5 unique experiences in Malawi
14 November 2023
Every year the Thar desert around Pushkar, in Rajasthan, India becomes the temporary home to tens of thousands of camels and their owners. Some owners travel for up to three weeks with their ships of the desert, to trade in camels as well as other livestock. After a few days of trading, the real fun begins, with camel racing, bazaars, turban tying contests and moustache competitions. It’s all extremely lively, a little brash and very bizarre – you’re sure to come home with plenty of stories to entertain your friends and family with.
The festival takes place in the eighth lunar month of the Hindu calendar, one of the holiest. Pushkar itself is a compact town which curls around a sacred lake, attracting a mix of pilgrims and tourists. These reach a peak at the time of the Camel Festival, when thousands of pilgrims come to wash away their sins in the holy lake. There are processions, incense and chanting, rising to a peak on the final day when candles are set afloat on the lake. It’s not a place to come if you’re looking for peace and quiet, but as long as you’re prepared for that, you’ll find fantastic photo opportunities and unique experiences around every corner.
The festival takes place early in the dry season, which is sometime in November. See our India page for general information about travelling to India.