Tourists from around the world travelled to the Indian state of Rajasthan, to witness the largest camel and livestock fair held anywhere. The world-famous Pushkar fair is held in the town of the same name and is truly a sight to behold.

The fair attracts thousands of livestock dealers, who bring incredible numbers of camels, horses and cattle. In addition to the business of buying and selling livestock, there are also many cultural programmes and, for the gambler amongst the people attending, horse and camel races are also conducted. Other events include traditional Indian rural pastimes like turban and moustache competitions for men and the creation of colourful and vibrant wall paintings for women.

The conclusion of the fair coincides with the Kartik Purnima religious festival. This is also an occasion for Hindu pilgrims to take a dip in the sacred Pushkar Lake, as it is believed such a bathing will cleanse them of a lifetime's sins.

Foreigners visiting the fair admit to being overawed by the vibrancy of the event.

"I am from France and for the first time in Pushkar, very nice, lot of light, lot of nice rangoli, it is very good, and camel festival is very amazing," Paulo [second name unknown] said.

Meanwhile, 25 year old Anna Bright, from Washington DC, celebrated the festival in a traditional manner, with the bursting of firecrackers and the cooking of local delicacies.

Locals describe the fair as being open to anybody, whether rich or poor, and say the event and its religious overtones include "deepdan" - the decorating of the Pushkar Lake with thousands of earthen lamps.

For more details about the fair, visit the official Web site. Meanwhile, check out some photographs from the magical and colourful Pushkar cattle fair

A hot air balloon carrying tourists flies over camels for sale at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
A woman sits among camels as she collects material to make a bonfire at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
A camel herder attempts to control one of his camels at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
A camel herder walks his camels at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
A woman carrying a metal container walks past camel herders waiting for customers at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
Camels walk as their herders lead them to an area to wait for customers at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
Camel herders count money at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
A camel herder kisses the nose of one of his camels as he waits for customers at Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters
Camel herders sit around a bonfire to warm themselves as they wait for customers at Pushkar Fair in RajasthanReuters
Camels run as they arrive with their herders at the Pushkar Fair in the desert Indian state of RajasthanReuters