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November 4, 2009 Permalink

Pushkar Mela

Pushkar Mela (or Pushkar Fair) is an annual five-day camel and livestock fair, held in the town of Pushkar in the state of Rajasthan, India, where over 25,000 camels are traded each year. The fair draws thousands of tourists, camels, camel traders, racers, locals and Hindu faithful who come to bathe in the sanctified Lake Pushkar - until the final day, Kartik Poornima, a Hindu holy day celebrated on the full moon day of the month of Kartik. Collected here are a handful of photographs from Associated Press photographer Kevin Frayer, from his trip to this year's Pushkar Mela. (30 photos total)

A camel herder carries a budle of leaves for camel feed at the Pushkar Mela in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)
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122 comments so far...

Amazing pics!!

Posted by J K November 4, 09 12:28 PM

The guy in #12 doesn't look very happy that he is wearing a dress

Posted by TKO November 4, 09 12:37 PM

For some reasons I really want to smoke a cigarette now.....

Posted by Buyaka November 4, 09 01:10 PM

#8 and #20 have something in common

Posted by bojangler November 4, 09 01:11 PM

@ TKO #2: um... the guy in picture #12 is not wearing a dress. Get your eyes checked.

Posted by Broomstick November 4, 09 01:13 PM

Wow, is this reality or a Star Wars set?

Posted by r2d2 November 4, 09 01:15 PM

Apparently Rama gets thirsty (#12)


Posted by Anonymous November 4, 09 01:19 PM

#5 - Seems like the people are big fans of Ferris wheels.

Posted by Confusatron November 4, 09 01:31 PM

#30 has a Mona Lisa smile.

Posted by GEM November 4, 09 01:38 PM

Great pictures. Shows how much color Rajasthani folks add to their life!

Posted by T November 4, 09 02:05 PM

Except for the utility poles in the background, #2 could be of a scene that's 2 days old...or 2,000 years old. Excellent...

Posted by Jim Pettit November 4, 09 02:09 PM

Awesome pictures! Photographers are the luckiest people, they get to see all the world!

Posted by Judy in Sumrall, Ms November 4, 09 02:23 PM

If i may add... It's not usually tobacco that gets smoked from them pipes.
Unfortunate to see the dry lake bed.
Great photographs! Kevin Frayer, take a bow!

Posted by Ranjit Arvind November 4, 09 02:30 PM

This looks like so much fun! I want a camel. Or, maybe I just want to hang out at bizarre Indian festivals. No, I want a camel, too. No, scratch that, I want a pet anteater. Also, the dog in picture #12. Also, I think they should have a camel mustache competition in addition to the regular (and clearly awesome) mustache competition.

Posted by Aladdin November 4, 09 02:44 PM

Mike Hollman shared these photographs to us... As #12 says Photographers are the luckiest people...

Posted by Sonya Roiall November 4, 09 02:56 PM

cool pictures from India!
One of the largest fair in India!

Posted by NEIL November 4, 09 03:11 PM

#15 is so funny. "Naaaaaa - not going," he says, and seems like it may take a couple more guys to get'im to move. Mulecamel...!! Loved the pictures and especially the surreal lens-filled camel shots. My very favorite stop of the day here to see what's been added, pictures and comments!

Posted by fairygram November 4, 09 04:11 PM

One of my favorite collection on this site. Excellent lights and composition.

Posted by Balazs November 4, 09 04:23 PM

Don't you know how good it smells around there?

Posted by bigjohn756 November 4, 09 04:30 PM

This pic like bedwan !!

Posted by shashi bashi November 4, 09 04:41 PM

So to be a hindu holy man, you have to be homeless and stoned all the time? Sign me up, I've been doing that for 20 years! Welcome to the realm of the enlightenment.

Posted by Hindu Hobo November 4, 09 05:07 PM

Good photographers are just that - good at their job! YOU're LUCKY enough to see good photographs by them. Photographers aren't lucky! Try taking photographs like these in the same place at the same time!

