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All you need to know about the Pushkar Mela 2023
By Shwetha Vasan
29 Oct, 2023
The Pushkar Mela, a 155-year-old and the most beloved fair, is making a solid comeback. The Pushkar Camel Fair is renowned for its vibrant celebration of the rich tapestry of Rajasthani culture. It's a captivating sight as traders and farmers from various regions converge to showcase thousands of camels and other livestock at the fair.
Every year, this fair takes place with abundant enthusiasm during the full moon of Kartik (the Hindu Lunar month). It is the eighth month of the Hindu calendar and is known as Damodara Month. The whole moon night of Hindu Kartik month is believed to be the holiest time to offer prayers. Due to the same reason, thousands of devotees flock down to this ancient town and take a dip in the water of the holy Pushkar Lake. Pushkar has the world's only temple of Lord Brahma, too, making it a unique place
What is the fair famous for?
The vibrant and culturally rich Pushkar Mela
November is the month to mark on your calendar – The Pushkar Mela offers something for every kind of enthusiast. This year, the fair starts on the 20th of November and continues until the 28th of November. It proudly hosts a unique blend of music, art, cuisine, dance, adventure, and culture, all within the enchanting charisma of the atmosphere.
The grandeur of this fair consistently sets the standard, drawing 45-70 thousand visitors from both within the nation and around the world year after year. According to Rajasthan Tourism, the fair in 2023 is taking a notable step by adopting sustainability initiatives encompassing eco-friendly practices and effective waste management, making it an additional aspect to anticipate with enthusiasm.
Let us delve deeper into why you should be at the Pushkar Fair 2023-
1. World's biggest camel fair
Pushkar Mela features the world's largest camel fair
The name "Pushkar Camel Fair" derives from the presence of approx 25,000 camels at the event. Many camel herders from the countryside come here primarily for trading purposes such as livestock exchange and cattle trade. However, there's a lot more to experience.
Camels are meticulously adorned, groomed, shaved and embellished before participating in various competitions, including dance, beauty contests, races, and other sports. The camels and their incredible talents genuinely steal the spotlight at this event.
A camel safari experience through the desert can cost you anywhere between Rs. 500 and Rs. 5000, depending on the path and duration of the tour. For example, Pushkar Camel Safari costs Rs. 500 whereas Pushkar Jeep Safari costs Rs. 3500.
2. Musical evening with a different touch
Lively folk music at Pushkar Camel Fair
The commencement of the Pushkar Camel Fair is generally flagged off by nights full of vivid folk music. During Pushkar mela, visitors can get to hear some of the oldest folk songs like Indhani, Lawarji, Jallo, Hichaki, Olyun, Sapno, Kurjan and Gorbund.
The best of all the folk songs are the ballad tradition, minstrels sing and tell heroic tales of folk heroes. Some of the popular ballads are Tejaji, Gogaji and Ramdeoji in which romance and tragedies of great heroes are conveyed.
Nothing could give a more satisfying feeling than enjoying the theme of the best fusion bands in the evening near the desert. International travellers also participate in this crazy event.
3. The grand cultural exhibition
Grand culture of Pushkar Mela
Pushkar Fair is not only a fair of people, but this fair is the rendezvous of many artists like magicians, musicians, dancers, athletes, singers, acrobats, and snake-charmers. The festival takes us back to the vintage era and lets us live that time for a while. A simple walk through the fair can render you a glimpse of the Rajasthani heritage kept in the history of the books.
4. Unique competitions
Endless entertainment during Pushkar Mela
The 45-70 thousand visitors at the Pushkar festival need constant entertainment, and this couldn't happen without the efforts of countless people getting involved in various activities such as unique puppet acts, bridal acts, dancing performances, who has the longest moustaches and the longest hair among women, magical chairs, etc.
One event is called "Recreation of Lagaan", where local players and foreigners play cricket in typical sports costumes against each other.
5. Sky and sand adventures
The famous hot air balloons of Pushkar Mela
The Pushkar camel fair has remained famous due to attractive activities like Hot Air Balloons, which have been added over time. The journey lasts approximately three hours, with almost an hour in the air, and hot air balloons can ascend to various altitudes, sometimes reaching 1,200 feet.
