India’s Pushkar Camel Festival at Kartik Purnima’s Full Moon


There’s a very unique “Camel Fair” that happens every year in Pushkar India. The timeframe each year is around October to November as it is held to celebrate the Kartik Purnima full moon. For those who want a truly unique experience, then The Pushkar Camel Fair should be on your must-do travel experience list for India.

Also referred to as Pushkar ka Mela, the event is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar. It is one of the world’s largest camel fairs, and while people go to the event to both sell and buy livestock, it has also become a tourist attraction. There are competitions such as the “matka phod“, “longest moustache”, and “bridal competition” which annually attracts thousands of visitors in addition to the herders and traders. More recently, the fair has also included an exhibition cricket match between the local Pushkar club and a team of random foreign tourists.

So imagine this visual: Traders, herders, nomads, horses, farmers, and camels all show up in a sandy desert, stretched out for miles and here (just like they do when people come to Burning Man in Nevada), they set up camp among the sandy desert dunes.

Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics to sell to people who come. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow. Between these events, the most waited for is the test of how the camel is able to bring the items. In order to demonstrate, the men go up on the group of camels one after another.

Unlike Burning Man however when on the last day, the “burning man” goes up in flames, here people head to the temples and circumambulate the holy lake. For 2013, Camp Bliss goes from November 6-17 and for 2014, Camp Bliss will stretch for 12 days/nights October 26-November 6, 2014. Be sure not to miss it.  

Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons & The Green House Excerpts and the description of the history of the fair explained from Wikipedia. More details on their site here.