Posted by Ronojoy November 4, 09 05:10 PM

Superb Colors and mix of light.
This is the best time to visit Rajasthan.As winter season is starting.
@9 Its called Kalbeliya Dance.
@10 This is Kachhi Ghodi Dance.Its very funny
@ 15 In winter camels becomes very aggressive.
@16 looks she is going to kill somebody
@20 very funny!!!
@30 Great pose Dirty but still white.
Missing my home.

Posted by rajan November 4, 09 05:57 PM

As 13 said, they are not smoking tobacco out of the pipe in #3.

Its much more sacred and different...

Posted by RN November 4, 09 05:58 PM

Aunque son excelentes fotos no me dieron muchas ganas de conocer ese lugar......Dificil decidir.....Mmmmm...Creo q la 2 y la 18 son las mejores....

Posted by Hoanho November 4, 09 06:11 PM

#16 is a fantastic, fantastic portrait.

Posted by Ray Drainville November 4, 09 06:13 PM

Very interesting pics...great job!

Posted by Eugene November 4, 09 06:41 PM

Wow, this sure brings back memories. *Mosez was in Pushkar 10 years ago to date and remembers the hike up the mountain to watch the sun set vividly. Can't believe the lake is dry!

Posted by Mosez November 4, 09 07:21 PM

#3 : that guy is NOT smoking tobacco. The clay pipe is called a 'chilum', and is used to guessed it...the smoke of Shiva...MARIJUANA!

Posted by Koushik November 4, 09 07:48 PM

Woww ! It's an other world !

Posted by CheLzZ November 4, 09 08:08 PM

India looks like such a cool place. I can't wait to go!!

Great Pics!

Posted by Nate November 4, 09 09:26 PM

#4 is awesome! I'd love to do a photo essay on that brother and sister.

Posted by Eric November 4, 09 10:05 PM

very nice

Posted by Narendra Choudhary November 4, 09 11:53 PM

These are some great shot. My hometown is just 150 km away from this place but I couldn't get a chance to visit the fair..

Posted by Zeus November 5, 09 12:03 AM

Great shoot Man... Truly Awesome :)

Posted by Satishkumar November 5, 09 12:15 AM

Pushkar... Isn't that Hindi for Skoda?

Posted by Joseph K November 5, 09 12:37 AM

Very amazing pictures, 12 the Rama is well dressed and Pulling on Troley. Mineral water bottle on floor shows that even Rama needs Purified water in this Polluted environment

Posted by Anand G. November 5, 09 01:55 AM

Fantastic pictures today, as always. Kudos to the photographer and The Big Picture, for bringing a little wonder and culture to my RSS feed.

Posted by Shane J November 5, 09 03:01 AM

awesome pics!

Posted by sahilkat November 5, 09 03:30 AM

Its an amazing place. Sad to find the lake dry. Was there on the first day of this fair.

Posted by Jitender Singh Hooda November 5, 09 03:39 AM


Posted by somesh November 5, 09 04:23 AM

i would love to see it through my own eyes! Awesome set!

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 09 04:45 AM

It is amazing. Specially the morning pics are great.

Posted by Twinkle November 5, 09 05:37 AM

Beautiful ....

I find it Ironical ... to see the beauty of my country I rely on your lens ...

Thanx anyways

Posted by Bijish November 5, 09 05:51 AM

Excellent pictures. The town is also very beautiful.

I've been their in 2008, it's a very spiritual town. Too bad the fair leaves a great deal of plastic rubbish in the desert.

Normally the pool as seen in #26 is full with water which reaches the ghats.

Posted by Dezorian November 5, 09 06:18 AM

Amazing coverage. Bravo Kevin

Posted by B.K.Bangash November 5, 09 06:18 AM

amazing pictures.. colors of indian life.. :)

Posted by I1N1 November 5, 09 07:06 AM

these animals can't be camels ? :s

They onlyhave on hump => drumedaries (arabian camels)

Posted by Vengeance November 5, 09 07:18 AM

That woman in #16 looks like she could kick anyone's butt... she looks like she's modeling for an arcade fighting game.

