Huge crowds throng Kovur bullock-cart race
A small town close to the district headquarters, Kovur, has been hosting the major cultural eventbullockcart racingfor the entertainment of the local population and as an added attraction during Sankranti which is one of the most auspicious festivals of the State
Nellore: A small town close to the district headquarters, Kovur, has been hosting the major cultural event-bullock-cart racing-for the entertainment of the local population and as an added attraction during Sankranti which is one of the most auspicious festivals of the State.
The bullock-cart competitions are being held here for past 30 years. The race was held in the town on Monday evening (Bhogi festival) which was witnessed by thousands of people from nearby districts.
“The competitions were actually started by my father V Janakirama Reddy in 1987 who used to inaugurate the races. Subsequently I am taking the responsibility since 1997. The bullock-cart race is set for about a distance of one km and return to the venue. Winners will be whoever comes first in the stipulated time,” said V Sailendra Reddy of Kovur who is connected to the event.
A few years ago, only 10-15 carts used to participate in the competitions but the the response has been growing in the recent years as people showing interest on the event. Earlier, they used to invite local elders for inaugurating the event and recently organisers started inviting local legislators, and others for the competitions. There will be no betting and the event simply signifies festivities of Sankranti in a traditional way.
Carts from Guntur and Ongole also participate in the competitions besides those from the district. The venue has been the same for last 30 years at the rice mill on the Kothur road. This year the number had increased to 18 carts and the bullock cart of Chamundeswari Sea Foods of Gangapatnam village of Indukurpet won the first prize. Another cart from Gangapatnam also won the fifth prize. Kovur carts won the second and fourth prizes, and Kodavalur cart bagged the third prize this year.
Police also kept strict vigil on management of the sport since there have been allegations on betting on various sporting events across the State in connection with Sankranti festivities. Thousands of people from Nellore, Prakasam, Kadapa, Chittoor and other districts attend and enjoy the competitions.