29 October 2009

Pushkar camel fair

We've come to Pushkar to visit the camel fair, an 8 day extravaganza of everything dromedary. The fair features some 50,000 camels and cattle and draws a crowd of about 200,000 people during the festivities.

As well as a heck of a lot of camel trading going on there's also camel racing, camel decoration and camel dancing, which was a bit rubbish (it even made Quentin Wilson's efforts on Strictly look like Fred Astaire).

Ever wondered what a camel would look like in eyeliner? Well wonder no more.

The town of Pushkar is located on the edge of the Great Thar Desert in the middle of the north east Indian state of Rajasthan. The town is centered on the Pushkar lake and is an important pilgrimage site for Hindus. Unfortunately, this year, there's no water in the holy lake as they have drained it to do some work.

Because of the holiness of the town there are a lot of rules and restrictions including; no meat, eggs, alcohol or public displays of affection (kissing is a big no no). Although we are having to endure enforced vegetarianism for the duration of our stay (the cheese tika curries are very good) we have managed to track down a couple of places where you can get a clandestine beer served from under the counter.

It's not all about camel based action in Pushkar, today we made the hike up the 750ft hill that overlooks the town to see the Savitri temple and to check out the views.

Not exactly sure what this penguin was doing up there drinking coke.

Tomorrow we have the excitement of a turban tying competition followed by the mustache competition . . . bring it on!

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