Owing to the travel restrictions filed by the Rajasthan government to tackle the second COVID wave, an age-old tradition has made its way back to the Pink City and other districts across the state. Now, since buses can move with only 50% capacity and the number of wedding guests cannot exceed beyond 31, camels are back in action to transport the groom and the guests to the bride's residence.
Baraat travelling amidst the expanse of sand & sun
Decked up in nose pins, ghungroos, mirror-fitted clothes and whatnot, these camels are back as a saving grace for the people of Jaipur and other Rajasthan districts. "Yes, it can be called a revival of the age-old tradition," said Anand Singh, the relative of a groom, who went along with a wedding party on camels, from Bandeva village in Pokhran to Kusumbla village in Barmer, covering a distance of 7 km.
"It took around one hour for the guests to reach the bride's place but those 60 minutes were quite enchanting as we were right under the open sky with an expanse of sand spread all around us," he said. Singh also mentioned that social distancing was followed while the guests revisited the era of the '70s.
It has been observed for quite some time now, camels, which are a part of the Rajasthani tradition and culture, have been dwindling in strength. As per the 20th livestock Census conducted by the Rajasthan government, the numbers have come down from 3,25,713 in 2012 to 2,12,739 now.
"The youth are disinterested in caring for these animals as they see no profit in it. Secondly, newer modes of transport such as cars, jeeps amid others, have replaced camels as the preferred mode of transport", said Hanwant Singh Rathore, Director of the Lokhit Pashu Palak Sansthan.