Pushkar Camel Fair is held each year in the holy town of Pushkar in Rajasthan, on the run up to the auspicious day of Kartik Purnima (full moon day in the Hindu month of Kartik), when pilgrims take a dip in the Holy Pushkar lake and visit the only Brahma Temple in the World.
Pushkar camel and livestock fair begins around a week before Kartik Purnima and if you are mainly interested in seeing and photographing camels decorated in varied hues, along with their just as colorful owners, then it is best to head to Pushkar at least 5-6 days before Kartik Purnima. Since majority of the camel traders start leaving before the onset of the main fair, as it turns the rather sleepy town of Pushkar, into a sea of humanity from various walks of life.
If you are keen on finding good accommodation during the peak of Pushkar Camel Fair, then it is recommended to book in advance and keep in mind, that even the Rajasthan Government’s Tourism Department hikes room rent drastically for the duration of the fair, and so do all the hotels and guest houses in Pushkar.
2011 Pushkar Camel Fair will begin on the 4th of November 2011, with the Kartik Purnima and thus the conclusion of the fair, being on the 10th of November 2011.
Since 4th November 2011 happens to be on the onset of weekend (Friday to be precise), it is great news for weekend travelers and photographers, who wish to explore and photograph the 2011 Pushkar Camel Fair, before the real rush of devotees comes in.
Having said that, if you love street/portrait photography or would love to enjoy true Indian Cultural and Religious experience, then visiting the mela during its peak (8th to 10th November 2011) would be best and if you have the time to make a 4 day or longer trip to Pushkar, then you can enjoy the best of both world.
Finally, one honest and kind request to each and every shutterbug visiting Pushkar; camel traders might be poor and illiterate and due to their colorful dressing style, they might make perfect models for your lens. But they are still humans and ought to be treated with same dignity and respect, as you would like to be treated yourself. So please do not photograph those, who aren’t interested in getting their photo taken and move on and try and connect with those, who would love to.
2011 Pushkar Camel Fair Dates
Camel and Livestock trading: 4th to 7th of November 2011
Main Fair dates: 8th to 10th November 2011
Kartik Purnima: 10th November 2011