THE COLORFUL MARKETS OF PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN- INCREDIBLE INDIA!

THE COLORFUL MARKETS OF PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN- INCREDIBLE INDIA!
This blog is a part of my series on the Pushkar fair of Rajasthan in Incredible India. I traveled solo in shoestring budget to Pushkar fair. Check out all my blogs in the series which apart from many interesting aspects of Pushkar fair, lists down information like – Best time to go to Pushkar, Best things to eat in Pushkar Fair, How to reach Pushkar Fair, Offbeat things to do in Pushkar etc. This blog is about the vibrant and colorful markets of Pushkar fair, Rajasthan. It’s annual cattle fair after all! Incredible India!
 
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The locals at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 

SOAP OPERA DRAMA MUCH ON STREETS OF PUSHKAR, RAJASTHAN!

I spent all day exploring the shopping scene of Pushkar Fair in Rajasthan, India. But before I could do that a man yelled at me in excitement, “Safed daadhi, idhar aayiye, aapka ilaaj hai mere paas” (Hey, white stubble, come to me. I have the panacea of your woes.”) Confused/sad/angry/befuddled I said my ‘No Thanks!’ (I love my salt and pepper beard.) but to no avail.
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The locals at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
He still persisted and I laughed out loud when in a final desperate attempt, he stood up aggressively and yelled, pointing finger to me, “Aapko meri kasam!” Not knowing what hit me and visibly flabbergasted, I proceeded towards the main market area. He was also selling some dubious freaky looking ‘jadi-booti’.
 
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Dubious jadi booti. Colorful markets at at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

COLORFUL ANIMAL MERCHANDISE AT PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN.

 
There were primarily two kind of things being sold in the Pushkar fair. Most of the shops aimed the local villagers and stocked practical daily use items. After all, Pushkar was originally a cattle fair. It’s only now that it has become this huge monster of an event.
 
Pics above (L to R) : Rake, hardware, hukkah for sale at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
The other shops are aimed at the gullible tourists, their eyes wide with all the exotica around.
 
The villagers who still come to trade here are unperturbed by the touristy frills that Pushkar fair breeds. While Pushkar Fair might be an extravaganza of sensory delights to the urban Indian and foreign tourists, the focus of locals is their business.
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A local woman at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 
Thus, mostly cattle related items like camel faux ‘choti’, camel jewellery, chains, straps, leashes, and other utilitarian and decorative products were sold in the al fresco shops in Pushkar fair.
 
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Toys for kids in the markets of at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 

OLD WORLD MARKETS STILL EXIST IN PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN.

It was indeed interesting to move around the old world style ‘haat’ aka ‘bazaars’ (markets). India, centuries ago must have looked like this, I contemplated. There were options galore to buy.
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Toys reflecting local culture at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
Makeshift tents selling cosmetics, clothes, bags, CDs, jewelleries, tools (yes even a screw driver), food, utensils, soft toys, farming equipments, hukkah, animal accessories and other such cheap knick knacks dotted the streets. You name it, they got it! Being a non shopper, I didn’t buy anything.
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Markets of Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

SCAM ALERT: A SUPER EXPENSIVE HUKKAH (SHEESHA) AT PUSHKAR FAIR!

Though my eyes were set on a mud ‘hukkah’, but the price the vendor quoted sent me in a tizzy. A whopping INR 700/- for mud and metal? No dude, thank you very much! Needless to say it was the ‘Festival’ price, aimed mainly at gullible foreigners and well pocketed Delhi travellers. My room mates in Mumbai who hails from a village near Varanasi, told me sometimes back that such ‘hukkas’ are available in his village for a throw away Rs.50/-.
 
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Markets of Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 

AN INTERESTING GAME I PLAYED AT PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN.

