Category Archives: Marwari

A Day At The Pushkar Fair 2009

Just Resting A Bit

A Merchant Waiting for Customers

A Camel Ride

The chameleon

Pushkar is about 150 km from Jaipur .So if for some reason you wish to hurry back to Jaipur on the same day you arrive there it can be done. So I planned to do just that. Even before I start the journey I am planning how it will end. That is a result of the rushed lives we all lead. It is just one more habit we can not seem to break.

Jaipur-Ajmer and Pushkar are very well connected, especially during the Cattle Fair time. So I put my camera in a bag and took a Meri Car Taxi to the Sindhi Camp Bus Stand to catch a Deluxe Bus to Ajmer. I was in Ajmer at about 6 am in the morning. I am glad to say it was a good trip and economically priced too. Only thing to note was that the citizens follow the first come first served rule and not the seat number rule when they take their seats on the bus. It worked this time to every body’s satisfaction. Or maybe they were not awake enough to fight.

At Ajmer I asked the ticket seller to sell me a ticket to Pushkar on one of the jam packed buses parked there. He answered reasonably enough that he had already sold 70 tickets on the bus to pushkar  and asked me where I planned to sit in the event that he sold me a ticket. He told me to wait for the next bus. I finally got a ticket on the next bus which started on its winding route through the Aravalies to Pushkar after a long wait. Though the holy town is only about 15 km from Ajmer we reached there about 7 am. The town was already coming alive for the long day ahead. I bought a local newspaper in hindi and avoided drinking tea some body pushed in my face and went into the town towards the ghats.

I was surprised to see dried mud and small ponds of water. Somebody told me for 21 rupees he would sprinkle a little holy water on me to purify me as it was the holy ritual one had to follow before visiting the Brahma Temple. I avoided him too and went on to the Brahma Temple. After taking off my shoes and socks and buying flowers and prasad I tried to go in but they wanted me to deposit my bag with the camera into a free clock room which was not open yet. The Prasad seller did offer to keep the bag but you know how it is when you are traveling alone nowadays – you try not to trust anybody. So I went on again. The shops were opening up. People were trying to display their wares in the best possible way. As I went along I kept noticing temples and dry ghats. What struck me was our piety has nothing to do with a full Sarovar. It is with in us. It is good to have a full tank of water and good to take a holy dip but we can still feel we are purified even with a few drops of holy water sprinkled on us when we have to.

I came to a couple of giant wheel standing silent and empty with numerous other rides. I saw a couple of giant gas balloons giving rides to their foreign guests. I saw a craft mela and a stadium where the animal competition would be held during the day and came to the animal compound. There were Camels and Horses and tourists in a big number. I took a few photos and got directions to the Helipad on the Devnagar-Banseli Road where my friend had put up Swiss Cottages in the style of Bhadrawati Royal Camps. I got to the Helipad but there were no Swiss cottages, instead there was a big elevated road there. Later on I found out that the road is where the railway tracks are to be laid and the cottages were on the other side of the elevated road.

I had some breakfast and headed back to the Ghats again had some holy water sprinkled on me and went to the Brahma Temple and had darshan.

I came out and took some more photos of the colorful and diverse wares on display in the markets. I remember a woman exhorting her husband in a loud voice to buy her a camera and just then I saw some Kodak film cameras on display too. The gap between haves and have nots is narrowing, and rightly so too. Some of these photos are enclosed here.  I had some pakoras and a cold drink as a snack. And headed back for Jaipur after 5 pm and was home for dinner after a day well spent.

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In Remembrance

On 21 st October 1959 a unit of  Indian Police Force martyred itself defending the Indian soil against the Chinese in Ladhak.  Pt.Jawahar Lal Nehru,the then Prime Minister, decided to honour their ultimate sacrifice by declaring 21 st October as Indian Police Force’s Martyrs Day.  Smt.Usha Rani Hooja was commissioned with the task of casting a  sutiable bronze statue for the memorial. She did every body proud by casting the Trimurty sculpture  which was installed at the Narain Singh Circle on the Jawahar Lal Nehru Marg.This memorial was inagurated by the Prime Minister on 5th November 1963.This year also on Shaheed Diwas, a function was organised at the Rajasthan Police Academy and every police line in every district of Rajasthan. Homage was also paid at the Shaheed Samark on JLN Marg.

An Animal Fair With A Difference

Every year in the month of October, for the past 500 years, a four day animal fair  is held in Bhawgarh Bandhya, near jaipur, in the Looniyawas village. Held in honour of the Sri KhalKhani Mata-this fair showcases the best of Donkeys money can buy.There is sale and purchase of donkeys,race featuring donkeys,poem recitals in praise of donkeys, prizes for the best bred donkey of the marwari or kathiawari breed,beauty pageant to find the Ms. Donkey & Mr.Donkey among other events.The owners name their donkeys after the bollywood stars to enhance their charms in the eyes of the buyers.Even so the organisers have a difficult time every year to find VVIPs to do the honours at the fair.

