Indra (King of Gods) Festival: buffalo fight, cock fight and chhou dance competition

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– Gameness til the End

Despite ban, buffalo fight at Purulia a crowd-puller

Debajyoti Chakraborty | TNN | Sep 15, 2016, 04.22 AM IST


Five pairs of buffalo fought at this year’s festival.
(TOI photo: Ipshita Ghosh)

PURULIA: Throwing prohibition to the winds, around 25,000 people converged on Chitra village near Puncha police station in Purulia on Tuesday for a buffalo fight festival being held for almost 30 years now.

“Besides the buffalo fight, we also organise a cock fight and chhou dance competition, but the biggest draw is the buffalo fight,” said Bipin Chandra Mahato, a member of Chitra More Ind Parab Committee that holds the event. The festival is dedicated to Indra, the king of gods. “We hold a puja after which the cultural events take place,” said Sashi Bhusan Mahatao, an organiser. People from Jamshedpur, Bokaro and other parts of Jharkhand and Bengal gather at the fair.

Nirmal Mahato, who trains the buffalo and act as a referee for the fights, admitted they did not have forest department’s nod. “But due to the demand, it is held every year,” he said, pointing out five pairs of buffaloes took part this year. Other trainers, such as Bhajuri Mahato and Santosh Mahato, said the buffaloes were kept confined to sheds for a month, and were not allowed to see any daylight. They are allowed to go out only after sundown. “After a month’s confinement, the buffalo are let into the fight arena. Dazzled by the sun after such a long time, they become even more fierce,” Bhajuri said.

The very fierce combat gives an adrenalin rush to visitors like Raj Kishore Mahatoand Samir Mahato. “Winners get Rs 10,000 and the runners-up Rs 7,000,” said an organiser.

Purulia

Purulia City, also known as “Manbhum City”, is a city located in West Bengal state, India, and was constituted in 1876. It is the location of the district headquarters of Purulia district. Purulia is located on the north of the Kasai river and is a major road and railway junction. It has an area of 6,259 km2. It is famous for the Chhau dance.

Indra

Indra (Sanskrit: इन्द्र) is the leader of the Devas and the lord of Svargaloka or a level of Heaven in Hinduism. He is the deva of rain and thunderstorms. He wields a lightning thunderbolt known as vajra and rides on a white elephant known as Airavata. His horse’s name is Uchchaihshrava. Indra is the most important deity worshiped by the Rigvedic tribes and is the son of Dyaus and the goddess Savasi. His home is situated on Mount Meru in the heavens. He is celebrated as a demiurge who pushes up the sky, releases Ushas (dawn) from the Vala cave, and slays Vṛtra; both latter actions are central to the Soma sacrifice. He is associated with Vajrapani – the Chief Dharmapala. On the other hand, he also commits many kinds of mischief (kilbiṣa) for which he is sometimes punished. In the Puranas, Indra is bestowed with a heroic and almost brash and amorous character at times, even as his reputation and role diminished in later Hinduism with the rise of the Trimurti.




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