But before rushing to the Ajmer to catch a bus to Udaipur, I took a ride on the merry-go-round aka Giant Wheel. The last time I did it was some 5 years ago. Solo travel has its moments of boredom.
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Kutchi Ghodi Dance at Pushkar fair stadium, Rajasthan, India
I had a game in my mind to entertain myself. I decided that every time I went up on the wheel , I will think of one of the most happiest moments of my life and every time the wheel went down, I will think of the most sad moments of my life, thereby assessing the happiness graph of my life. It had to be done in a jiffy, with little time to think as the wheel was moving really fast.
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Merry Go Round at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
To my surprise, I got the great epiphany that I had led a blessed life till now as I took less time to think of happy moments compared to the sad ones. At times, I struggled to recall sad moments. Though the sad moments were really sad and tragic ones but I had more happy ones to cherish.
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Cultural parades at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
I keep complaining about my life but that day I realised I didn’t really have much to complain. By the way, the Giant Wheel in Pushkar is a must do. It gives you a bird’s eye view and you can get some nice aerial shots of the fair. So a night ride and a day ride is a must here!
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Markets at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 

HANDS UP OR I WILL SHOOT YOU! ONLY AT PUSHKAR FAIR!

Upon returning from Udaipur, I loitered around aimlessly at Pushkar fair again. I overheard someone saying, “Khabardaar, agar bhaagne ki koshish ki to bandook chala doonga!” (Beware! I’ll shoot if you try to run!) I looked left, right, centre to find out from where this threat was coming.
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Dhai kilo ka haath of Sunny Deol not Sunny Leone. At Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
Turned out, the sound was coming from a tent. I peeped inside hesitantly and saw some 20 young people seated on the floor and watching a trashy Bollywood film from the 80s on a huge colour T.V. It was paid and they had regular shows. Outside the tent a super angry Sunny Deol (Bollywood’s home grown Sylvester Stallone) in a Sikh turban was threatening to hit you hard with his ‘dhai kilo ka haath’ (A hand weighing 2 and a half kgs.) Impressive enough! It was a housefull show considering the clout and fan following of Sunny Deol and his histrionics in North India!
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Lord Shiva and Lord Hanuman- Indian Hindu Gods at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 
Drum sounds and fancily dressed people distracted me from the madari show. I rushed to the spot with my camera to where the main action was.

WHEN HINDU GODS DESCENDED IN THE STADIUM OF PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN.

Locals dolled up as Hindu mythological characters and even as peacocks and other animals and regaled the tourists in the Pushkar fair stadium. A Hindu carnival of sorts! The scene stealer was Lord Krishna, who spun a steel plate on his index finger.
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Lord Krishna- Indian Hindu God at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
The plate had flowers and it showered on the unsuspecting tourists as he spun it. The ‘Lord Shiva’ on the other hand, played with his damru as his pet snake (dummy) rested on his neck.
 
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The famous Rajasthani dancer and his team. I saw them at Kala Ghoda Arts festival in Mumbai too. At Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 
I was surprised to see a Rajasthani dancer whom I had seen earlier in Kala Ghoda Arts festival, Mumbai , 2011. I instantly recognised him maybe because he wore same outfits and make up. I asked him, “You performed in Kala Ghoda, right?” He smiled and nodded in affirmation. He was equally surprised and maybe secretively patting his back for this temporary celebrity status I conferred on him.
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Local musicians at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 
To entertain the crowd there was a fun ‘Kutchi Ghodi dance’ where a man enters a lifesize horse dummy and dances to traditional but upbeat and peppy Rajasthani tunes. The tunes and the enthusiasm of the dancer is such that even a non dancer will be hypnotised to dance. And the crowd did enjoy it, esp. the foreigners who even danced with the dancer team.
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Kutchi Ghodi dance and other performers at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
 

RURAL ENTERTAINMENT AT ITS BEST AT PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN.

Myriad activities were going on simultaneously in the Pushkar fair stadium. While some of the activities were organised and were available on the festival calendar, many were impromptou gigs by the local talent. The ‘Baazigar’ show, it turned out, was the most popular.
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The baazigar girls at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
The teenaged girl performed Circus like acts in a corner of the open stadium. Her family of 5 which managed her performances sat by her side. Their livelihood was dependent on the girl’s talent.
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Sugarcane galore in winters. at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
Some of the acts which she did was lying down and getting up on and from a table without allowing the bottle on her forehead to fall. And of course, the ‘ramp walk’ on the tight rope. Pushkar fair sure is one of its kind of festivals in India.
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The Baazigar girl at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

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Spot Madhuri Dixit- One of the biggest film star of India. Colorful posters at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

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Elephant Toys for kids at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

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Hardware for sale at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

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Local artists at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

 

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Locally made decorative pieces for sale at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India
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Locally made decorative pieces for sale at Pushkar fair, Rajasthan, India

15 thoughts on “THE COLORFUL MARKETS OF PUSHKAR FAIR, RAJASTHAN- INCREDIBLE INDIA!”

