Push along to Pushkar, this November

For a week at the full moon of the Hindu month of Kartika – this year, 2-10 November, a dusty throng of camels and their nomadic owners joins Hindu holy men, pious pilgrims and spectators from far and wide as they descend on this desert outpost in Rajasthan for the annual camel fair. Beyond the fairground the desert tribespeople camp out with their camels, flanks freshly branded, and tricked out with pom-poms and flower-bedecked harness.

For more than two thousand years pious Hindus have come to Pushkar to worship Lord Brahma, the Creator, and to seek absolution by bathing in the sacred waters of the Tank. This is the only surviving temple dedicated to the Creator of the Hindu universe; elsewhere, his cult his given way to the worship of Vishnu the preserver, Shiva the destroyer and other deities.

Activity begins well before dawn in Pushkar, as hundreds of pilgrims step out on the Parikrama, the holy circuit around the sacred lake. Sadhus (and charlatans) camp overnight just above many of the lake’s steps, where I observed one applying his Tantric make-up: daubing swatches of cream and orange colour across his forehead, carefully monitoring the results in a hand mirror.

Dwarf sadhu in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

Dwarf sadhu in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India

Even this early, the narrow , bustling streets wear a carnival atmosphere. Tribal women, wide-eyed at this encounter with urban sophistication, wear their entire wealth on their bodies: bangles, beads – coral, turquoise, bone, silver, plastic, coloured glass, onyx – gold and silver jewellery, nose-rings, earrings and anklets. As always in India, women’s saris contribute generously to the colour of street life.

More images.

Rajasthan Tourism

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One thought on “Push along to Pushkar, this November

  1. .I was at Pushkar two years back when I first visited Khwajah Garib Nawaz at Ajmer I had seen a mandir in my dream I talked to Peersaab explained it to him I must tell you all these years I had never seen a single picture of Pushkar though I had heard of the Pushkar Fair.Peersaab told me that it was the Brahma Mandir that I had seen I should go and visit it.I thought of taking Sarfaraz his street smart Murid from Mumbai but Peersaab surprised me by saying I should go with Panditji whom he had introduced to me at his Hujra Panditji is a priest custodian of a 750 year old Hanuman Mandir he is a devotee of the Khwajah he had seen the Saint in his dreams. it is this man who was my guide at Pushkar.And he is known as Panditji.Now a little background on the Brahma Mandir from Wikipedia.Pushkar is a town in the state of Rajasthan in India near 14 Kilometer away Ajmer and one of the sacred pilgrimage for hindus and is often called Tirth Raj king of pilgrim centres .It is an important tourist destination too.

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