Posted by Korbrash Kordord November 5, 09 08:37 AM

Thank you for showing me my rich cultural Heritage. I love my India and a die hard Rajasthani

Posted by Vikki November 5, 09 10:02 AM

Excellent pictures

Posted by Tore November 5, 09 10:32 AM

grate pics! love the color, hate the sand!

but, no one seems to note the little boy pushing in #12, esta camuflado entre los petalos.

thanks!!! gracias!!

Posted by P @ November 5, 09 10:39 AM

Remarkable pictures.

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 09 01:28 PM

My favorite is 4!

Posted by Sreejuz November 5, 09 01:32 PM

Awesome pictures, colour and composition! I love pictures #2 and #27.

Guess you should change the caption of the picture #28. What makes you say that is a Holy man? No holy ash or other such symbols on his forehead.. he is not asking for alms, just having a smoke! Most probably a helper/caretaker at the Bath Ghat or a destitue sleeping at the Ghat whom you photographed in the morning having his first smoke.

Hindu Holy men you wud find in these places look more like those in pics #25 and #29 (with a tuft of hair on the head called 'sikha' or long hair like rastafarians).

Posted by Infinn November 5, 09 05:54 PM

Exotic, exotic! Transfixing.

I grew up with little plaster casts hanging on the wall of exotic heads from around the world, given to us by my grandad. These are some of the same wonderous faces.

'Just a day in the life of these people though.

We need to take pause, and consider whether we should impose our lifestyle upon ancient cultures.

Posted by Bruce November 5, 09 06:12 PM

In #12 the (empty) water bottle takes away from the whole setting. Why would they use them... it is more a puzzlement than a question. (Steeped in old traditions that is why it makes me wonder.)
Thanks again for the beautiful pictures.

Posted by Leslie November 5, 09 07:12 PM

These are fantastic. Evidence - I scrolled all the way to the bottom. Thanks!

Posted by Ulara November 5, 09 07:56 PM

No words to express the beauty of the pictures.
Superb Job!

Posted by Devinder November 5, 09 08:10 PM

#16 can get chance in Harry Potter movie!
I liked the #30 - very good potrait

Posted by Sonalisa November 5, 09 09:23 PM

Superb pics .. My Favoutire Pic is 2 :)

Posted by Anonymous November 5, 09 10:03 PM

Lovely Pics. #16 should have been in the Halloween category. :)

Posted by Kumar Gaurav November 5, 09 10:08 PM

Honestly, I found this set of pictures to be rather ordinary. Having got used to the superlative standards of The Big Picture, was expecting the Pushkar pictures to be a lot more breathtaking. Disappointed :(

Posted by Avishek November 6, 09 12:57 AM

Like 11.

Posted by Ganesh November 6, 09 01:19 AM

Pics are really amazing !!! Pushkar Mela of Rajasthan Rocks !!! :)

Posted by Veronika November 6, 09 04:02 AM

Hats off to the photographer....

Posted by jaydep November 6, 09 04:34 AM

Amazing..will like to visit to Rajasthan next year during the fair time.

Posted by Monica November 6, 09 04:47 AM

Land of Colours!!! Thats what Rajasthan is!! Won't mind being the king of it when the world is re-drawn!! ;)

Posted by Whatever November 6, 09 05:22 AM


Posted by umair November 6, 09 06:09 AM

Amazing! My favorites #2 and 30

Posted by Shailendra November 6, 09 11:52 AM

Wow! We were there a year ago and the lake was full ! What happened? If you like to travel, this is a very unique experience and would recommend everyone go. We loved it!

Posted by Anonymous November 6, 09 02:11 PM

Such wonderful photographs! :)

my faves: 1, 4, 9, 18, 22, 28

#4 especially gets my attention...soo sweet :)

Posted by Shalin November 6, 09 04:40 PM

Two Thumbs up!!

