Pushkar is a small town in Rajasthan famous for its annual fair which attracts people from all over the world. Held for about a week with a run up to the full moon in November every year this is also one of the largest cattle fairs in Asia. While there is a brisk buy and sale of cattle (camels and horses) going on in the expansive fair ground, the near by stadium comes alive with various cultural programs. I was there on the last day of the fair in 2014, when the dust from the cattle hooves was settling down after busy trading days and the food, art and craft stalls were doing brisk business with locals from nearby villages. Thousands had taken a dip in the Pushkar Lake which was supposed to be borne out of the lotus flower that fell from the hand of Lord Brahma in hope of blessings for their life ahead and the atmosphere was electric. Women in colourful clothes were out to buy utensils and knick knacks haggling over a rupee or two with the merchants from out of town.
As the afternoon sun slowly slipped away behind the giant wheels, I went about sampling street fare. The hot, sweet and sour taste was enhanced by the dust sprinkled by the mellow wind. I stood in a corner to see the world go by, the little boys and girls, women adorned with trinkets, sounds of bangle sellers and the odd ascetic walking around with a sense of calm unfolded the different colours of India.
In 2016, Pushkar Fair will be held between 6th to 14th November. Pushkar is about 170 kms from Jaipur ( 2 hours drive away). There are buses to ferry people during fair days else just hire a taxi. Jaipur is well connected by air, road and rail to the rest of India. To know more about the cultural programs and schedule check the Pushkar Festivals link.