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The Pushkar Camel Fair Might Soon Have To Drop 'Camel' From Its Name

The Pushkar Camel Fair Might Soon Have To Drop 'Camel' From Its Name

I was told last year's fair was the worst they had seen, thanks to demonetisation.

Until a few days ago, I hadn't seen a camel in my life. And then I went to the Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan. From zero, I think I might have actually seen every camel in India over my week long stay there. 

Pushkar is the world's largest camel fair. Camel herders travel from as far as the Thar Desert in Western Rajasthan to sell their animals. For some the journey takes 3 days, for others it takes a few weeks. I met a few herders who had travelled for more than a month to get there. 

While trading camels is the main idea at Pushkar, other livestock and cattle are also traded. Though this has slowed down over the past few years because of modernisation and mechanisation in the fields of farming and transportation. As a result, these beasts of burden were becoming obsolete in many parts of the country. The number of camels traded this year were half those traded in 2010. I was told that last year's fair was the worst they had ever seen owing to the government's sudden announcement of demonetisation. 

Through this photo essay I have documented the Pushkar Mela camel trade. The reason I chose to do this in black and white is because soon this mela won't be a November calendar event. It is likely to become a memory.

Morning activities of camel herdersMorning activities of camel herders

Morning activities of camel herdersFollowing the master herder

Related: Despite The Horse Entry Ban, Pushkar Mela Saw Some Amazing Horses

Many ships of the desert, at portMany ships of the desert, at port

One of the largest camel fairs in the worldOne of the largest camel fairs in the world

Herder relaxing with a smokeHerder relaxing with a smoke

Instructing his camel to stretch its neck after drinking waterInstructing his camel to stretch its neck after drinking water

Related: In November, Pushkar Becomes The Most Un-Deserted Desert In India

A selfieA selfie

Helping the camel to down its medicationHelping the camel to down its medication

Herders set up their tentsHerders set up their tents

Milking his camelMilking his camel

Portrait shotPortrait shot

Relaxing at the sand dunesRelaxing at the sand dunes

Camels being ushered to the point of saleCamels being ushered to the point of sale

GrazingGrazing

Herder guides the camels to line upHerder guides the camels to line up

Being trained for a dance performanceBeing trained for a dance performance

 

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity and do not in any way represent or reflect the views of 101India.com

By Vijayaraj PS
Photographs by Vijayaraj PS