Camel carts are a popular ride at the Pushkar Camel Fair in Pushkar, Rajasthan, India. Here is a lineup of carts waiting for tourists who want to experience the stalls and other amusements at the fair from the relative safety of a jostling, tilting, thinly-padded dusty seat behind a surprisingly-docile steed. The camel pulling our cart has posed for us, showing his best side.
Camel Carts at Pushkar
This photo was taken on October 31, 2014. Specs are:
Olympus TG-3, ISO 100, f/5.0, 1/125 sec, 10.29 mm.
One of the things that always astounds us as we travel in India is the number of monkeys by the roadside. This is one group we saw as we were being driven into Pushkar for the annual camel fair. It was interesting to observe that they were doing exactly what we were doing — sightseeing.
This costumed character was photographed at the Pushkar Camel Fair in October, 2014. We believe that she (or he?) represents the Hindu black goddess Kali, worshiped in India especially in South India, Bengal, and Assam. Kali is a manifestation of the terrible goddess Durga, who is herself the dark side of the goddess Devi (wife of Shiva).
There are many stories, or traditions, about Kali’s origin and behavior. In one version, the baby heads hanging from her neck represent the heads of demons she killed and ate. In a Bengali version, they are the decapitated heads of children.
This character is also showing attributes of Durga: many arms and the bowl to hold the blood of those she has killed. In this case, the bowl conveniently holds tips.
While we frequently see costumed street artists in European cities, this creative, multi-facilitated presentation was extraordinary and well worth capturing in a photograph.
(With apologies for any inaccuracies in describing Hindu traditions)
This photo shows a triumphant contestant in the Longest Mustache Contest at the 2014 Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan, India. The total length of the mustache (left side plus right side) is between 4 and 5 feet. However, he was not the winner, who is pictured below with a more subdued demeanor.
According to CNN, J. C. Chounan was the winner of the longest mustache contest with a combined length of 11 feet. This mustache took 18 years to grow. The photo below shows the winner sitting in the stands before the contest, with each side of his mustache curled into a bun on the side of his face.
A personal triumph a day earlier was the arduous climb to Savitri Temple above Pushkar. Savitri is the first wife of Brahma. The climb to Savitri Temple took one hour, with many stops to rest. The incline is at least 45 degrees near the top. The climb begins and ends with concrete steps, but in between the path is made of large rocks set roughly as steps. Quite a few people were climbing, men and women, and many of those were elderly and barefoot. Many were chanting as they climbed, repeating the same phrase with every other step; perhaps it encouraged them. After spending a few minutes at the top, visiting the temple and enjoying the breeze, the walk down took one half hour.
The photo shows the view from Savitri Temple. The beginning of the climb can be seen as the smooth path beginning near the square building with a brown roof. Pushkar Lake surrounded by 52 bathing ghats (steps) is prominent in the upper right. The fairground, site of the mustache contest, is the series of blue roofs upper left.
View of Savitri Temple from the Pushkar Fairgrounds
Climbing to Savitri Temple in Pushkar
These photos show the view of Savitri Temple at the peak of the hill as seen from the Pushkar Fairgrounds (photo on the left) and the view of the climb to the temple (photo on the right).
This last picture shows a contrast that happened accidentally. The photo was taken during the evening flag lowering ceremony at Wagah on the international border between India and Pakistan. Shown is an Indian soldier (member of the Border Security Forces (BSF)) in his colorful dress uniform. The picture was taken to capture the moment, even though the telephoto lens caused the vignetting in the photograph.