In this fifty archive story by Kristian Bertel, we see at one of the world's largest camel fairs, where thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake. Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
At the Pushkar ka Mela thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow. Between these events, the most waited for is the test of how the camel is able to bring the items. In order to demonstrate, the men go up on the group of camels one after another.
At the Pushkar ka Mela thousands of people go to the banks of the Pushkar Lake where the fair takes place. Men buy and sell their livestock, which includes camels, cows, sheep and goats. The women go to the stalls, full of bracelets, clothes, textiles and fabrics. A camel race starts off the festival, with music, songs and exhibitions to follow. Between these events, the most waited for is the test of how the camel is able to bring the items. In order to demonstrate, the men go up on the group of camels one after another.

Pushkar ka Mela

This is one of the iconic attractions in India. Held only once a year, it has all the colour, sights,smells and sounds that you are unlikely to experience anywhere else in the world. Wander through the camel camps and fair, take a camel ride, watch the spectacular local horses. Watch the horses and camels dance. A brilliant life experience.

Camel market in Rajasthan, India
Pushkar, one of the Hindus holy city, is located in the state of Rajasthan in northern India on the likewise holy Pushkar Lake in the Aravalli mountains and in the foreland of the Thar Desert. The fair is celebrated for five days from the Kartik Ekadashi to Kartik Poornima, the full moon day, which is the 15th of Kartik in October to November in the Hindu calendar. The full moon day is the main day and the day, according to legend, when the Hindu god Brahma sprung up the Pushkar Lake, thus numerous people swim in its sacred waters. Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning 'gathering' or 'to meet' or a 'fair'. It is used in the Indian subcontinent for all sizes of gatherings and can be religious, commercial, cultural or sport-related. In rural traditions melas or village fairs were and in some cases still are of great importance. This led to their export around the world by south Asian diaspora communities wishing to bring something of that tradition to their new countries. In recent times Mela also popularly refers to shows and exhibitions. It can be theme-based, promoting a particular culture, art or skill. Generally in Melas people can find eateries, entertainment activities, shops and games.
Mela is not just about camels, in fact it is a religious pilgrimage in honor of Hindu god Brahma the only temple dedicated to Brahma in India is in Pushkar. Pushkar is actually a small town situated in the middle of the dessert. It comes to live during the festivities when people from all over North-West of India come to attent the Mela. The atmosphere is incomparable and it is a combination of a authentic local market, camel racing, processions, acrobats, priests and a real explosion of color. This is one of the iconic attractions in India. Held only once a year, it has all the color, sights,smells and sounds that one are unlikely to experience anywhere else in the world. Wander through the camel camps and fair, take a camel ride, watch the spectacular local horses and where one can watch the horses and camels dance.

Camels are a ressource in India
Camel milk is a staple food of desert nomad tribes and is sometimes considered a meal in and of itself, a nomad can live on only camel milk for almost a month. Camel milk is rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins, and immunoglobulins compared to cow's milk, it is lower in fat and lactose, and higher in potassium, iron, and vitamin C. Bedouins believe the curative powers of camel milk are enhanced if the camel's diet consists of certain desert plants. Camel milk can readily be made into a drinkable yogurt, as well as butter or cheese, though the yields for cheese tend to be low. Camel milk cannot be made into butter by the traditional churning method. It can be made if it is soured first. Pushkar ka Mela is indeed a unique festival that encompasses many events and activities. It coincides with the worlds largest livestock auction including over 20,000 camels along with horses, cows, goats and more. This is a wonderland cultural event and is an excellent way to learn all about the Kolbelia Gypsy culture and other Rajasthan folk traditions. Be sure to pick up an events schedule and spend time attending the many events that take place at the exhibition grounds. A trip around the cattle grounds with your camera is also a must. As modernisation has swept across India, thanks to an economic boom, the country's camel population has plummeted by fifty percent over the last three decades. In 1982, there were more than one million camels nationwide, but numbers dropped to just over 500,000 by 2007, according to the most recent survey by the ministry of agriculture. Of these, more than eighty percent live in Rajasthan, where camels have traditionally been used as work animals on farms or as transport for carrying freight. But as vehicles and agricultural machinery become ever more accessible and affordable, sons from breeding families see no value in camels. Like tens of thousands of other young Indians, many are seeking a more lucrative income away from the land in India's sprawling cities. The herders who are left are mostly from the older generation men for whom life has changed little and is only becoming harder. Most complain about the reduction in grazing areas for feeding their stock as development encroaches on common land and national parks and forests become out of bounds camels are normally sold for around 15,000 rupees.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of an Indian woman in Pushkar. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.