Festival in the sunset
Pushkar, Rajasthan, India, 2008-09-28 12:00 by Laerke
On the first day that we got to Pushkar a festival was held. It started in on end of town with a procession of camels – some with carts, musicians and dancers, we got to ride in one of the camel carts. People stood on the sides of the streets, looking out through doors and windows, children ran alongside throwing yellow flowers at us, waving and shouting the usual “which country?” The procession ended at some sand dunes just out of town, where the “gypsy dancers” (as they called them) danced while the musicians played. It was all so colorful; the music was great and the dancers talented. Happy children were everywhere and food and drinks was given out to everybody – even to the lower caste children. The music kept playing and the dancers kept dancing till the sun came down and we saw the dancers silhouetted against the yellow sun setting behind the sand dunes. A great welcome to Pushkar.

From our room we can hear the bells and drums from the temples, it sounds very atmospheric. This morning I sat on our balcony looking at a big family of monkeys that had set up camp on the surrounding rooftops, the smaller ones are playing and jumping around, while the grownups pick fleas of each other. Everywhere they jump and make noise; but they can be sneaky too, slowly and without a sound they peak into kitchens or common rooms, to see what they can get their hands on. Food is best, but everything will do.

Picture of monkey on top

For some reason Pushkar was pleasantly cool, and the city is quite small (for Indian standards) and not that traffic congested. It was a good change from sweating Agra and noisy Jaipur. Pushkar is situated around a holy lake with ghats leading down to the waters everywhere. Unfortunately a combination of hot weather and still winds (and pollution?) had made the lake oxygen deprived, resulting in massive fish death, again leading to a not so nice smell! The smells were avoidable though and sitting on a rooftop restaurant looking down on the lake, the ghats and its inhabitants (people, monkeys, birds, dead fish) was nice and relaxing.