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Pushkar

Located on the banks of the Pushkar Lake is the sacred town of Pushkar, a sleepy, lakeside settlement. It once enchanted the great Indian poet, Kalidas so much that it earned itself a place in his classic, Abhigyan Sakuntalam.

 

The lake has 52 Ghats which pilgrims use to go bathe in the sacred waters. Home to many temples, few are ancient, as many of them were destroyed by Aurangzeb, the Mughal ruler.

 

Well known for its annual Camel Fair, Pushkar comes alive for five days in the months of October or November. These are days of recreation for the villagers. Animals, including over 50,000 camels, are brought from miles around to be traded and sold. Trading is brisk as several thousand cattle trade hands. All the camels are cleaned and decorated with jewellery such as silver, beads, bells, and armlets that jingle when they walk.

 

An interesting ritual is the piercing of a camel's nose. Lively traditional tunes and dances, magic demonstrations, horse and camel races and other traditional competitions occur at the fair.