Every year, in the wintry months of October-November, Pushkar hosts the largest gathering of not just the cattle-rearing tribals, but also of the photographers- old and new, professional and amateurs. The annual Pushkar Fair is one vibrant affair in the otherwise dreary desert town of Pushkar.
The beautiful lake of Pushkar is located in a valley just about 11 kilometers northwest of Ajmer, surrounded by hills on three sides and sand dunes on the fourth. Pushkar forms a fascinating location and a befitting backdrop for the annual religious and cattle fair. Turbaned heads of men, and colorful veils and skirts of the women bring alive the arid desertscape. The town transforms and is decorated in its finery for the five-day mela. These events make for memorable experience of the fair while presenting the photographers with some lovely photo opportunities.
Glamping in Pushkar
The desert affair is incomplete without a stay in the camps that are just the right amount of rustic luxury. With bonfires, local entertainment and a healthy dose of photography, these accommodations were specially equipped with a Photographers’ Lounge which was created exclusively for photographers from Chiiz.
Fun at the Mela Ground
The Mela Ground is an absolute treat for the photographers. The mela is replete with fun-filled activities like the camel race, livestock competitions, circus, music concerts, amusement rides, snake-charmers, dancers and acrobat performers which makes for a beautiful and out of the ordinary spectacle perfect for photography.
While Pushkar Mela is a place to explore and click photographs on your own, a mentor guiding you always works on your favour. This year, we had Aman Chotani, a ZEISS ambassador and a travel & lifestyle photographer with us to guide us through the fair. Also on the team of mentors were the talented and popular among photographers, Pratik Talreja, Sonali Devnani and Shweta Malhotra. All of them guided our photographers whenever needed and had loads of fun in the process!
Village Tour to Deomali
The divine tales of the human spirit breathes in the dormant sands of villages like Deomali. Our team of photographers, headed by Aman Chotani, went to stir up the sands of Deomali for stories untold and did they find treasure. Men and women in their variegated costumes welcomed us with dance performances, traditional turbans and the mandatory daal baati churma. The photographers enjoyed and captured the cultural kaleidoscope that was presented to us.
Local Artist- Shaitan Singh
Having become a regular feature in photographs from Pushkar, Shaitan Singh took the avatar of the majestic Lord Shiva for us this time. The photographers documented how a mortal becomes a God in a matter of moments.
A photography lounge was set up in the camp site exclusively for the photographers to interact and network with each other. The photo gallery dedicated to Pushkar and a photo exhibition by Aman Chotani set the tone for conversation around photography. Brands like Wacom, Future Forward, NiSi Filters and ZEISS had set up their respective stalls for the photographers to test their products and have their cameras repaired. Fun and photography conversations ensued.
Pushkar is not just a fair. It is a sensorial experience. There is the soothing Rajasthani music for your ears, delicious cuisine for the epicurean in you and undeniably great visuals for you to capture. It is an experience you can’t miss.