  1. Pingback: THRILLING SAFARI EXPERIENCE- 3 FEET AWAY FROM TIGER T34 AKA KUMBHA IN RANTHAMBORE NATIONAL PARK, RAJASTHAN , INDIA. | A Soul Window - Top Travel Blog from India!

  2. Pushkar does’t look my kind of shopping place but I love the vibrant colors that your photos put across. I am sure it has a lot of local appeal. After reading your Pushkar series, I am keen to visit this fair once. Maybe next year.

  3. I’ve been to Pushkar and it’s a beautiful place with religious significance. However, I haven’t attended the colourful Pushkar fair yet. Your post has triggered my interest to attend the fair. I love Rajasthani folk dances and Rajasthani food. Your lovely pictures truly justify the vibrant and colourful Pushkar fair.

  4. I’ve been to Pushkar and it’s a beautiful place with religious significance. However, I haven’t attended the colourful Pushkar fair yet. Your post has triggered my interest to attend the fair. I love Rajasthani folk dances and Rajasthani food. Your lovely pictures truly justify the vibrant and colourful Pushkar fair.

  5. Fantastic captures Abhinav. I mean it. I love all the action acrobatics shots that you have taken. Literally frozen the moment. Pushkar is really colorful through your lens.

  6. Pushkar fair is really colorful with those local dresses, wooden toys, funky decor and other lively activities. i always love to visit village haats because it depicts the true feeling of that place. All circus acts performed by young girls looks really adventurous but hopefully they are covered under some insurance. I doubt whether at such tender age, these girls should be allowed to do such dare acts or not. I am against such circus which allows young girls or boys at their educational age to do such dare acts without any insurance. I will enjoy all things but I will not see those daring acts by children, as I find it “UNETHICAL”.

  7. The first thing that came to mind was – lot of instagrammble photo opportunity there! I could have shopped to my heart’s content if I was there. Pushkar is such a delightful mix of Rajasthani art and culture. Last time I was there it was not festival or mela time…. so couldn’t see any of these.

  8. It is sure a colorful market. I’ve known India to be full of colors. It’ll be do hard for me not to have bought anything in this market, kudos to you. Those toys are amazing, especially the gods recreated into toys. I’ll surely get one if I was there. And the giant wheel seems like a great idea and I’ll be trying out your game in the future. Nice pictures.

  9. Seems like Pushkar fair is a must do when visiting India and rajasthan and you clearly had a great experience, especially realising that you’ve had quite a blessed life. When you spoke about about the guy at the beginning of this post I laughed as I can imagine my reaction being the same as yours haha. By the way, the girl doing the bottle trick just how amazed by that were you?

  10. The big wheel game sounds like something many of us could do with playing when we get fed up. I love it. I’m also glad you found that your life has mainly been a good one, thus far. May it long stay that way.

  11. One of my favorite things about India is how colorful their culture and heritage is. It shines through their smiles and in their fashion to give you an inside look on their life. Also, it makes for the best pictures especially up against their dark skin! Love it.

  12. I admit I have a love/hate relationship with India. I love the food, the outfits and… did I mention the food? I’ve only to been to Hyderabad, and it was a very different experience! Rajasthan is so bright and colourful though, I would love to go there and take photographs. And clearly there so much to see and do- I would definitely jump at the chance to ride the wheel. PS I love your quote under the title!

  13. I really like your photos and your way of telling your story! Felt like I was there with you at the Pushkar fair! The colorful and loud India…do I miss it? Yes and no! Love and hate relation I must say! But you did a good job of bringing me back there without the “hate” but just the love!

  14. Followingtherivera

    This fair has every colour under the sun, what a festival! You have to explain what a hukka is, as I’ve no idea! I love the sweet little toys for kids, they would make nice souvenirs for adults too!

  15. Amazing shot of the gymnast girl with the bottle! India has some amazing festivals, and I’m glad you got to make it to this one. This post makes me want to plan a shoestring budget trip there right now!

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