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The Pushkar Camel Fair!

Pushkar Travel Blog

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The Pushkar Camel Fair!

OK - now my photos start to shine!!

It just so happens that the famous Pushkar Camel Fair is this week.   It purposely coincides with the lunar calandar in November and is one of the largest holy pilgrimages in India.  Over 200,000 people make a pilgrimage here to bathe in the ghats (ghats are stairs descending into the water to bathe) of Pushkar lake.  This is where Ghandi's ashes were put afloat.  As a rare occurance, they turn it into a huge Camel and horse trade and a three-week long festival that culminates with the full moon.  

And, so I came here for a week to experience this insanity.

It was a very interesting experience.

Pushkar Camel Fair
  Pushkar is a beautiful village built around an oasis that sits in the middle of the desert.  If it weren't so dirty, it would actually be a magnificently romantic town.  But, it is dirty.  Beyond dirty.  Super-frickin-dirty.  Especially with 200,000 Indian villlagers and gypsies descending upon the town.

Apparently villagers come here to buy and sell their camels.  Serious bargaining occurs during the week.  And proud new owners parade their camels around the grounds.  Sometimes you can even ride them for an hour for 100 rupies ($2.25).  All the children want to take photos and collect money from westerners.  THAT was annoying.  But, I befriended a few gypsies and drank chai with them every day.

My hotel was on the Pushkar lake - just 15 feet above the ghats.

My desert gypsy girlfriend putting henna on me.
  And, every morning was an amazing experience.  The city started to 'buzz' around 3:30 - 4:00 a.m.  Yes A.M.  First dozens of people came to bathe in the water, then hundreds and by the time the sun rose, there were thousands.  It was absolutely a site to see.  It sounded like Time Square a few hours before midnight on New Years.  Watching the men  and women bathe was very interesting.

The strangest part of my trip (so far) occured here in Pushkar!  I was walking through town around 11pm with 3 friends one night.  People often stare at us and even stop in their tracks to look at us as if we are aliens.  They do this because they have NEVER seen a white person before!  Yes NEVER.  And, on this night it got out of hand.

Desert Fashion
  A few young boys started following us in awe.  And, that made it "ok" for others to do so as well.  The crowd following us grew and grew until at one point we couldn't walk.  There were about 80 people surrounding us - just looking.  They were young villagers who came to Pushkar from the desert and had never seen white people before.  I felt like Michael Jackson or Princess Diana being surrounded like that.  We had to duck into a chai shop to wait it out and hide from them.  But, that didn't work too well.  People waited outside.  It was a very bizarre, uncomfortable and awkward feeling.  And, yet it was thrilling at the same time.

Pushkar was amazing.  And I took a gazillion photos.  I only put a few up.  Enjoy!

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The Pushkar Camel Fair!
The Pushkar Camel Fair!
Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar Camel Fair
My desert gypsy girlfriend putting…
My desert gypsy girlfriend puttin…
Desert Fashion
Desert Fashion
The Pushkar Ghats (where Ghandis …
The Pushkar Ghats (where Ghandi's…
Pushkar Lake from our hotel
Pushkar Lake from our hotel
Rasta-Rajastani!
Rasta-Rajastani!
The Pushkar Camel Fair
The Pushkar Camel Fair
Pushkar from our sunset hike
Pushkar from our sunset hike
Bearded and turbaned!
Bearded and turbaned!
Which one is happier?
Which one is happier?
The Ghandi Ghat at Pushkar Lake
The Ghandi Ghat at Pushkar Lake
My favorite Pushkar Hotel courtyar…
My favorite Pushkar Hotel courtya…
My two friends bringing water.
My two friends bringing water.
Pushkar - where Ghandis ashes are…
Pushkar - where Ghandi's ashes ar…
Pushkar!
Pushkar!
Thanksgiving dinner
Thanksgiving dinner
Fruit stand in Pushkar
Fruit stand in Pushkar
Yes, the bearded-turban danman in …
Yes, the bearded-turban danman in…
My first tabla lesson.
My first tabla lesson.
Desert hotties at the Camel Fair
Desert hotties at the Camel Fair
Carrying milk on my head!
Carrying milk on my head!
Music and snakes - why not?
Music and snakes - why not?
The Pushkar Camel Fair
The Pushkar Camel Fair
at the Fair
at the Fair
A desert gypsy wearing my shades!
A desert gypsy wearing my shades!
Desert fashion
Desert fashion
Desert fashion in my shades.
Desert fashion in my shades.
Just chillin.
Just chillin.
Another camel
Another camel
Pushkar Lake from our hotel
Pushkar Lake from our hotel
Pushkar Ghats from our hotel
Pushkar Ghats from our hotel
The bathing ghats of Pushkar
The bathing ghats of Pushkar
Beauty and her child.
Beauty and her child.
Local villagers relaxing in Pushkar
Local villagers relaxing in Pushkar
The bathing ghats of Pushkar!
The bathing ghats of Pushkar!
People coming to bathe.
People coming to bathe.
Getting crowded and it is hours be…
Getting crowded and it is hours b…
Local Sadiqs chilling and smoking!
Local Sadiqs chilling and smoking!
A 5-legged cow!!!
A 5-legged cow!!!
serious balance.
serious balance.
Cell phone on sugar cane!
Cell phone on sugar cane!
Riding a camel with a local
Riding a camel with a local
A local Sadiq
A local Sadiq
My gypsy girlfriend!
My gypsy girlfriend!
Women in vails
Women in vails
A special sign from the man.
A special sign from the man.
The look.
The look.
Beauty!!
Beauty!!
Young and talented
Young and talented
Younger and MORE talented.
Younger and MORE talented.
Chai anyone? 3 Rupies!
Chai anyone? 3 Rupies!
Jasons new turban
Jason's new turban
My little friend on MY phone.
My little friend on MY phone.
Chillin on MY phone.
Chillin' on MY phone.
Work-break.
Work-break.
Look at the pink shadow!! Amazing.
Look at the pink shadow!! Amazing.
Women in vail
Women in vail
women in vail
women in vail
women in vail.
women in vail.
Little one
Little one
Im a poser.
I'm a poser.
Bearded and turbaned!
Bearded and turbaned!
Deb & Dan (yes - Im a bearded man)
Deb & Dan (yes - I'm a bearded man)
Sleeping almost anywhere...
Sleeping almost anywhere...
Pushkar
photo by: Stevie_Wes