A blog about writing, reading, travelling and great characters I meet in life. I love these things more than cheese-on-toast times trampolines times monkeys.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Camels versus monkeys - the search for India's funniest animal

On my travels through Rajasthan, there are two clear contenders for the title of India's funniest animal.

It's camels versus monkeys. Both are LAUGH OUT LOUD animals, but which is funnier?

The case for camels

Pushkar Camel Fair 2011 delivers funny sights by the camel-cart load. Walking around the festival camp at sunrise and sunset is particularly rewarding. This annual congregation of thousands of camels from all over Rajasthan has me laughing solidly for a week.

There's the camel beauty contest at Pushkar Camel Fair. Hennaed manes, eye-liner, decorative swirls.

Camels with pom poms and sequined dresses and bling bling bling.

Camels with pretty flowers on their noses. In the world of camel fashion and beauty, you just gotta look hot in Pushkar!

There are the droopy bottom lips.

The wide mouths and dopey smiles.

Their long eyelashes and lazy eyes.

The enormous gnashers and such an impressive portfolio of gurns.

Their long gangly legs and the knobbliest knees.

There's the way camels stand with their back legs wide apart - like tripods - this, I found out, is often the stance they adopt just before going for a piss. (Think waterfall).

And yes, there are the camel toes. I know it's childish - but it makes me giggle.

I love the snorts and groans they make - they sound half-elephant, half-donkey.

And the camels' obvious deep affection for their owners (they seem to want to kiss their owners quite a lot).

Camels are quite cute sometimes too!

And camel-racing - camels cantering is one of the funniest things I've seen in Rajasthan, teenage boys flying off their seats as they charge on camel-back around Pushkar fairground.

Wow, these beasts of the desert are comedy kings and queens.

The case for monkeys

I can sit and watch monkeys for hours. And in Jaipur, I do just that at the Monkey Temple (much to the annoyance of my rickshaw driver).

I find macaques and langurs. And they deliver on the laughs...

It's their inquisitive faces.

And the way they eat bugs from each other's bodies.

The way they play and scrap with each other.

The way they peel and eat bananas.

I love the concentration on their faces when they're eating.

Their surprise faces.

Their hairy faces.

Their old man grumpy faces.

The way they hang out together, doing nothing much except cuddling and playing. Here are some black-faced langurs chilling at the entrance to one of the holy bathing places (ghats) in Pushkar.

This punky monkey makes me laugh.

He finds a bag of sweetened puffs - and he fills his face with sweets, very quickly so he doesn't have to share.

I love their wrinkly and droopy bits.

And I LOVE the way they let it ALL HANG OUT.

God, monkeys are well funny!

But I can't decide which are funnier, so instead I'll end on this...

And you may be thinking how many photos of camels and monkeys does one person really need? And my answer to that is hundreds, dammit - if not thousands.


  1. Great post, Charlotte! And the time it must have taken to post all those photos. Sheesh! I especially like the pom pom head.

  2. I wish I could do my eyeliner like that camel!

    There was I thinking camels would win this one, until you showed me the monkeys.

    Brilliant photos. Wow you have such an amazing eye.

  3. Thanks David - glad you enjoyed it. And yes, uploading is my least favourite part of blogging (in my head, I have an assistant who helps me with these things!!).

    Thanks G - the camels are very pretty, don't you think? xx Look forward to a proper chat with you soon. :-)

  4. You watch out for those monkeys - thieving little b's the lot of them!

    And Jaipur - watch out for flying tins of paint there. I ended up looking like an extra from a Carry On film, drenched from head to toe in white gloss paint, after an accident involving a horse, a cart and a paint delivery. Mind you, the ladies down at the washing ghat got it all out of my clothes.

  5. very funny Lesley - isn't India just a land of so many surprises! Can't get enough of this place.