Varkala Temple Festival

10:47 AM / Posted by li i /


Varkala Temple Festival, originally uploaded by cjb22.

2 teams, perhaps consisting of 4 villages have to make circuits of the temple carrying this heavy wooden tower. The times I saw this, they usually made between 3 and 6 circuits. The idea is to not let the 'legs' of the tower touch the floor - if you do, you lose and the other side wins - and then its all over and the winners go mental. It seems highly competitive and dangerous and I'm quite amazed i did'nt see any injuries or deaths.
One idea is to push these wooden legs or above your head, therefore putting a greater share of the weight on the other side. I'm sure organisation of your team or villages can help alot the chances of winning, yet I saw no real organisation or any team leaders - but that the amazing thing with India and Indians - organised chaos - an order exists but not as Europeans would know it. Lots of drunken wildness and crazy dancing when one side had won (although it seems not so unusual for both sides to think they have won - but nobody cared!) and the police were standing by to wade in to wack people with their sticks if things got out of hand, which they invariably did, although considering the situation, everybody was quite well- behaved, although the girls and women wisely stay out of the temple precinct during this carry on, preferring the relative safety of the rooftops of surrounding houses.

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