Posted by MT November 7, 09 01:33 AM

absolutely amazing work

Posted by gautam datt November 7, 09 07:58 AM

I think I am in love with #9.

Posted by Liam November 7, 09 05:42 PM

the pics with the petals..fantastic...wat equipment is it?

Posted by AB November 8, 09 05:08 AM

Very stunning and absolutely beautiful photos

Posted by Igor Klajo November 8, 09 06:38 AM

Amazing how those people can have so much pride while having so little. Something we can all learn from.

Posted by W0ut November 8, 09 06:39 AM

Amazing! The saturation of color is incredible!

Posted by JJ November 8, 09 10:57 AM

This festivities shows how independent people can celebrate their freedom unlike the 60th anniversary by the Chinese government.

Posted by SINA November 8, 09 02:47 PM

Nice work Kevin.......

Posted by Tom Thomson November 8, 09 04:11 PM

Wonderful Pics!!!

Posted by Ps November 9, 09 01:08 AM

Very nice pictures, i also went to pushkar but you are showing a completely different mood in your pictures

Posted by nishant November 9, 09 06:42 AM

Fantastic light moods!!

Posted by Dipanjan Mitra November 9, 09 06:56 AM

Good. But could have been better. Some of the shots seemed repetitive.

Posted by Gaurav November 9, 09 09:11 AM

I have just returned from a 4 week work-trip to India. These incredible photos make me want to go back first thing tomorrow!! Stunning. Such a miriad of beautiful people, colours and life!

Posted by Keir November 10, 09 06:38 AM

if you are in india you are a very lucky person.
you made great use of light.
despite india's problem you have really captured indians

Posted by navin mistry November 10, 09 04:18 PM

Awesome pics, we group of 13 students also visited the same PUSKAR mela this year, but really theses PICS, made my trip awesome

Posted by VIkash Dhankar November 11, 09 02:50 AM

Hats off to for this superb photography and colour mixing... I was too in that 13 engineering students gang and very sadly missed to capture this beauty of Pushkar Fair as my cam charger has failed to work :( ..
I m eager to get in touch with u Mr. Photographer..Really touching and impressive shots :)

Posted by Saurav Bhardwaj November 11, 09 01:06 PM

@ Comment no 31 Nate : you are always welcome in INDIA. need help contact me . m from pune, india.

@kevin .extraordinary snaps man. the lense you used is in my wishlist now :)

Posted by kiran patil November 12, 09 12:18 AM

I always love the big pictures from Boston

Posted by Deen November 12, 09 08:49 AM

Excellent photograph I met Photographer in Bhuj and he is fantastic young man
Hasmukh Gor

Posted by Anonymous November 12, 09 10:09 AM

Love it. Definitely will attend when I travel to India.

Posted by Shraddha November 12, 09 09:32 PM

Wonderful photos, particularly the ones with the warm evening light filtered through the dust. Such atmosphere! I got to see a camel marked near Osiyan in Rajastan, but it wasn't nearly as epic feeling as this.

Posted by Nik Daum November 12, 09 11:19 PM

Mr kevin Frayer. As a travel advisor and tour guide I have seen a lot of travel fotos. Must say urs r outstanding. U seem to have a great relationship with ur camera and u have excellent subject sense.
Well done!! u were definitely meant to be a fotographer.

Posted by Mina Tilakraj November 13, 09 08:55 AM

As others have pointed out, #3 is smoking a chillum, and it's most likely not tobacco.:)

Posted by JJ November 13, 09 12:38 PM

awesome.. the rule of 1/3rd followed in most of the pic is amazing

Posted by srinivasan November 14, 09 11:36 AM

These are wonderful photos. I like the last picture best! What a lovely smile!!!!!!!

