,Pushkar camelfair,India.

 Rajasthan has a vast tract of desert and camels are widely being used for various purposes such as travel in the inaccessible areas, transporting cargo, agriculture produce, etc. Camel is the state animal of Rajasthan and people visiting  big cities like Jaipur, Udaipur and others  can frequently see these weird looking animals crisscrossing the cities carrying load on them or pulling carts. Unfortunately the animals are increasing being slaughtered by people for their meat. The local state government and animal lovers taking steps to stop this illegal slaughtering.

Rajasthani girls at the Pushkar fair,Rajasthan,India,

In 2012, 12,000 animals arrived at the fair and in 2013, but it came down to roughly 11,000, the reason attributed to reduction of animal is increase in  mechanization in the farm operations and less dependence on animals such as camels, bulls, etc. The town of Pushkar, with numerous Hindu temple and the famous huge Pushkar lake near Ajmir, a major Muslim pilgrim center, is said be one of the oldest towns in India dating back to several centuries.

A trip to Pushkar fair serves dual purposes - animal trading and worshiping at numerous temples there all along the Pushkar lake. There is a famous temple dedicated to Brahma, one of the trinity gods and Brahma temples are rare across India.

 This annual  traditional fair is held  in the month of October and November. The fair commences on ''Ashtami'' in kartika and ends on 'Pournami'' - full moon day. The first few days are spent on trading and remaining days are spent on religious activities, fun and frolics. The religious rituals are  held around the full moon day of Karthikai. The sheer number of visitors including thousands of foreigners would baffle one's imagination.

Pushkar camel fair, image.

The 2014 fair held recently saw more than 300,000 visitors in just three days. Surely, this is the only largest camel fair, perhaps, in the world.

This popular  traditional carnival brings thousands of camels, cattle, and horses together at one place and it may be called the largest livestock  fair  in the world. The main attractions are   horse races, cultural performances, exhibitions, magic shows, etc., to entertain the visitors. 

As the fair is part of  the religious event, pilgrimage  on a visit to this place, visit the temple after taking a holy dip in the Pushkar lake on the Purnima day (full moon).  The belief has been that  it is good for the welfare of the family and also will wash off  sins committed in the past. There are many bathing ghats on all sides of the vast Pushkar lake for the convenience of pilgrims.