A colorful decorated camel standing with a carriage in the mela ground in Pushkar.

Street photography during Pushkar mela

Pushkar mela is an an annual multi-day livestock fair and cultural extravaganza, which is generally held during the last part of October or the first part of November. It is one of the India’s largest camel, horse and cattle fairs. Apart from the trading of livestock, it is an important pilgrimage season for Hindus as the only Brahma temple in the world lies in Pushkar. The Pushkar lake is also considered among Hindus, as they believe taking a dip in its waters washes away one’s sins. Photography is not allowed in Pushkar lake during daytime and people will stop you if you try to take pictures, however after 5 pm, it is allowed. You can visit the official website https://www.pushkarmela.org/ to check this year’s schedule and get more information. 

                Pushkar is thronged by thousands of tourists from India and abroad, among those tourists, a huge number of them are photographers who come to this area to capture the color and beauty of the place. Photography contests are also held by the organizing committee, so you are free to take as many pictures you want, however be careful of other people’s sentiments. Pushkar is sometimes called ‘mini Israel’ due to the influx of a huge number of tourists from Israel. You can spot many shops and hotels have Hebrew Language written on their them, instead of the local language.

                The Pushkar mela ground is located about 2 kms from town centre and can be reached on foot. It is a large stadium where different day to day activities like moustache competition, camel race, tug of war, musical chair etc are held between locals and foreign tourists. Outside the stadium, a number of stalls are set which sell tea, lime juice, ice creams, household articles, agricultural implements, jewellery, devotional items and festival decorations. One can also see a huge number of white tents are set, where the cattle herders live as they come from far villages to buy and sell camels and horses. A huge number of camel rides are available near the mela ground. One can hop into one of the carriages for a few hours and visit the surroundings of Pushkar.

Sunset over Pushkar lake
Sunset over Pushkar lake
Ghats on the side of Pushkar lake illuminated at night.
Ghats of Pushkar lake illuminated at night.
Women selling vegetables in the road
Women selling vegetables in the road
Colourful streets at night.
Colourful streets at night.
An artist drawing and selling his artwork.
An artist drawing and selling his artwork.
A woman preparing food by the roadside,
A woman preparing food by the roadside,
A camel standing with a colorful carriage in the ground.
A camel standing with a colorful carriage in the ground.
Huge number of people visiting Pushkar mela.
Huge number of people visiting Pushkar mela.
Foreigners and local people visiting Pushkar mela.
Foreigners and local people visiting Pushkar mela.
Sunset over Pushkar lake with mountains in the background.
Sunset over Pushkar lake.
Ghats of Pushkar lake lit by moonlight.
Ghats of Pushkar lake lit by moonlight.
A girl walking a tight rope in Pushkar mela ground.
A girl walking a tight rope in Pushkar mela ground.
People watching sporting events in the mela ground in Pushkar
People watching sporting events in the mela ground
A man bathing his horse in a water tank in Pushkar.
A man bathing his horse in a water tank in Pushkar.
Cattle herders smoking hookah in Pushkar.
A camel dragging their colorful carriages along the road in Pushkar.
A camel dragging their colorful carriages along the road in Pushkar.
A camel dragging their colorful carriages along the road in Pushkar.
A camel dragging their colorful carriages along the road in Pushkar.
Streets in Pushkar decorated during Pushkar mela.
Colorful streets in Pushkar decorated during Pushkar mela.
Colorful streets in Pushkar decorated during Pushkar mela.
Colorful streets in Pushkar decorated during Pushkar mela.
Portrait of a Hindu priest in Pushkar.
Portrait of a Hindu priest in Pushkar.
A local Rajasthani man posing for portraits at the Pushkar mela.
A local Rajasthani man posing for portraits at the Pushkar mela.
A gypsy girl posing for portrait
A gypsy girl posing for portrait
A woman selling huge variety of shoes by the roadside in Pushkar.
A woman selling huge variety of shoes
A boy selling artificial jewelry in his shop in Pushkar.
A boy selling artificial jewelry in his shop in Pushkar.
A man selling traditional rajasthani handicraft items in his shop
A man selling traditional rajasthani handicraft items
Street vendors selling winter clothing in a stall
Street vendors selling winter clothing in a stall
Street vendors selling colourful shoes and sandals
Street vendors selling colourful shoes and sandals
Street vendors selling variety of snacks by the roadside in Pushkar.
Street vendors selling variety of snacks
A boy selling variety of snacks by the roadside in Pushkar.
A boy selling variety of snacks by the roadside in Pushkar.
A street vendor selling variety of snacks by the roadside.
A street vendor selling variety of snacks by the roadside.
A man preparing israeli food in his shop.
A man preparing israeli food in his shop.
A camel decorated during Pushkar fair
A camel decorated during Pushkar fair
A man selling wide variety of pulses in his shop.
A man selling wide variety of pulses in his shop.
Women selling jewellery and other ornamental items in the road.
Women selling jewellery and other ornamental items in the road.
People walking in the crowded streets in Pushkar
People walking in the crowded streets in Pushkar
Hugely crowded streets in Pushkar
Hugely crowded streets in Pushkar
A horse trader standing with his horse
A horse trader standing with his horse

Caution:

I have heard that lot of  foreign tourists are hassled by locals by a thing called ‘Pushkar Passport’, which is nothing but a red thread tied around your wrist, which signifies that they have performed the necessary rites and rituals.  Tourists are also asked to pay large sums of money in order to make a blessing at the lake. If you want to avoid these kind of problems, just tie a red colored thread around your wrist and you can evade a lot of tricksters. Occasionally, you will also be approached by priests, old women, gypsies, beggars etc to give them some money, in these situations I paid them 10 rupees to get from my back. In general, it is a safe place with lots of tourists, so you should not have much problems.

How to Reach:

If you coming by public transportation, only way to reach Pushkar is by coming to Ajmer. After reaching, it is best to book Ola or Uber. I paid Rs 350 for a one way ride from Ajmer to Pushkar with Ola, whereas the taxi drivers standing outside the railway station were charging 600 rupees. There are also public buses that depart from Ajmer bus stand, but they are overcrowded with local people and it is too difficult to travel with luggage

When to visit

Although Pushkar can be visited from October to February as the weather remains cool during this time, I will recommend to visit it during the fair. Hotels needed to booked at least 1 month in advance, as you will not get any accomodation in Pushkar during the fair.

If you’re interested in using my photography or article please contact me plus I am also available for freelance work.

If you are interested in knowing more about Rajasthan, visit my other blogs on Jodhpur street photographyJodhpur sightseeing, Mandore gardenJaisalmer street photographyJaisalmer photo tourPatwon Ki Haveli, Bada BaghPushkar mela photography, KuldharaUdaipur photographyUdaipur, Jaipur architecture street photography and Jaipur photo tour.

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41 Comments

  1. Oh my goodness what beautiful photos <3 the reds stand out so gorgeously and the camels look wonderful, don't get me wrong the other colors stand out as well but the red caught my attention. This makes me want to go to India right away.

  2. These photos are absolutely amazing. I love photography. Thanks for sharing such a great information and pictures are wonderful!

  3. Learning so much about other places when i read travel blogs! The place is so nice. What are the best food you can recommend for us to try?

  4. Omg how fun! Your photos are absolutely beautiful! This definitely looks like such a fun fair. I love all the colors!

  5. Really good work Saurav, This year i am planning for the pushkar festival. Me too planning for a photoblog. These photos itself shows the colors and vibes of the festival.

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