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Commerce and Ritual at the Pushkar Fair

One of India's greatest melas takes place annually at the small town of Pushkar in the heart of the northwest state of Rajasthan. With the approach of the auspicious full moon of the Hindu month of Kartik (October-November), some 200,000 pilgrims and traders journey across sere plains and arid uplands to gather for five days at Pushkar. Following ancient tradition, the travelers move in groups both large and small, journeying in bullock carts, buses and trains, riding horses and camels, or walking long distances on roads and rocky paths. Most are villagers from the surrounding region, an area known as Marwar, and are garbed in colorful ...

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