Pushkar Cattle Fair
Cattle Fair at Pushkar
where hundreds of villagers, nomads and gypsies gather, bringing with them thousands of camels, horses and cattle – truly an amazing sight. An entire tent city springs up overnight to accommodate all the bartering and bantering, purchasing and merry-making.
This fair is held at Pushkar town, 11 km from Ajmer in Rajasthan for twelve days annually during October- November. This cultural and trade cum religious fair is an attractive and lively spectacle with Rajasthani men and women in their colourful traditional attire, saffron-robed and ash smeared Sadhus (holy men) and thousands of bulls, cows, sheep, goats, horses and camels in richly decorated saddles. Perhaps the largest cattle fair in the world, it attracts more than one lakh people, from all over Rajasthan as well as tourists from different parts of India and abroad.
Trading of cattle, camel races and dazzling displays of bangles, brassware, clothes, camel saddles and halters make the fair colourful. Necklaces of glass beads from Naguar, pottery, printed textiles from Jodhpur and Ajmer are all on sale here. Farmers, cattle traders and breeders buy and sell their animals, leather whips, saddles etc. There are facilities for camel rides also.
This livestock fair coincides with the climaxing of a religious celebration. Pushkar is among the five main places of pilgrimage mentioned in the Hindu scriptures. It has a large number of temples including one of the only two temples dedicated to Lord Brahma in India. Hundreds of thousands of devotees take a ritual dip in the holy Pushkar lake on the day of the Kartik Purnima (full moon night of the Kartika month) and worship at the Brahma temple (Jagat Pita Shri Brahma Mandir).
It is believed that Lord Brahma, the creator, wished to perform a 'yagna' following his long years of penance. During his sojourn in search of a place for yagna, Brahma dropped a lotus from heaven which created the lake Pushkar. It was on the Karthika night that a drop of nectar fell in this lake, thereby making it sacred. Pilgrims flock from all over India to be in Pushkar at this auspicious time. They also believe that all the 330 million Gods and Goddesses are present at Pushkar Lake during the occasion.
The trading which involves a great deal of bargaining between the cattle traders and the buyers add to the spirit of the fair. Apart from the religious rituals and trading, people participate in a number of cultural and sporting events. The variety of folk dances, dramas and songs lend colour and melody to the atmosphere that is already charged with excitement of the camel races and the cattle fair. The sweeping expanse of the desert becomes dotted with thousands of camels, stalls and camping families. The Rajasthan tourism Development Corporation has taken adequate measures to facilitate convenient access of the fair site and to accommodate the fairgoers.