The entire process is truly enchanting, from witnessing the balloon's inflation to the moment it gracefully takes flight. While in air it unveils the breathtaking landscapes below, allowing you to admire the town, the holy lake, towering temples, and picturesque villages. The cost for this balloon experience is Rs. 15,000 per person.
Quad biking thrilling activity at Pushkar Mela (Picture Source-Universal Adventures)
Additionally, quad biking is another thrilling activity that can add an extra dose of excitement to the colourful atmosphere of this traditional Rajasthani event. Visitors can explore the vibrant festivities from an exciting perspective by making their way through the arid desert terrain. Prices for quad biking may vary, typically ranging from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,500 per person.
Sunset by the Pushkar Lake
If you want an evening activity, sunset by the Pushkar Lake is a perfect prelude to an enchanting night. Following the serene beauty of the sunset, you can indulge in star gazing in Pushkar, which offers a mesmerising escape from the city lights.
Here, the night sky reveals a celestial canvas of twinkling stars and constellations, creating a tranquil and awe-inspiring experience for those seeking a connection with the cosmos.
6. The most vibrant market
Paradise for Shopaholics
There is no exaggeration to call the Pushkar market a paradise for shopaholics since it's also discussed by many across borders. After exploring the mela, you can always shop in the Pushkar market, whether it's colourful local jewellery, handicrafts, or traditional art and crafts.
During the Pushkar festival, the local arts and crafts steal the main show with their magnificent outlook and intricate artworks like handmade jewellery, pottery, terracotta, camel accessories, Rajasthani puppets and dolls.
7. Delectable dishes
Pushkar streets full of diverse cuisine during the festival
With the unique food culture, the streets of Pushkar are always alive on usual days. Anyone walking down the streets of Pushkar anytime during the fair can't escape his eyes from the small eateries.
Pushkar Breakfast Corner offers an iconic breakfast experience that you shouldn't miss: the Poha Pizza Pakwan, a delightful combination of crunchy mathri topped with dal and poha, garnished with onions, tomatoes, and a sprinkling of masala. It's the ideal way to kickstart your adventurous journey through Pushkar. And don't forget to savour the malpuas from Sarvadia Sweet House and Halwai ki Gali, conveniently located in the heart of Pushkar's main street, before you leave.
A visit to Pushkar wouldn't be complete without discovering its highly acclaimed falafel eateries. At Ganga Laffa & Falafel Restaurant, you'll encounter some inventive Indian variations of the traditional falafel that are a must-try.
Where to stay in Pushkar during the festival?
After a long adventure, you can return to your dormitories or private rooms at The Hosteller for much-needed relaxation. The Hosteller Pushkar is located very close to the Pushkar lake, Holika Chowk and the famous Brahma temple.
Our hostel provides essential amenities such as cosy beds, well-maintained bathrooms, and complimentary Wi-Fi. In addition, we offer a communal area featuring a large projector screen, a PlayStation with a fantastic selection of games, a small library for leisurely reading, and convenient paid laundry facilities. As demand is expected to be high this year, we recommend making your reservations well in advance to secure your stay.
Important Information to Consider Before Attending the Pushkar Mela 2023
1. Is the consumption of non-vegetarian food prohibited at the Pushkar Mela?
Due to its religious significance, the town is predominantly vegetarian, and the consumption of meat and alcohol is restricted.
2. What additional outdoor attractions does Pushkar offer for visitors besides the Pushkar Mela?
The surrounding Aravalli Hills offer opportunities for hiking and trekking as well as adventure sports such as rock climbing, hot air ballooning, parasailing, trekking, and camping.
3. Why is the Pushkar temple so famous?
The Pushkar temple's origins date back over 2,000 years, making it one of the oldest in India. Additionally, it is the only Brahma temple in India.
4. Is there a recommended dress code for the fair?
Please wear comfortable clothing suitable for warm weather, but ensure it is modest and respectful. Lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton are a good choice. Mornings and evenings in the desert region can be more relaxed, so consider bringing a light shawl or jacket you can put on or remove as needed.
5. How many days are required to experience the Pushkar Mela properly?
To fully immerse yourself in the Pushkar Fair and explore its various facets, consider staying for three to four days. This will give you time to participate in special events, such as camel races and traditional dances, and explore Pushkar and its temples.