Saturday, October 11, 2008
After The Party
I am now safely back in Mcleod Ganj after an interesting Dasera experience in Kullu.
Kullu is the administrative centre of the local area in central Himachal Pradesh. It is famous for its shawls and it´s festivities for the Hindu festival. Over 2000 religious deities are carried on huge bamboo poles from miles around and paraded around the town. However, to the uninformed, each deity look very much the same.
It is only 240kms away, but I was almost on the verge of tears when I finally arrived after a ten hour local bus journey. Says a lot about road travel in Northern India. Set close to the famous Parvati Valley, the town is a typical bustling market town at the best of times, but with the huge crowds descending in, accommodation was scarce. I finally ended up in the Aaditya Hotel next to the Beas river. The mattress was almost non-existent and my next door neighbours were clearly in the mood for partying.
Each village community that had brought their local deity celebrated with a mixture of silver and brass horns, a selection of drums and oboe-like instruments, and they each clearly wanted to outdo the others in the level of noise.
Along with the deities, there was a fun-fair, market, cultural show, street performers and food-stalls spread over the cricket ground and recreational fields. This vibrant colourful extravaganza lasts for a week.
Some photos of this event can be found at http://picasaweb.google.com/aubreygroves67/Dasera02
Being such an auspicious festival, the sadhus were out in number. I have subsequently updated the appropriate portfolio to http://picasaweb.google.com/aubreygroves67/Sadhus02