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Thousands of camels make journey to Pushkar fair
Thousands of camel traders bring their animals to the traditional annual camel fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan, in one of the world's largest events. But trade is declining, thanks to deforestation and competition from tractors.

ABOUT FIFTY thousand camels participate in the annual Pushkar fair in Pushkar, located on the edge of Thar desert in Rajasthan. The camel fair is usually celebrated in the month of November, and the dates are fixed according to the cycle of the moon.

The original intention behind the fair is to give a common platform to the camels and the cattle traders to do the business. The camel auction is done during the beginning days of festival and then the attraction is shifted towards the religious celebrations.

This year, the fair would be celebrated from November 20 to November 28. Camel trading is done in the first four days. The camels are dressed attractively and shaved and are then made to participate in  a contest where they are traded. It is a huge carnival with musicians, dancers, snake carmers, magicians etc. entertaining the visitors, reported AFP.

After the camel trading, rituals of the festival are started; people take a dip in the holy water of Pushkar lake to absolve their sins. The full moon day is considered the most auspicious day to take a bath in the lake. It is said that those who take bath in the lake on full moon day will receive special blessings.

Pushkar is among the five pilgrimages that are held in esteem by Hindus. It is said that demon Vajra Nabh with a lotus flower was killed by Brahma and the petals of the lotus flower floated down and lakes sprang up over those places. The only Brahma temple in India is situated in Pushkar and is also the main tourist attraction.

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