Pushkar Fair

  

 Pushkar Fair 2018 ++

15-23 November

Join the fun! 

Fri 16 – Sun 18 Nov  or Sat 17 – Mon 19 Nov 

(or ask about other dates before or in between  -  more animals at the beginning of the week – more religious pilgrims at the end of the week)

Although generally referred to as the Pushkar Camel Fair, it is not restricted to camels, and you will find cattle, goats, sheep, Marwari horses, etc – and all the fun of the fair!   It is also a religious occasion.   Dazzling displays of bangles, brassware, clothes, camel saddles and ornaments vie for attention with dancers, singers, mehendi artists, acrobats, etc….

Transport will be by train to Ajmer and then by road to Pushkar.  

Accommodation will be in Swiss tents with attached bathrooms with running water.   

As an optional extra, we offer a camel safari (one way by camel and the other by camel cart) and snacks in the desert: for those who do not wish to ride at all, carts would be available both ways.   A hot air balloon ride can also be arranged.

Day 1  Depart New Delhi Railway Station 6.00am.  Met in Ajmer, transfer to Pushkar. 

Day 2 free to explore as you wish

Day 3  Morning free.  After lunch, transfer to Ajmer for train back to Delhi, arr 10.30pm. 

Cost : twin share per person –  to be advised (approx. Rs12700pp)     NB Subject to any changes in taxes or train fares.

Ask about child costs (up to 12 years) - or costs without train

     Includes:                      

Train Delhi-Ajmer-Delhi (standard chair car) / Road transport Ajmer-Pushkar-Ajmer 

2 days full board accommodation NB Pushkar is vegetarian and alcohol free.

Beaty Grove as escort

Cost does not include:

Transfers in Delhi / Snacks, mineral water, drinks, laundry, phone, personal tips or any other expenses of a personal nature

Additional options: 

Brief guided walk through the village pm Day 1 (Free)

Climb to Savitri Temple at dawn Day 2 or 3 for an overview of the fair (cost of cart to&fro)

Camel ride with tea and snacks in the desert – tba - approx Rs1500 per person

Hot air Balloon ride – tba - approx US$275 per person

++ Post Pushkar luxury stay  “Living with the elephants”          for 1 or 2 nights (approx. Rs10000pp per night)

 

Contact 9871003919 / csartours@xtra.co.nz for further information & bookings.

