Travel Guide

Pushkar Camel Fair Travel Guide

Pushkar Camel Fair is the largest camel and livestock fair in India and is held each year in the holy city of Pushkar in Rajasthan. Since Pushkar Camel Fair culminates on Kartik Purnima (full moon in the Hindu month of Kartik), its dates keep on changing each year.

In 2016, Pushkar Camel Fair will be held from 7th of November to 14th of November.

pushkar-camel-fair

If it is camel and live stock trading that you wish to see and photograph, then it is best to arrive in Pushkar around 7th November, since by 10th of November, majority of camel and livestock traders will start heading back to their villages and Pushkar Mela will undergo a transformation, from being a livestock fair to a religious one with tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims converging in Pushkar, in order to take a dip in the holy waters of Pushkar Lake and visit ancient Brahma and Savitri Temples.

hindu-pilgrim-praying-in-pushkar

On all 8 days of the fair, various events and competitions are held in the stadium (next to the mela ground) and various other venues throughout Pushkar, schedule of these would be available around a month before the fair, so please check back again then.

How to reach Pushkar

By Road: While majority of the highways in Rajasthan are in good condition, Delhi – Jaipur Highway has several diversions due to ongoing road work. Hence it is best to leave early in the morning from Delhi, in order to avoid getting stuck in truck traffic on this stretch of NH-8.

By Air: Nearest airport to Pushkar is at Jaipur and from Jaipur you can take bus, taxi or train to Ajmer or Pushkar.

By Train: Ajmer is the nearest major railway station and from here you can take train, bus, taxi or auto rickshaw to Pushkar.

By Bus: Rajasthan Road Transport Department runs regular buses to Ajmer from Delhi, Jaipur and other various cities of Rajasthan, along with several private operators and from Ajmer you can take a bus, taxi or auto rickshaw to Pushkar.

Accommodation in Pushkar

During the initial days of fair, you can easily find accommodation after arriving in Pushkar, however if you are traveling on a weekend or towards the end of fair, it is best to book in advance. Here are some of the hotels and guest houses in Pushkar, we have reviewed over the years:

RTDC Tourist Village: Rajasthan Tourism’s Tourist Village is a mid-range hotel and is located near the fair ground and is quite a nice place to stay at. It has ample parking space and courteous staff. Click here to read the full review…

Hotel Sarovar Heritage: Sarovar Heritage is RTDC’s heritage hotel and is located around a kilometer from the camel ground and has ample parking and courteous staff. Driving to it can be an issue during fair due to traffic restrictions. So make sure to call the hotel, after arriving in Pushkar. Click here to read the full review…

Raghav Resort: Is a budget hotel located along the main road of Pushkar and has ample secure parking and decent rooms with plenty of sunlight. There is no room service during fair and for food, tea etc. you have to go out. Click here to read the full review…

Payal Guest House: Is a budget guest house located in the Sadar Bazaar and around half a kilometer from the fair ground. Since it is located on the main road along the Pushkar Sarovar, cars aren’t allowed to ply on this road during the fair, though two wheelers are allowed through on most days. Click here to read the full review…

Hotel Narayan Palace: Is a budget hotel and is located around couple of kilometers from the fair ground. Overall it’s an ok budget place to stay at, as long as you do not mind non-existent room service. While two wheelers can be parked inside the hotel compound,cars have to parked on the street. Click here to read the full review…

Restaurants and Cafes in Pushkar

While non-veg food and alcohol is banned in Pushkar during fair, vegetarian cuisines from around the world are available in Pushkar with almost every other restaurant serving Middle Eastern Cuisines, thanks to the regular Israeli and backpacker crowd Pushkar gets during off season. Here are some reviews of the restaurants and cafes:

Aroma Royal Garden Restaurant: Is the nearest decent restaurant to the fair ground and has a very calm atmosphere and courteous staff. Food here is fantastic, especially the parathas and tea. Click here to read the review…

Lakeview Palace rooftop café: This rooftop café offers splendid views of the Pushkar Lake at night and also good food, be it Indian or Italian cuisines. Click here to read the review…

Ganga Restaurant: Ganga Restaurant aka Falafel Hummus Walla is a road side café with limited seating, but great food, be it Falafel Hummus Chips Salad with Garlic Cheese and Olive Roll or something as simple as fruit salad. It is located next to the Narsingh Ghat of Pushkar Lake and is a great place for breakfast. Click here to read the review…

Little Tibet Garden Restaurant: Is quiet little garden restaurant, located in the Payal Guest House. It offers delicious freshly cooked food in a calm and beautiful setting. Though service is quite slow and hence it is a perfect place to unwind at the end of the day or middle of the day, when you have plenty of time to spare. Click here to read the review…

Out of the Blue: Out of the Blue Coffee House and Restaurant serves a great cup of coffee. It is located in the main market, not too far from the Brahma Temple. Click here to read the review…

Pink Floyd Café: Is a fairly famous café in Pushkar and is located in Pink Floyd Hotel in Choti Basti. It serves delicious food and in particular, sizzlers. Service for the most part is prompt and courteous. Click here to read the review…

Photography Tips

While sunrise and sunset at the fair ground is magical and worth photographing, various events held at the stadium provide an excellent opportunity for photography and shouldn’t be missed, so make sure to attend these as well. After dark, circus, maut ka kuan (circle of death) and various other attractions make for perfect photography opportunities and don’t really cost all that much to attend and photograph (buy/borrow/rent a fast prime, if you don’t have one already).

Respect people you are trying to photograph, irrespective of the economic class they belong to and move on if they object to being photographed. There are people at Pushkar, who are just there to make money from tourists photographing them, so be ready to hand out cash (generally Rs. 10 or 20), if you photograph such individuals.

4 Comments

  1. Excellent detailed information .Had visited Pushkar Fair in 2003 and was amazed viewing the crowds as well as cattle and camels on display.Numerous contests were held on the fair grounds and the man with the “Longest Moustache” enthralled the tourists.My advice to every Indian and foreigner is to visit Pushkar at least once in their lifetime.

  2. solitude.chander says:

    Yogesh ji, what will be a suitable time for visiting Pushkar?

    • Yogesh Sarkar says:

      During camel fair if you wish to witness it and don’t mind the crowd. Otherwise, November to March is good time as well.

  3. Yogeshji, can you give me your phone number so I may call and discuss, you can email me on shahaniraj@aol.com or Facebook Raj Shahani

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