In Photos: Old Traditions Come Alive at Pushkar Camel Fair 2018
The fair is renowned for being one of the world’s largest cattle fair.
The fair is renowned for being one of the world’s largest cattle fair.(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)

In Photos: Old Traditions Come Alive at Pushkar Camel Fair 2018

The popular Pushkar Fair, renowned for being one of the world’s largest cattle fair, began near Rajasthan’s Ajmer on Friday, 16 November. This festival, organised by the Rajasthan government every year, celebrates the age-old traditions and treasures of the state. It is a colourful and vibrant display of unique exhibitions, competitions and events.

The fair will be an eight-day event, set to conclude on 23 November.

Pushkar Camel Fair is one of India’s most gorgeous festivals in Rajasthan, attracting thousands of camels, horses and cattle. It is visited by over thousands of tourists each year.
Pushkar Camel Fair is one of India’s most gorgeous festivals in Rajasthan, attracting thousands of camels, horses and cattle. It is visited by over thousands of tourists each year.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
Traders from different regions attend the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. They walk for five days to reach the fairground. Most of the herders come from Pali, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan.
Traders from different regions attend the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. They walk for five days to reach the fairground. Most of the herders come from Pali, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer districts of Rajasthan.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)

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While it is traditionally known for buying and selling of camels and other animals, in the last few years the trading has been on a low. The state government has passed a law banning the sale of camels to other states, which has adversely affected sales.
While it is traditionally known for buying and selling of camels and other animals, in the last few years the trading has been on a low. The state government has passed a law banning the sale of camels to other states, which has adversely affected sales.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
Camels, herders and traders start arriving and setting up camp on the sand dunes before the fair starts.
Camels, herders and traders start arriving and setting up camp on the sand dunes before the fair starts.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
A trader arrives with his livestock at the annual Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan.
A trader arrives with his livestock at the annual Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
This time the fair started as a low-key affair as a code of conduct is in place ahead of the state Assembly elections.
This time the fair started as a low-key affair as a code of conduct is in place ahead of the state Assembly elections.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)

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A camel trader at Pushkar fair grooms his camel and is getting ready to sell it.
A camel trader at Pushkar fair grooms his camel and is getting ready to sell it.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
More than 5,000 camel traders assemble at Pushkar fair. The colourful fairground attracts huge crowds with stalls and street vendors.  
More than 5,000 camel traders assemble at Pushkar fair. The colourful fairground attracts huge crowds with stalls and street vendors.  
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
A woman in her traditional attire walks among a herd of camels during the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. The fair is traditionally a great meeting place where even marriages may be arranged.
A woman in her traditional attire walks among a herd of camels during the annual Pushkar Camel Fair. The fair is traditionally a great meeting place where even marriages may be arranged.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
The cattle owners are not optimistic about doing good business and rates of cattle have remained low for the past few years. “We are now breeding less camels because there is no demand as we cannot sell outside the state,” said Aman Raberi, a herder from Ajmer district.
The cattle owners are not optimistic about doing good business and rates of cattle have remained low for the past few years. “We are now breeding less camels because there is no demand as we cannot sell outside the state,” said Aman Raberi, a herder from Ajmer district.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
This time, a major problem that the cattle owners are facing is the construction of a helipad in the <i>mela</i> ground which was made for the prime minister’s visit for the Rajasthan election. The camels are finding it difficult to settle there.
This time, a major problem that the cattle owners are facing is the construction of a helipad in the mela ground which was made for the prime minister’s visit for the Rajasthan election. The camels are finding it difficult to settle there.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
Luck favours few traders, like Setang Ram of Jodhpur. He got eleven thousand rupees for a camel on the very first day of the fair. He posed with his camel before delivering it to its new master.
Luck favours few traders, like Setang Ram of Jodhpur. He got eleven thousand rupees for a camel on the very first day of the fair. He posed with his camel before delivering it to its new master.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
Many camel carts are bringing people with potential business to the fair.
Many camel carts are bringing people with potential business to the fair.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
As herders start coming into the fairground, the tents become a hive of activity. People making tea, <i>chapattis</i> and <i>sabji</i> round the clock for herders.
As herders start coming into the fairground, the tents become a hive of activity. People making tea, chapattis and sabji round the clock for herders.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)
Locals say, as the cattle owners start returning to their hometowns and villages, the religious festival starts in Pushkar. In last few years, the religious fair has become more important than the cattle fair. And so, the number of foreign tourists has decreased in the last few years.
Locals say, as the cattle owners start returning to their hometowns and villages, the religious festival starts in Pushkar. In last few years, the religious fair has become more important than the cattle fair. And so, the number of foreign tourists has decreased in the last few years.
(Photo: Tanmoy Bhaduri)

(Tanmoy Bhaduri, an award winning photojournalist and writer based in Kolkata, India. He covers breaking news stories and under-reported issues on development, women and child rights, human trafficking, insurgencies, natural disaster, tribal affairs, climate change, land rights, strikes and conflicts.)

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