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The 2012 Pushkar Camel Fair

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Every year in the Indian state of Rajasthan, thousands of people and camels make a trip to the small town of Pushkar for the annual Pushkar Mela, or Pushkar Camel Fair. One of the oldest and largest camel fairs in the world, Pushkar has grown to become an important attraction for foreign tourists in recent years. Aside from the trading of livestock, the fair includes music, sports, and other events such as the "longest mustache" and "Indian bride dress-up" competitions. Collected here are a few scenes from this year's fair in India's northern desert. [21 photos]

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A hot air balloon carrying tourists flies over camels for sale at Pushkar Fair in the Indian state of Rajasthan, on November 22, 2012. Many international and domestic tourists throng to Pushkar to witness one of the most colorful and popular fairs in India. Thousands of animals, mainly camels, are brought to the fair to be sold and traded. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)
A hot air balloon carrying tourists flies over camels for sale at Pushkar Fair in the Indian state of Rajasthan, on November 22, 2012. Many international and domestic tourists throng to Pushkar to witness one of the most colorful and popular fairs in India. Thousands of animals, mainly camels, are brought to the fair to be sold and traded. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui)
An Indian herder with his camels on a sandy path as they near the camel fairgrounds on the outskirts of the small town of Pushkar, on November 23, 2012. This annual five-day camel and livestock fair is one of the world's largest camel fairs. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
A woman adjusts her veil while roaming the fields near Pushkar, collecting camel dung, on November 21, 2012. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
Camel herders warm themselves by a fire at Pushkar Fair, on November 23, 2012. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui) #
An Indian man leads his camel during the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, India, on November 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
Indian herders and their camels gather in Pushkar, on November 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
An Indian man, dressed as Hindu God Lord Shiva, participates in a procession during the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, on November 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
Camel herders gather in the morning at the annual Pushkar Fair, on November 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A herd of camels are lead to Pushkar, on November 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
A camel herder sits on a bed in a field during the early morning at Pushkar Fair, on November 23, 2012. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui) #
A man inspects the mouth of his camel for sale, for potential buyers to see during the early morning hours on the outskirts of Pushkar, on November 21, 2012. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
A camel herder attempts to control one of his camels at Pushkar Fair, on November 23, 2012. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui) #
A young Indian woman dressed in traditional Rajasthani clothing waits for the start of a traditional dance presentation on the outskirts of Pushkar, on November 21, 2012. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
Camels and hot air balloons, silhouetted against the darkening sky at the annual Pushkar Fair, on November 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Indian women pause as they collect water for their camp in Pushkar, on November 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer) #
Camel herders arrive to sell their camels at the annual Pushkar Fair, on November 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
A woman sits among camels as she collects material to make a bonfire at Pushkar Fair, on November 23, 2012. (Reuters/Danish Siddiqui) #
An Indian Hindu devotee holds a traditional oil lamp as she performs evening prayers near Pushkar Lake, on November 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
Camels stand before the setting sun during the annual camel fair in Pushkar, on November 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
A woman prepares food early in the morning at the annual cattle fair in Pushkar, on November 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh) #
Indian camel owners warm themselves around a fire in the early morning at the Pushkar camel fair, on November 23, 2012. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images) #

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