Pushkar mela is one of the oldest and the most popular camel fair in the world. Organised each year for a rough span of 12 days on Kartik Purnima usually in the months October-November, this fair attracts a throng of tourists from around the world.
Pushkar is a power house of rich heritage of India. 12 days inside the mela and you get a complete sneak peak into the glorious history of Rajasthan, the royal lineage it boasts of and the many diverse cultures that come together.
Brahma, one of the trinities of the Hindu religion, was cursed by Lord Shiva that he wouldn’t be worshipped. Although Lord Brahma is a part of many ceremonies performed during rituals, he is never worshipped solely. Pushkar, however stand to be an exception. It is the only place where Lord Brahma is worshipped in the form of a shrine.
The Pushkar lake surrounding Pushkar is believed to have holy bearings. As per a legend, when a demon killed the children of Brahma, outraged, Lord Brahma killed the demon using a lotus stalk. There were three places primarily where the lotus petals fell which eventually gave rise to holy lakes known as Jyeshtha, Madhyam and Kanishtha respectively.
Brahma decided to perform the yagya at Pushkar on Kartik Purnima. He invited devas and the sages. Even as the auspicious hour was drawing near there was no sign of Brahma's wife, Savitri. A religious ceremony could not be performed without a wife. Fearing that the auspicious hour would soon be over, Brahma quickly married a local cattle girl Gayatri. The Yagya was nearing its conclusion when Savitri arrived for the ceremony. Seeing another woman in her place, Savitri in a fit of rage cursed all devas and sages present at the ceremony and left for her hilltop shrine and it is believed that she has not come down till today. To counteract the effect of the shraap (curse) Brahma, quickly created another goddess called Shraap-Mohini and asked everyone present to have her darshan, so that they could be freed from Savitri's curse. Shrap-Mohini has a temple on top of a hill facing that of Savitri.
Keeping in line with the legend, the Pushkar mela is held every year during Kartik Purnima for 12 days.
Highlights of the mela
The Pushkar mela has some of the best talents from around Rajasthan lined up for the 12 day festival. Every aspect of the mela is like a scene from a miracle movie! It is amusing how the state of Rajasthan embodies such impressive talents. The main highlight of the fair is the camel fair where the best breed camels from the country over are brought and are up for auction. There are various camel rides organised- the ship of the Thar Desert.
Then there are these unique, astounding competitions that have hundreds participating in. Matka phod,best groomed moustache, bridal competition, kalbeliya dance and numerous attractive events. Foreign tourists are the main attendees in the Pushkar mela. In fact, during these 12 days, Rajasthan observes a typically high rise in the tourism.
Many heritage talents of India get to showcase themselves during the Pushkar mela which otherwise go unnoticed. In fact lot of these foreign tourist offer to sponsor such talents.
Pushkar mela also sees an extensive cattle trade of horses, bulls and camels. On the night of full moon, a jal puja is performed on a large scale in memory of the deceased and to pray for their salvation. Thousands of diyas are lot and set afloat on water which instantly transforms the place into a fairytale like atmosphere.
The Pushkar mela is a true portal into Rajasthan’s royal and rich culture. It keeps the traditions and values of India.