Camel fair

Trip Start Mar 06, 2006
Trip End Dec 22, 2006

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, November 6, 2006

After our limited success tiger spotting we decided to head to Pushkar where the annual Camel Fair was taking place and where we figured we would have a pretty good chance of spotting a few furry friends. The fair is a massive party, where thousands of people land upon what is otherwise a relatively small holy town for a week of livestock wheeling and dealing, religous celebrations and general fun and frolics. We arrived quite early on in the whole affair while there were still some animals left (the first half of the week is primarily the trading) when it wasn't too crowded and before the religous fever fully gets off the ground.

The fair was a showcase for all things camel. Possibly the most unusual was watching a camel dancing competition - truely an amazing sight. These animals are pretty huge and although it wasn't the most elegant of routines (the dancing horses probably won on this front...) and they certainly weren't Mr Travolta, some of them could move pretty well. There were also camel races, camel rides, moustache competitions, turban tying competitions... a whole eclectic mix. It would be fair to say that the event probably wouldn't make it into either WWF or Save the Children's recommended 'attractions' - as well as the various animal events there were plenty involving very young children on tightropes, being strapped to poles and balanced in the air and generally being flung about. Still, the fair certainly draws quite a crowd, both locals and tourists and general people watching is definately one of the best attractions.

As well as the fair, Pushkar town itself is a nice place to while a few days (although a bit less relaxing than would normally be the case.) Again, rather on the touristy side - endless tie-dye clothes, falafals catering to the unlimited Israeli market and more tat than you would see at a church fete, but still maintaining plenty of charm.
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