As people are preferring to buy horses instead of donkeys or mules for their use these days  a lot of horses turn up at the fair every year also.For example this year there were only 300 donkeys and 50 mules but about 1200 horses at the mela.Also on display was a white colored Shyam Karan Horse  worth 31 lacs.According to the scriptures Lord Ram set loose a Shyam Karan horse when he performed the Ashwa medh yagh.

Legend has it that Sri Khalkhani mata performed a miracle for her devotee in distress by turning a bag of stones into gold coins.Since then this fair is held every year.

Grace in Gait-The Thar Marwari Horse

A Bit of Water To Drink-1a

In a guest Post Arvind Chawdhary Polo Player,Marwari Horse enthusiast and team leader for The Thar Marwari Horse Safari, Jaipur writes about The Marwari Horse.

As much a mystery as a legend, the Marwari horse instantly evokes reminiscence of the valorous Chetak. The loyal horse of Maharana Pratap of Mewar is alive even today in the annals of history in Rajasthan synonymous for valour, speed and stamina.

The elegant and brave, intelligent and graceful, strong and high in performance, proud and athletic, the horse has been long enshrined in the bardic literature of Medieval Rajasthan. One of the finest horse breeds in the world today, the elegant Marwari comes from an ancient Arab-Turkmeni mix lineage that evolved in the harsh desert climate of the Marwar Region in India.

The horse has since time immemorial had a symbiotic relationship with the desert and the soldiers. The Marwari horse was an awe-inspiring sight on the battlefield with the soldier, who unmindful of the dangers was battling between – victory and death. His resolve helped in no small measure by the confidence he had in his steed – a magnificent horse rearing on its hind legs over the din of clashing swords and warriors’ curses. The Marwari was truly a hero’s horse. Maharana Pratap rode one, the peerless Chetak. Amar Singh Rathore rode Udal and Pabu ji rode Kesar Kalmi . As did most of the heroes whose deeds light up Rajasthan’s embattled history.

By traditional accounts, the Marwari horse has been bred in Rajasthan since at least 1212 C.E. It was originally developed to be a war horse. Bred by the Rathores, the traditional rulers of Marwar, the valiant Rajputs developed a policy of strict selective breeding.

Graceful in his gait the Marwari horses are born with a “rehwal” or “revaal”, a quick, four-beat lateral gait, which is smoother and more comfortable than a trot, used in the desert to cover long distances with greater comfort.

The horse is distinctive with a long head with a broad forehead, wide-set large and alert eyes, a roman nose with full nostrils, and a well-shaped mouth. The most distinctive feature of the Marwari horse is its lyre-shaped ears, which curve inwards and meet at the tips. The ears capable of rotating through an angle of 180 degrees apart from providing the horse with an extremely acute hearing also protect it in sand-storms.The average height of a Marwari Horse is 62-66 inches.And when he leaps, he spans 12 feet!

Apart from their undoubted use in battle, Marwaris were excellent horses for hunting and racing. Albino Marwaris were considered priceless and were used in religious ceremonies. Today, the horse is used for horse riding safaris, endurance competitions, religious ceremonies, and earlier were also in the Cavalry of the Delhi, Punjab and Rajasthan Police.

The horse in recent years, has gained a strong following both inside and outside India. The Marwari horse is capable of adapting almost anywhere. Its undoubted beauty and courageous disposition along with the steadfast loyalty it shows towards its owners is making it very trendy with horse enthusiasts.The Marwari has also raced at The Meerut Race Club in May 2008 for the first time in the Indian racing history of  past 129 years.In March 2009 three Marwari horses will be show cased at the EQUITANA-2009 ( a biannual equestrian sports world fair)in Germany for the first time.

THE THAR MARWARI HORSE SAFARI

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A Rajasthani Curry Made With Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Curry Made Rajasthani Style

Aloe Vera Curry Made In Rajasthani Style

In a guest post Ms.Vishnu Priya,a house wife in Jaipur,shares the recipe for making a rajasthani curry using Aloe Vera ( Gawar Patha ) stems as found in rajasthan or the corner Reliance Fresh Store.

Ingredients

6 Nos. Aloe Vera (Gawar Patha) leaves

1 tea spoon Red Chilli Powder

1/2 tea spoon Turmeric Powder

1/2 tea spoon Coriander Powder

A pinch of Asafoetida Powder( hing)

Salt To Taste

2 tea spoon fenugreek (Dana Methi) Seeds

2 tea spoon Saunf (aniseed)

10 gm Almonds

10 gm kismis ( raisins)

1 tea spoon Amchur ( dried green Mango powder)

2 Table Spoon Mustard Oil

After washing the Aloe leaves peal them & cut them in 1 inch pieces and boil them in Salt water till they are a little tender.Throw away the salt water. This will remove the natural sourness of the Aloe. Keep the boiled Aloe aside.

In a wok heat the oil till it smokes(removes the smell from the oil and cooks it).Add Heeng,Saunf,and dana methi.Just as they crackle ( on low flame) add chillies, turmeric,coriander,salt&amchur and fry the spices.Add a little water to cook the spices properly then add the boiled aloe and cook some more.Add the dry fruits.The vegetable is ready to be served.