The Camel Fair in Pushkar wasn’t really on my list of activities. In fact, when people mentioned it and I read up, it sounded quite horrendous. Ridiculously busy and expensive, it would turn an otherwise peaceful town into a throng of sideshows and farting camels.
Persuaded by the Tushita Sangha though, a group of us were booked onto a sleeper bus for the 15hour journey across from Rishikesh to Rajasthan. It was my first experience of the “sleeper” where you actually have a bed (or coffin) and it made for a pretty fun trip. We were lucky (I have since discovered) to get a nice bus because sometimes they are awful, although the company and cramming four into a cabin early on to watch “The Darjeeling Ltd” also helped pass the time.
On arrival we went straight to guesthouse owned by a friend of a friend. I’ve since learned not to trust these “friends” but at the time cramming 6 into a triple with a bathroom outside for 1500 Rups a night was taken on face value – “This is the normal price – I haven’t increased it for the camel fair.” That is possible, if the place is totally overpriced all the time, but it certainly wasn’t “doing us a deal” as we easily found really nice accomodation for 250 a night a double with a great garden area complete with camper van, the Fonz and some Epic Thalis – thanks Raj Moon!
Anyway, I digress, because the main attraction in town was the Fair, which wasn’t as hectic as expected but did have a lot of farting camels, as well as hot air balloons, dress up the foreigner contests, horses and basically a crazy buzz.
I think the pictures say it better than I can, as long as you imagine it being incredibly noisy as well.
The other thing to mention about Pushkar is the man-made sacred lake which dominates the small town and has almost constant activity on it’s surrounding ghats. Where we stayed the first couple of nights did have amazing views but coupled with that was noisy activity seemingly from about 4AM where Indian pilgrims would be doing something down there which meant the usual volume level of LOUD was ratched up at least a couple of notches.