Rajasthan: Pushkar fair comes to an end

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Ajmer, Nov 7: Over five lakh tourists visited the annual Pushkar fair which witnessed several colourful events and cattle trade worth Rs 9 crore.

However, the cattle fair which concluded yesterday, has witnessed a dip in the number of foreign tourists, Tourism Officer, Ajmer, said.

"Five lakh domestic and 8000 foreigner tourists visited the fair from October 26 to November 6, this year. Last year, the number of domestic tourists was 4.5 lakh and foreign tourists was 9100," Tourism Officer Ajmer, H L Sharma, told PTI today.

"A phone call threatening a bomb blast in the fair and the withdrawal of permission to a hot-air balloon company to operate in the fair were perhaps the reasons behind the decline of foreigners," he said.

The control room of the fair had received a call threatening blast last week following which security in the town was tightened with the deployment of additional policemen.

"Elaborate security arrangements were in place in the Pushkar town and no untoward incident occurred during the fair," SP Ajmer Mahendra Singh said.

Permission for operating the hot-air balloons was revoked after a hot-air balloon which had taken off from Pushkar landed near Ajmer Jail premises on Tuesday, prompting the district administration issue directions for the same and to order a probe.

"Due to the withdrawal of permission, we had to cancel nearly 350 bookings and most of the bookings were from foreigners," Kapil Sharma, manager of the company which organised the hot-air balloon rides said.

The camel and live-stock fair witnessed trading worth Rs 9.38 crore.

"9934 cattle including 4472 camels and 4279 horses were brought here from various other states like Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat besides Rajasthan,” the Tourism Officer said.

Apart from these, various attractions like camel- decoration, camel race, horse race, games, moustache competition, tug of war were held in which tourists participated in large number and also enjoyed the fair, he said.

PTI

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