I always have to laugh when I read blogposts by photographers who say that Pushkar Fair isn’t worth shooting any more.  That’s like saying Mardi Gras or Carnival isn’t worth shooting because there are too many tourists. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Pushkar Fair, like Marti Gras or Carnival, is as much about the people who attend it, as it is about the event itself.  It’s all the people who come to the fair that makes it great, tourists, both international and domestic as well as the hawkers, herders, heretics, mystics, sadhus and holy men.

Perhaps I should be happy that some photographers publicly dissuade photographers from attending the Pushkar fair, because it might mean that less will attend, but in reality, no matter how many camera touting tourists there are, there’s still plenty of room for everyone at Pushkar. The photo ops are tremendously plentiful between Pushkar town, the the fairgrounds and the camel and livestock trading area.

This was my 10th Pushkar Fair and I never tire of the amazing visual feast. This year, again, my group had the fun of meeting up with National Geographic photographer Nevada Weir’s group. Like me, Nevada has been leading photo groups to the Pushkar Fair for as long as I can remember.

As an extra special surprise, a former Jim Cline photo tour participant and friend, Nancy Powell, who is currently the US Ambassador to India joined us in our tented camp for cocktails one evening during the fair. Nancy, an avid photographer, was attending the Pushkar fair with friends to avail herself to the amazing photo opportunities that Pushkar has to offer.

Here are 27 images from this year’s Pushkar Fair, still one of world’s greatest photo-shoots.


11 Responses to “India Photo Tour: Pushkar Camel Fair” Subscribe

  1. Catherine Wisner December 6, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    It’s on my list for sure Karl..just have to figure out which year. Wonderful images!

  2. Ursula December 6, 2012 at 9:10 pm #

    Next year, my turn! I love India – love these shots!!

  3. Ed Fitzgerald December 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Would love to go again. I filled up every card and did a lot of in camera editing so I could keep shooting. India is one of my favorite countries for photography. You pictures as usual are outstanding.

  4. Ian Mylam December 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    Great work, Karl!

  5. Jay Chatzkel December 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm #

    I can almost smell, taste, feel and definitely see the Fair in your photos. Thanks so much!

  6. France Leclerc December 6, 2012 at 11:54 pm #

    Great images,Karl! They make me relive the trip. Looking forward to the Kumbh Mela!

  7. Robbie Hamper December 7, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    The Pushkar Fair is one of many “Wow” moments that India has to offer. You bought me
    my first cup of Chai tea at the Fair from a street vendor. It was delicious! I agree, there
    are endless people, places, animals, and things to photograph at the Fair at any time of the day. No snake charmers at the Fair this time?
    Great pictures as always. Robbie

  8. Paurav December 7, 2012 at 11:50 am #

    Amazing photography! From your pictures anyone can learn that timing is more important than a camera!

  9. Caroline December 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    I love these images, particularly the ones shot with the wide angle lens! It is inspirational to see how you captured the essence and the human story of the Pushkar Mela. Five years ago I went to the fair on your tour and was absolutely fascinated by it. I returned this year with much anticipation and was dismayed to see how this charming small town had been touched by the creeping fingers of “modernity” and increased tourism in the short five years. But I agree with you that Pushkar continues to offer amazing photography opportunities to anyone who is interested in telling a visual story about a timeless traditional mela and Hindu spirituality/myth. On the fairground there are less Rajasthani colorful turbans and larger crowds of tourists with fancy lenses and cameras. Nevertheless, one is richly rewarded by an unique Pushkar experience if you just wander around at dawn or dusk in the midst of smoke, dust, camels, and beautiful horses; look deep into the melancholic eyes of the camels; chat with a herder who kindly invites a stranger to share his chapattis; observe the colorfully dressed dung-picker skillfully navigating among the animals with her singing ankle bells; admire sadhus performing ascetic austerities and joyful dancing on the spiritual walk; and contemplate pilgrims’ritual bathing to wash away sins from many lifetimes at the ghats. Time seems to have frozen here for a very long time… Again, thanks for sharing your wonderful images which so vividly captured a kaleidoscope of Pushkara, the Lotus Pond, created by Lord Brahma.

  10. Regina Fugate December 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Wonderful photos, Karl! I would love to experience this event, one day!

  11. Tyanajones October 5, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    .Amazing photos, i really liked it ..Good Work!!!!!

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