Pushkar Camel Fair – 5 days Tour of Delhi, Pushkar and Ajmer
Discover the fascinating spectacle of cattle trading, religious pilgrimage, celebration and festivity at Pushkar Camel Fair. Aside from the serious business of livestock trading, there’s the longest mustache competition, a camel beauty pageant, a cricket match, musicians, dancers, magicians and snake charmers hundreds of authentic stalls to explore.
Dates: 4 Nov, 2019 – 12 Nov, 2019
Day 1: Welcome to Delhi
Welcome to India and the start of your holiday! Today offers free time for you to explore the colourful sights of Delhi. Opt to visit the imposing Red Fort, Jama Masjid – India’s oldest and largest mosque, Raj Ghat – the site of Mahatma Gandhi’s cremation, Humayan’s Tomb and Qutab Minar. An airport to hotel arrival transfer can be arranged should you require. Overnight – Delhi
Day 2: Pushkar Camel Fair
This morning is an early start as we board the Ajmer Shatabadi express bound for Ajmer. Seated in the air conditioned chair class carriage and leaving the city behind we look out upon a landscape of golden desert studded with green fields of agriculture and peaceful villages. Upon arrival to Ajmer a short drive leads us to our accommodation, a kilometre from the uproarious gathering of the Pushkar Camel Fair.
For the next few nights we bed down in our comfortable Swiss style permanent tented camp. Each high roofed tent with solid flooring, proper beds and linen offers the facilities of air conditioning, en suite with a bath and hot and cold running water.
After lunch and time to freshen up we head over to the frenzy of activity and riot of colour that is associated Pushkar – possibly the world’s largest camel fair. Attracting some 300 000 visitors, 40 000 camel, cattle and horses the fair draws sightseers, pilgrims, nomads, breeders, herdsmen, farmers and traders with their accompanying family, livestock and wares from all over the state of Rajasthan. Pushkar is an authentic cultural spectacle that’s totally unique and promises to be good fun. Overnight – Pushkar
Day 3: Camel judging, cricket, music & magicians
Today offers a glimpse at the serious business of livestock trading and the judging of the best bovine and camelids in each category. There are also more light hearted activities on offer such as the camel running races, tug of war, awards for the best dressed camel and a beauty pageant. Take a look in at the longest moustache competition or keep score at the cricket match between the local Pushkar club and a random assortment of tourists. There are also vibrant folk music and dances, magic shows and various other traditional entertainment and competitions as well as hundreds of authentic stalls to explore, packed with jewelry and textiles from the surrounding areas.
This evening can be spent watching the various entertainments offered at our camp, outdoors and under a blanket of stars. Overnight – Pushkar
Day 4: Pushkar – bathing at the ghats
Today marks the start of the Kartik Poornima, a Hindu holy day celebrated on the full moon or the fifteenth lunar day in the month of Kartik. According to the Hindu scriptures the lake relates to Brahma, the god of all creation and is one of the five most holy Hindu pilgrimage sites in India. The Brahma temple here is the most important temple in Pushkar, and is in fact the only Brahma temple in the whole of the country.
On this day of celebration countless pilgrims swathed in colourful fabric converge for a holy dip in the sacred lake before the morning sun has cast its first rays on the earth. Surrounded by 52 bathing ghats (a series of steps leading to the lake), throngs of devotees line the water’s edge praying to the deities before washing away the sins of a lifetime.
After all sin has been absolved, the atmosphere is electric and the carnival, music, dancers, magicians, acrobats, snake charming, horse and camel racing continues. If all the excitement becomes to much and you’re in need a breath of fresh air remember you can always take stroll and explore any one of the 500 Hindu temples surrounding the lake and the local area.
This fascinating spectacle of cattle trading, religious worship, celebration and festivity at Pushkar during this time of year is globally famous. Your baggage allowance may not allow you to take home a camel, but you’re sure to find something truly unique and authentic here at the annual fair. Overnight – Pushkar
Day 5: Ajmer Sherif and onward to Delhi
Pushkar – Delhi. This morning offers free time before visiting the town of Ajmer Sherif. The most notable site is the resting place of the Sufi seer, Khwaja Muin-ud-din Chisti who died here in 1236 after six days of fasting and praying. Possibly the most important Muslim shrine in India fervent pilgrims patronize the shrine as did many of the Mughal rulers including that of Emperor Akbar.
Leading off the Dargah Bazaar we enter the shrine via a gateway of immensely beautifully intricately carved silver doors. In the courtyard stands two huge cauldrons with capacity of 2240 kg and 4480 litres! That’s a lot of chicken soup!
Onward to the station we board our train to Delhi arriving at 22:45 in the evening and transfer to the airport for your onward international flight.
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