15–23 November 2018
In the Ajmer region of the northeastern Indian state of Rajasthan, the somewhat sleepy lakeside town of Pushkar, which borders the Thar Desert, springs to life every year for a unique and incredibly colourful pageant. Pushkar’s camel fair coincides with the religious festival of Kartik Purnima, which sees thousands of devotees bathe in Pushkar Lake on the pageant’s last day. Close to 50,000 camels are trimmed, coiffured and decorated in order to be entered into beauty contests and raced. Adorned with silver bells and bangles around their hoofs, and embellished with all manner of vibrant adornments, they are paraded past the golden sand dunes to an excited crowd and intense scrutinisation and judging. Aside from the thousands of camels also traded during the course of the fair, other livestock are haggled over, bought and sold, as well as local textiles, arts and crafts, saddles, jewellery and a variety of camel finery and embellishments.