An eclectic mix of all things wacky!

Trip Start Jun 28, 2010
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52
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed

Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Thursday, November 24, 2011

PUSHKAR! PUSHKAR! PUSHKAR! The place we had been looking forward to for sooo long! Home to the only Brahman temple in the world but more importantly for us - the annual Camel Festival!

This occasion lasted for around 8 days and was absolutely incredibly fun! The small holy town (no eggs, meat or alcohol) of Pushkar transforms into a rainbow of saris, decorated camels, street processions, snake charmers and sadhus (holy men) over this exciting time!
At the start of the festival, the main reason people are there is for camel and cattle trading, but as the fair moves on all sorts of weird and wonderful events take place.

The stadium holds various competitions and performances throughout each day ranging from mustache-growing competitions to traditional Rajasthani dancing.
Just to be in the streets is a spectacle to behold! Crammed like sardines, Indian and foreign tourists shuffle along stopping in shops, throwing flowers around or visiting one of the many temples encircling the holy lake.

The whole affair was so colourful and exciting and we felt very lucky to be there!
One day Sean got summoned to take part in the Matkah Phod competition. Locals vs Visitors - the aim of the game was to see which team could build a human pyramid the fastest and when the final participant reaches the top they must smash a clay pot suspended from some scaffolding!
Sean wasn't so keen at first but eventually after some convincing from me and another girl (who was trying to get her boyfriend to join in too), off he trotted to the sandy performance area. As the team discussed tactics, the crowds waited in anticipation and at last the official blew the whistle!
The participants clambered on top of each other like monkeys desperate for bananas at the top of a tall tree.
They actually looked like naturals as they supported each others weights, tier upon tier. Within a few minutes it was time for the visiting teams' last member to mount the pyramid and he did it with such precision! Once he reached the summit, out came the baton and SMASH went the claypot! They won!

The shock of winning resulted in a small avalanche of people, and in the process Sean dislocated his little finger! I don't know why he was complaining though because he got a trophy, certificate, local celebrity status and the next day the team had an action shot in the newspaper!

The first foreign team to win this competition in the whole history of the camel fair! HA!
So, after all this excitement and joy we spent the next day resting and reflecting on what a super duper time we'd had in Pushkar and hey, on the last night we even went to a restaurant that served beer in a covert teapot (holy town - no alcohol). Slap our wrists you might, but Sean deserved it after his victory! Ha!
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