One of the many activities put together to add festivities to the pure commercial / trading activities of the Mela is a Camel Decoration contest. Think Henna on a camel.
The Mela is not only for camels, however. It is also an opportunity to show and sell one’s prized “Arabian” horses.
But the masses of traders who have come to the Mela are not confining themselves to the desert dunes. Quite to the contrary ~ the Mela is also an opportunity for travellers and nomads from far and wide to come and buy goods in the town of Pushkar. The normally quiet streets of Pushkar become hard to navigate, so large are the throngs of visitors.
The groups are starting to be distinguishable to us after a few days ~ Men in white outfits and bright red turbans from Gujarat, a nearby state. “Gypsy” women, their hands and feet beautifully decorated by henna and arms laden with bracelets. Sufis, who have come from far, with their very distinctive dress and turbans.
|This gypsy woman struck up a conversation with Peta – By the end of the conversation, they were discussing arranged marriages for our 4 boys and her 4 daughters…|
Shopping is rampant and it is fun to see what products are attracting most visitors.
|Men shopping for wooden walking sticks.|