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Thousands of animals are traded at the Pushkar camel fair

Manish Swarup / AP

A villager looks at a camel before deciding to buy at the Pushkar fair, in the Indian state of Rajasthan, on Nov. 5. Pushkar, located on the banks of Pushkar Lake, is a popular Hindu pilgrimage spot that is also frequented by foreign tourists for its annual cattle fair and camel races. The week-long fair began Thursday.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

A herder looks at three camels he purchased during the camel fair in Pushkar on Nov. 4. The Pushkar fair is one of the world's largest camel fairs, with over 50,000 camels brought in from around the region.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / AFP - Getty Images

A herder rests at the end of the day in Pushkar on Nov. 4.

Manish Swarup / AP

A camel herder poses for a portrait in Pushkar on Nov. 6. Every year thousands of camel herders from the semi-nomadic Rabari tribe, who make a living rearing animals, travel for two to three weeks across 312 miles to set up camp in the desert dunes near Pushkar to sell their livestock.

From AP photographer Manish Swarup:

These Camel herders are very poor but very hospitable. They’re rugged people accustomed to hardship — they sleep in the open and live off the land.

I drank tea that they offered me, made from camel’s milk. It was quite sweet. Later they took out more milk and asked me to drink it, and I politely declined.

Their rugged faces matched the roughness of terrain — still, with simplicity. Plus, their faces have a magnetism that would draw in any photographer.

Also, they pull at your heart. Their hardships remind you lucky and blessed we are.

Previously on PhotoBlog: Dusk settles for a herder and his camels.