Posted by Mugghi November 14, 09 02:07 PM

Having seen this at first hand and stayed in the Guest House with Mr Radjastani Moustache 1996, I hope Moustache nets are making a come back. India at its most splendid

Posted by Chantal and her Camel November 15, 09 12:05 AM

Those were really nice images and they capture the event very well. If you want to see Pushkar when the mela (fair) isn't happening, then you can visit: and

Posted by Suchit Nanda November 15, 09 12:41 AM

Thanks a lot! I had much pleasure viewing these pictures. Number 4 is special - these two have so peaceful and friendly faces. They seem to know something about how to live this life. I love them. I'd like to meet them someday.

P.S. I've been to Puskar in 2008, it's a small nice place in everyday life.

Posted by Oksana, Siberia November 17, 09 06:19 AM

in 50 years India will be the most populous country.

Posted by carlbob November 17, 09 06:42 PM

Simply fantastic...shows the richness of India...every bit of that country is different...

Posted by london_st November 18, 09 03:55 PM

what a fantastic picture of pushkar.
i saw first time in world.
i wonder that these photos of pushkar may develop of pushkar in tha map

Posted by Avichal pandey November 20, 09 01:20 AM

Pushkar is a holy place like Haridwar. Camel festival is just one of the activities at Pushkar. There are many other religious and spritual activities related to Pushkar. Pictures are good of camels. Rajasthanis wear colourful clothes.

Posted by Krishan Dutt Sharma. November 20, 09 10:04 AM

The pictures are so beautiful and it shows the reality and beauty of indian culture. i saw the pushkar fair many times but not so closly as i saw from your pictures so great job justin.

Posted by cousin of Avichal Pandey November 21, 09 02:01 AM

Bravo pour ces trés belles photos qui me font rever !! quel beau pays j'aime l'indes je suis allez 3 fois bravo pour votre site !
alain C de paris


Posted by alain charlemagne November 30, 09 02:50 PM

Great Work !!!

Posted by Aman December 3, 09 04:27 AM

Great Work ! Wonderful sense of composition with light and subjects. Want to make prints to frame and use in my home. Any suggestions as to how I can do that?
Rajee T Rajan

Posted by Anonymous December 8, 09 09:45 PM

Beautiful the dried up lake the result of global warming...frightening

Posted by Rachel December 9, 09 06:10 AM

it looks good in photographs. having been raised in ajmer since age 9, i have been to the fair several times. its crowded, dusty and those native people can never shower due to water shortage and so smell. its just a total state of decay. being in developed world i feel ashamed to see the chaos, lethargy and lack of managerial ability to get things done properly. i feel ashamed of myself and being part of that place.

Posted by G December 13, 09 12:47 AM

Crackin' pics Kevin ... a slight change from Clowns drivin' along Portage Ave :D

Posted by Jack Simpson December 19, 09 02:14 PM

Great pics. Have a vibrancy in the colors!

Posted by james jett December 24, 09 02:09 PM

Fantastic- Makes one believe that one's world is so limited here in these United States! Why does'nt Philadelphia seem so colorful?

Posted by Amy Layng December 25, 09 10:33 AM

awesome...this couldn't have been an amateur work.

Posted by sanjay kumar December 26, 09 12:43 AM

Excellenet Pictures

Posted by Vipul Sharma January 28, 10 11:21 PM

Beautiful Picture.............................

Posted by Lalit Sharma January 29, 10 03:27 AM

beautiful pictureeeee...........??????????

Posted by bhanu tomer January 31, 10 10:54 AM


such a nice footage of pushkar mela

i he just visited ur site

ur picture quality is superb

i like it so much

i was searching 4 indian festival pics

& i m impressed by ur pics
i m an Indian

Nikheel Vyas

Posted by NIkheel Vyas August 14, 10 04:34 AM


Posted by Anonymous December 2, 10 01:34 AM

Awsome... Beautiful photography.....

Posted by Isha December 10, 10 02:36 AM

Awesome pics!!! Many colours of tradition. Many Thanks to photographer.

Posted by Mihir December 29, 10 11:54 AM
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