The famous annual Pushkar fair of Rajasthan started on Monday with a large number of people from the country and abroad taking part in it.
It is for the first time that the nine-day international fair started with the worship of Pushkar Sarovar.
Additional District Magistrate Kailash Lakhara told PTI that after worship at the pond, the fair was thrown open with a flag hoisting ceremony at the stadium amid the beating of drums.
Ornamental camel display and group dance by school children also marked the occasion, said Lakhara, adding a football match, too, would be played between villagers and foreign tourists during the fair.
He said a Maha Aarti with 'Deepadan' was held on 52 ghats of the Pushkar Sarovar.
Coinciding with the nine-day fair, a five-day religious congregation, too, takes place during the occasion, said the ADM, adding it would start from the day of taking holy dip in the pond on Kartik Ekadashi falling on November 8.
The fair will conclude on November 12 on Kartik Purnima.
Besides people from various parts of the country, a large number of foreign tourists also visit the fair, which is of the world fame for sale and purchase of livestock and various animals, including cows, camel and horses .
Lakhara said usually three to four lakh people, including foreigners, participate in the fair, but the number of participants reaches up to five lakh during the days of religious congregation.
He said during the fair, a film on Mahatma Gandhi would also be screened at the fair ground at 6 every day.
He said singers Ravi Panwar and Kailash Kher will perform on November 11 at the fair.
Animal Husbandry Department's Joint Director Ajay Arora said about 5,000 animals of different species have reached the cattle fair. The animals that came to the fair till Sunday evening include 2,580 camels, 1,923 horses and 32 cows.
He said after camel was declared state animal in 2016, the number of camel buyers from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh at the fair has become negligible as it cannot be transported outside the state.
He said the animals had started coming for the fair from October 28.