Comments from a previous year

Roz and Paul’s Adventures: Pushkar Camel Festival, Rajasthan, India, November 2011
What luck! Our Delhi Network, friend Beaty Grove had room for two more on a trip to the Pushkar Camel Festival. It’s a very ethnic event with a lot of tourists. It’s like part U.S. County Fair, part Burning Man event, and part farmers’ market, all rolled into a two-week event. Villagers come from all over the state of Rajasthan to a hot, dusty outskirts of the village of Pushkar with horses, camels, cattle of all kinds, goats, pigs, and their whole family to participate in the event. The village of Pushkar, or about 15,000 people, is clustered around a small lake or Gahts (a man-made water tank). During the festival the population explodes to over 200,000 people and over 20,000 camels, 10,000 cattle and 2,000 horses. The visitors stay in tents or sleep on the sand in a big open desert area; others crowd into small local hotels. The Western tourists, like us, fill exotic tent villages, with built-in bathrooms, with a big tent dining hall. The Western accommodations remind me of the tent cabins in Yosemite or Grand Canyon National Park. Daily we would wonder through the mass of humanity and livestock to see what there was to see. Beggars, children, and hawkers would assault us at every turn. “Hello! What’s your name? Where are you from? Buy my stuff! Give me money!” Young women dressed in attractive ethnic outfits and heavy makeup wanted their picture taken; only 100 rupees ($2 USD). Buy these bracelets! Buy these beads! They were selling toys, whistles, hats, food, bangles, necklaces, chess sets, musical instruments and all manner of trinkets and tourist junk. Everything starts November 2011 Page 2 at one for 100 rupees and end up at 4 or 6 items for 100 rupees. The sales pitch: “You’re my friend, I make this myself, my family makes this, I make you a very good deal, it’s only the best quality”, etc. etc. The events of the Fair included: an Indian circus, trained monkeys, dancing girls, camel races and camel dancing, horse racing and horse dancing. There were Ferris Wheels, rides and hundreds of stalls to buy ethnic handicrafts, farming goods, kitchen utensils, clothing of all kinds, blankets, silver and gold jewelry, food and herbal medicines. Dirt roads cut through the desert camp; each with a different theme; horses in one section, camels in another, cows in yet another section of the camp. Camels, I was told sell for 15,000- 20,000 rupees; that’s about $300-$400 USD. While we roamed the camp, caravans and herds of camel kept arriving. There are many varieties of camels: fuzzy ones, hairy ones, tall ones, black, white, brown, gray, and red. The horses are a special breed called Marwari. They are beautiful ponies with curled ears. There were white ones, brown, black, painted, gray and albino. Many of the horses were decorated; others painted like U.S. Sioux war horses. Horses were roped under tents. Open sewers drained through the lowest areas of the desert camp with people sleeping under their carts surrounded by their animals. In the early morning, campers were awakened by blaring Hindu music from TV shows televised by the tea stalls. Men and women were clustered in small groups around small fires and watched Bollywood movies on TV. The town of Pushkar is very rustic and very crazy at Festival time. Thousands of people crowd the streets of the town. Pushkar has its November 2011 Page 3 share of temples, shrines and mosques and local folk lore. This was the home of one of the only temples to Brahma, the god of creation in Hinduism. He had three wives, Saraswati, Savitri and Gayatri. In Pushkar, two of these women each have their own temple on top of the local hills. The story goes: the first wife’s tomb/temple is on the higher hill, so she can look down on the second wife’s tomb across the valley. Each morning Roz made the pilgrimage to climb to the top of the hill of Saraswati’s Temple to watch the sunrise and look down on the girlfriend’s temple. We would ride a camel cart at 5:00 am to the bottom of the hill, and climb the 1,000+ steps to the top. At the top, is a small temple/shrine for the worshipers, a pack of crazy Black-faced monkeys and a small tea stall selling Hindu CDs. Many locals would climb the hill with Roz. Old women were crawling up the steps to the top. The Exotic Resort Camp we stayed in is one of many for Western tourists….Americans, Brits, French, Europeans, and the Australians and New Zealanders. Our camp was dusty, hot and rustic but very nicely run. Hot water was delivered in buckets. The Dining Hall menu consisted of vegetarian Indian food, rice and bananas. Beer cost 150 rupees a bottle and soft drinks were an extra 30 rupees each. After dinner, a cultural show included a magician, a contortionist, tight-rope walkers and local music. On the second evening, the camp hosted a camel ride. Great fun! We rode camels for about an hour out through the Camel Fair into the countryside and stopped on a dusty hillside for tea. All along the way, we rode past dirty children begging for money and hawkers wanting to sell their wares. The tea party overlooked the local mountains with herds of November 2011 Page 4 camels eating at the lower branches of the thorny trees. Sunday morning was a big event. Roz and I wondered up to the village looking for the famous “Out of the Blue” Café, a local hangout for Westerners and the best cappuccino in Pushkar (recommended by the Lonely Planet). From the top of the four-story café, we peered down on the mass of crowds and brilliant colors of their costumes in the alleys below. In the distance, were the Ghats (step s) of Pushkar Lake and the First Wife’s mountain temple. Women and men were dressed for the Sunday walk through the village, visiting the temples and negotiating over prices at the local shops. Beggars, lepers and Sadhus (halfnaked wondering holy men) cluttered the main intersections for handouts, competing with musicians, performers with monkeys or snakes, and the ever persistent hawkers. What an event! This is just what you would expect to find in “Incredible India.” I fear this fantastic event will not last much longer. A new train track is coming to town and bringing with it a modern India full of cars, tourists, hotels and flush toilets. You best see the Pushkar Camel Festival now before it loses its rustic charm.