What’s up? You’re watching Vagabrothers, and for some reason we have mustaches. That’s because we’re at the largest camel gathering in the world, the Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan, India. Let’s go. Right now we are on the fairgrounds of the Pushkar Camel Festival. This is one of the largest camel gatherings in the entire world. It’s also a holy Hindu pilgrimage site all mashed up into one. It’s going to be wild; it’s going to be chaotic. Let’s go. I’m stoked to be back at the Pushkar Camel Festival. I was here nine years ago shortly after graduating college after traveling through India for a month. This time we’re coming back with a different mission. Before I was just chilling, having fun, relaxing. And now we’re here to make a VR film. We’re going to be making a 360 video of this entire experience, but first things first, we need to get into character. There are tons of nomads who come throughout the whole desert. It’s a tribe called the Reika who are nomads. They were originally the caretakers of the Maharajah’s camels and have lived for centuries in kind of a pastoral nomad tradition. They all gather here once a year around the full moon, which is a holy day It’s a holy pilgrimage site; so basically everyone behind this is buying and selling camels for the first week and then paying homage to Pushkar Lake, which is a holy temple for Rama. First things first, we’ve got to get dressed like the locals. I know I’ve loved this beard for a long time, but it’s time for a change. I’m going full Rajasthani. I want to look like Maharaja. Gone? Yes, okay, just mustache. Yes. You are like in paradise right now. As he reclines into the seat, you look so happy right there. Is this good? Are you excited? It’s going to be a bittersweet moment. Done yes, okay, just mustache yeah, thank you All right well the transformation is complete. I first rocked a mustache nine years ago when I came to India, and all the locals were telling me that to get a mustache like a Rajasthani, you just have to pull on the ends. So I started doing it and that’s kind of how my mustache grew for anyone else who is wondering. But as I am rediscovering what it feels like to have a chin, Alex’s transformation is continuing behind me. So Alex, how are you feeling? Not excited, dude. What is happening? WTF is that? Extra. He is giving me a forehead hand-job. OMG. Your style, bro. Looks so funny. You seriously look like a New Zealand Army officer from World War One I can’t see right now because my face is getting the most intense rub down of all time. I have no idea what’s happening right now. So while the men are busy buying and selling camels on the outskirts of the city, the women come in to the center of town to the marketplace where they’re basically buying local textiles, super colorful beautiful textiles, and selling camel products to help support the family. This is important because in recent years the nomadic pastoral lifestyle that they’ve enjoyed for hundreds of years has been coming harder National parks and private lands are encroaching on their grazing grounds So they need to find a way to supplement the income, and one of the ways to do is this. They’ve also started selling female camels here at Pushkar, which they never did before because they’re necessary to keep the herd numbers high. It’s not a good sign, but hopefully they find a way to keep this lifestyle continuing in the future. All right right now we are actually in the outskirts of the fair, but this is where everybody’s camped out. This is where they bring all their animals, and it’s kind of like a livestock show. People are inspecting horses. They have a special type of horse here called Marwadi, and those were like warrior horses for the Maharajahs, back in the day. This place is a giant carnival. That little girl back there has the best sense of balance I’ve ever seen. As we’ve mentioned Puskar is a holy city for Hindus. It’s one of the top five holy pilgrimage sites in all of India. On these weeks pilgrims come from across India to bathe in the holy lake of Pushkar. Basically, the reason they’re bathing in this lake is because it’s believed that it’s going to wash away all of their sins. So like Mark said people come from all over Rajasthan, all over India to come here during this special week to basically cleanse themselves of all the bad deeds in the past. We’re going to go down to the Gots and show you more about that when we get there. We were just in the middle of a VR shop, and we were joined by a friendly local. Out behind us is the lake at Pushkar. This is what all of the event centers around. The lake is considered holy to Hindus. In Hindu mythology the creator of the universe, Brahma, had a battle with a demon in which he killed the demon, and three lotus petals fell down from his sword and from those lotus petals sprouted this lake. It’s believed that bathing in the lake will wash away all of your sins because during the festival all the gods come here. They bless the devotees, and that’s why you’re seeing pilgrims coming from all over India. It’s all about bathing in the lake, and so behind us is a got. A got is an Indian… basically like a step down to the water. And it’s where people bathe, both for cleaning themselves in rivers and doing laundry, but in this case, it has a holy significance. We’re not supposed to get much closer than we are because we’re respecting people’s privacy. You’re not supposed to film people while they’re bathing, but behind us is where all the action’s happening. They also light candles, put them out on the lake, and it’s just generally an amazingly spiritual scene. We’re able to film the ceremony because it does not involve bathing. It’s a real treat to be able to be here and to capture it on VR. The experience is going to be surreal. All right, yes, good morning. Welcome back to day two at Pushkar. It’s just as hot, if not maybe a little bit hotter today, but there’s still plenty to explore. We’re going to be heading in kind of closer to the lake today. We’re going to be trying tons of food. It’s a lot of stuff going to happen. Yeah, today is the Saturday of the festival. Tomorrow is the last day. A lot of the camel trading is wrapped up and some of the camel herders have left town. But the holy ceremony starts now. Tomorrow will be the culmination of the religious event on the full moon. We’re just really soaking this all up. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s go explore. One thing I’ve learned about India is that all of the honking it’s actually like a form of echolocation and sonar. Basically by honking you’re letting people know that you’re coming so they don’t walk down the middle of the street and get hit by you. We are at the closing ceremonies. There are musicians; there are camel racers; There are people who are going to be carrying pots of water on their head, and we’re going to try to capture it in VR right now. There are thousands of people in the stadium. It’s the most I’ve seen all week, and we’re going to finish this amazing festival with a bang. It’s been a wild couple of days. When we showed up, a lot of the major competitions had already finished: the longest mustache competition, the camel beauty contest, but our good luck is that everything is kind of coming together here. You’ve got the best mustache, the most beautiful camels. Oh there they are. Hold up, we’ve got to go. We’ve got to go take a look at the mustaches. That is a mustache! Your name? How much time? 15 years. How long? Two meters. Are you the winner this year? No. Who’s the winner? Winner is not go. Oh wow. But very good. I’m not a big mustache person. I was forced into making this mustache for Movember, but these guys live Movember every month. To be completely honest, this entire festival has just been chaotic and insane. There’re just so many crazy things unfolding around you at all times, but today is the culmination of the entire event. It’s closing ceremony. There’re going to be camel races; There’re going to be strength competitions. We’ve got the longest mustaches, potentially in the world here, and we have plenty of camels who seem to be relatively friendly. But then again you never really want to trust a camel because I don’t know what he’s going to do to me right now. Ahh. He’s nice. We haven’t told you but all this sort of music here is super typical of Rajasthan. And little known fact, but gypsy or Roma people from Europe supposedly originated from northwestern India a couple hundred years ago You can see the roots, the resemblance. It’s kind of crazy, and it’s really awesome. All right ladies and… India! All right ladies and Let’s do it. I’m going. All right ladies ….[laughter] Wait. Wait. All right ladies and gentlemen, well that was the Pushkar Camel Festival. Insane experience. Definitely one for your bucket list. If you enjoyed it as much as we did, make sure you give a big thumbs -up, share it with your friends, subscribe and turn on notifications if you haven’t already. If you have not seen the VR film we made from Pushkar or the ones we made from Rajasthan, Machu Picchu, and Venice Beach, California, make sure you check those out. We’ll put links down below in the info box. There’s also a full series for Rajasthan. In the meantime stay curious, keep exploring, and we will see you on the road. Peace. Namaste.