Pushkar: a Marwari ride to the greatest show in Rajasthan, India.
Posted by Mark
We are giving a free Venture Co daypack to welcome all Pushkar riders 2019.
Pushkar is a place in India you may have heard of: it’s a small desert town 150 clicks SW of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Unusually it’s a pilgrimage site, complete with sacred bathing ghats, for both Hindus and Sikhs. But what it’s particularly famous for is the annual autumn ‘Camel Fair’.
The stat’s are startling: ¼ million traders wash and adorn 50,000 camels, a similar number of Marwari horses, and rather more cattle, all of which swell the local population for the five day fair. Add in the holiday atmosphere, magic sideshows and of course the races (camels and horses, but not together) and the scene is set for an experience of biblical proportions. Vibrant colours combine with the dusty haze and set the stage for horsemanship that will stop you in your tracks. Badminton it ain’t but attention gripping it most certainly is.
Our host for this ride often buys a stallion or brood mare at the fare, so we, as part of his entourage, are very much ‘in’. The trading and bargaining is utterly unfathomable: no visible sign can be seen and few words are exchanged; just a rather intriguing sash draped across clasped hands, concealing an ancient, tactile communication. Eventually a price is agreed and a deal struck but no-one knows the detail except buyer and seller. And low and behold a new horse joins the herd!
There are a couple of things that set our riding group apart: as you might imagine, tourists are bussed in to the fair on day trips, click their cameras and depart. We ride in across the desert, riding Marwaris, and arrive very much in traditional style. More subtly, the Marwaris we’re riding are top class examples of the breed and have all the right physical attributes, but they also have the intangible spirit that sets a classy Marwari apart. Local dealers will recognise this at a glance, and you’ll get a different reaction compared to the bussed-in brigade.
We can organise this ride in a number of ways: with a tiger safari, or without, including a visit to the Taj Mahal, or not and visiting Pushkar at the beginning of the itinerary or at the end. We remain flexible and can even include the Diwali experience in a Rajasthan fort. Please contact us for a detailed, tailored proposal and price.