Thursday, October 2, 2008

Monkey Business

Before leaving Shimla we made the trek up, up, up to the Jakhu Temple (a temple for the monkey god Hanuman), which is situated around 2500m above sea level. It was a steep and tiresome climb, but when we reached the top we were thrust excitement and danger!

Monkeys! They've gone mad! They are very aggressive near the temple, since many visitors give them prasad (food offerings). They think whats yours is theirs. Oh boy!

As our guidebook had recommended, we rented a walking stick for Rs. 5 at the bottom of the climb to the temple, so we were well armed to deal with the foul beasts. We managed to visit the first temple without any confrontations, but as soon as we left, we were talking with an Indian fellow from England and a monkey crept up to him, jumped, hung off his backpack and ripped off a bag of prasad. It sat right there beside us eating the entire bag and picking up very meticulously all the little sugar balls that had scattered when it tore the bag.

It was pretty funny, since we were just spectators and nobody got hurt. Things were a bit different on our way down from the second temple when Stephanie showed her true, barbaric colours. We were alone on the stairwell which was crawling with monkeys. I began shooing some of them away with my stick, but Stephanie was awestruck by the sight of it all. I had walked maybe 10 steps ahead when I heard Steph shriek a warcry fit for a fearless amazon. She was afraid a monkey was about to jump on her, and managed to scare it away with her glorious, thoughtless, instinctive roar.

We stayed closer together for the remainder of the descent and experienced no difficulties :-)

In other monkey news, the day before we visited the temple, Steph was sitting on our balcony in Shimla when she noticed a monkey about 6 feet away from her on the roof. She called me out to come see, and out I came. Unfortunately, I had to walk directly beneath the monkey to get out to see it, but I managed to do it without harm. It looked angry. Furious, even. Quite satisfied by my short observance of the creature, I began to head back to the room, under the monkey again. This time he was scowling and I made a quick dash and just as it was about to jump on me, Steph let out an instinctive cry, "PEEEEEEEEEEEETE!!" which scared the monkey away. Thanks, Steph.


bob said...

Wow, you guys... Sounds like it's more fun than a barrel of...

Steph-Joy said...

Yes! Steph you warrior woman! How I would have loved to have seen (and heard) that scene!

d gypsy! said...

If you have travelogue's and pics to go with them about travels in and around Himachal/Shimla...mail us at

You may get published at

Thanks and Regards

Happy traveling...

Kathy said...

We thought Tarzan was a male!!!!