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