Sunday, February 6, 2011

Me, my camels and the rest of the zoo in Rajasthan, India

My passion for camels is not a secret, it was love at first sight in Abu Dhabi desert, and I almost got traded with two camels in Istanbul. It must be a destiny, everywhere I go I see camels, or I unconsciously choose destinations were I'm bound to find them.

India is not just a photographer's paradise, but also a camel's paradise. Or any animal's for that matter, since, as my guide told me many times "In India you don't need to go to the zoo, you'll find it in the streets."

Cows, monkeys, elephants, pigs, any creature you can think of swans around the badly kept roads of rural (and urban) India.

Indians have a sort of obsession for animals, they don't kill them, in the Rajasthan region most people are completely vegeterian, instead of eating meat, they translate animals into gods and worship them. During all my travels I had never been to a place where people establish a so close contact with nature. Almost unbearably fascinating.

I'm not vegetarian, but I realize I'm gradually eating less and less meat. I really I love animals, and during my recent trip to India, along with visiting countless monuments and places of historical interest, and driving around the Rajasthan, I couldn't stop staring at the cows: they are their holy animal, they are everywhere, they live in the streets, they hang around local markets, living just fine among people.

Indians don't even mind until they stumble on them suddenly in the middle of the road while recklessly darting back and forth with their cars and motorbikes: it's unforgivable sin (and very likely also illegal) to hit a cow.

Not only happy cows swinging their head conscious of their importance, but also other animals live carefree in a country where they are loved, protected and worshipped.

As for me, having the possibility to see my camels so often, without rushing and being able to capture their funky smile with my camera was, well, priceless.

More pearls, as usual, on my Flickr set devoted to animals.

23 comments:

Julia said...

How strange. I'm just looking through my Google reader before I get ready - and then we're off to see some camels in the next village! :)I'll be taking my camera so I'll get some pics!

AngelaCorrias said...

Aww looking forward to your pictures!!

Jack @ eyeflare travel said...

That looks fantastic, there's a very happy Angela on top of that camel.

AngelaCorrias said...

lol! That's a very happy Angela indeed, the camel looks happy too though, doesn't he?? ;)

Cathy Sweeney said...

I've always wanted to ride a camel, but haven't had the opportunity. I can totally understand why you're so happy in the pic. I was also very intrigued about your Istanbul experience so read the post -- loved it!

AngelaCorrias said...

Hi Cathy, I'm glad you liked my posts, it was a very nice experience. I can totally recommend to make it to Jaisalmer and get to the desert!

Connie said...

When I was in India, I ended up going vegetarian as well. It wasn't so intentional, I just phased out meat on my own. I think the best thing about Indian food is that there are so many delicious and filling vegetarian options!

I love the photo of you on the camel! I'm a bit too scared to get on one myself but they are really interesting creatures.

AngelaCorrias said...

True, I didn't know myself they had so many vegetarian options as all Indian restaurants I've been to, either in Europe or China, have more meals with meat than completely vegetarian.
I had the chance to ride a camel also in Abu Dhabi, but only for a minute, while in Jaisalmer we needed to go deeper on the dunes to enjoy the sunset and riding the camel was just one of the many "transport" options.
My guide maintains that camel riding is "very comfortable", probably I wouldn't define it so, but maybe I just need to get used ;) And without the guide holding me, I don't think I'll have make it on top for the whole trip :P

Siddhartha Joshi said...

You are so right, we make most animals into gods or god's vehicles, including dogs, rats etc. So they end up being all holy :)

Can't really say that we are still not cruel to many...

Wonderful post nevertheless :)

AngelaCorrias said...

Hi Joshi, welcome to my blog :)

I found the Indian society incredibly fascinating, unfortunately I stayed too little and didn't have the time to dig deeper into it. Oh well, that's the excuse to go back, isn't it? ;)

magiceye said...

glad you enjoyed your trip and already planning another!!

include mumbai in your itin!

AngelaCorrias said...

I certainly will! Thanks for stopping by :))

RamblingTart said...

I have never been to India, but numerous dear friends and one of my brothers have and LOVED it! I had such fun looking through their pictures, and seeing yours today brought those memories back. :-)

AngelaCorrias said...

Thanks Krista, glad you liked the photos!
More fun pics and posts about India coming soon ;))

Natalie said...

Wow, really surprised to find camels in India. I am off to see some camels on the 28th of this month. Wrestling. Betting sport here during the inter months. Not usre if I am looking forward to it or not.

AngelaCorrias said...

Hi Natalie, thanks for stopping by! For sure you'll see many camels, so I guess you need to like them.
Generally I always like animals in their natural environment, not sure how the wrestling works, but probably I'd still prefer the desert :)

Dina VagabondQuest said...

I would love to share the road with elephants, monkeys, and cows!

AngelaCorrias said...

ahaha yeah it was very sweet, although locals don't really love monkeys, everybody kept telling me monkeys are too naughty! :P

Dizzie said...

In Egypt, a camel nibbled my butt for thirty minutes straight (the camel keeper through this was hilarious) during a ride, while in Turkey a camel licked my cheek... I'm not sure if those are signs of love or not! :)

AngelaCorrias said...

loool! how sweet! It's a sign of love, I know camels :P

Rezervesana said...

Your blogs arouse my interests in travelling !

Rajasthan Tours Operator said...

its really a true india and rajsthan because i am rajesthani

Rajasthan Tours said...

Excellent blog and great post.. thanks for sharing

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