There's more to the Pushkar Camel Fair than just camels.
Pushkar Camel Fair is a misnomer. They should call it Pushkar camel, horse, bull, cow fair...to be fair. The herders at Pushkar trade all sorts of livestock. In fact, the number of other animals outnumber the camels being traded.
Horses are one of the more popular beasts of burden at the fair. Horse herders from Punjab, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Hyderabad come to Pushkar every year to sell their stock. This year, however, a 'Horse Entry Ban' has been enforced at Pushkar due to the spread of Glanders Disease. The State Government has declared Ajmer District as a control area for equine species – they prohibit the movement of horses in and out of Ajmer. This has created widespread panic amongst horse breeders and traders in India. Infact some who were not aware of the development, made their way to Pushkar only to be told to turn back.
Despite a complete ban – this is India after all – there were still some horses found at the fair.
Horse for sale
Horses getting trained for the dance competition
A white horse marked as auspicious with swastik to bring good luck for trading
Bargaining between buyer and seller
A spectator watches as a horse trains for the dance competition
Horses feeding at their temporary stables
Taking a break
A local sneaks a peek inside a stable
Sad scene of a dead horse being carried away from the place of trade
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By Vijayaraj PS
Photographs by Vijayaraj PS