On our return to Rishikesh the streets were packed. As the sun when down we began to see the festivities of the holy day that had trumped my bank expedition. Justin and I raced back to the hotel to get changed before we jogged back to the main road. There was a huge parade pushing through the street; Drummers, dancers, babas and vendors all whirled around a gaudy bus blasting music.
We turned away from the parade before it would swallowed us whole and walked a few hundred metres down the streets. Even from the upper road we could see the the massive two story tall statue of Demon King Ravana. We perched on a small stone wall just over the crowds heads and waited for the celebration to start.
The festival represents the battle between the Lord Rama and the Demon King Ravana. Ravana steels away Rama’s wife Sita in an attempt force him to marry his sister to the lord instead. Rama and his brother Lakshmana along with the monkey god Hanuman and an army of monkeys set out to rescue her.
The epic was replayed with drummers, dancers, and fireworks non stop. And of course an extremely explosive satisfying burning of three giant effigies.
We wound the evening down with talis at the Ganga Beach cafe and live music at the Treehouse cafe. All in all a very full day and we are just about ready to drop.