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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

wonder bulls of Ongole racing !

There are various forms of racing ~ there is endurance tests as also sprint – the man who wins the 100M dash is considered the ‘fastest on Universe’.  In many type of cattle races, animals race against the other to end up first on the finish line.  Bull racing is considered a macho-sport in many places.  It could be individual bulls or those drawing carts that are drawn in races.  Whiling away,  Red Bull Racing is an Austrian Formula One racing team based in Milton Keynes, England. It is one of two teams owned by beverage company Red Bull GmbH, along with Scuderia Toro Rosso.

I had earlier posted on Tanguturi Prakasam Pantulu (read : statue of Prakasam ), a freedom fighter, CM of Madras Presidency and the first CM of Andhra State.   He was also known as Andhra Kesari (literally, the "Lion of Andhra"). Ongole  a district in Andhra Pradesh was renamed Prakasam after Andhra Kesari as a mark of respect.  Ongole is famous for its cattle breeds.  The place’s history dates from 230 BCE with the era of the Mauryas and Sathavahanas who ruled most of what is now present-day Andhra Pradesh.
photo credit : Ranganatha Chowdary

Ongole breed of Oxen is famous from Ongole.  The Indian subcontinent is the treasure house of Bos indicus cattle breeds that are the most suited for livestock production in the tropics, be it for their draught power, milk or meat.  Of the many breeds, Ongole is distributed widely but no longer restricted to the District or the State.  Ongole bulls have gone as far as the United States, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Brazil, and Mexico. The Brahmana bull in America is an off-breed of the Ongole. An Island in Malaysia where there are many Ongole Oxen is named as Ongole Island. 

It is stated by cattle lovers that there is no clear picture of the various stages that went into the making of this breed of cattle. Carvings of the Nandhi bull, which adorn Sivaite temples in India, bear a true resemblance to the Ongole bull. They are  very fine and majestic-looking cattle, huge in size, extremely docile and suitable for steady, heavy draught.

The Hindu reports that the annual Ongole bull race organised at Bonuthala village of Anumala mandal in Nalgonda district was a huge draw. It was not a running race but different; as a  part of the competition, bulls had to pull a 2,200 kg. weighing rock to as much distance as possible in a certain time limit. Based on the distance covered, the organisers presented  prize money to the owner of bulls.  Six people goad each pair of bulls to pull the weight for as much distance as possible in the time given.

The logo of the 32nd  National Games 2002, Hyderabad depicted Pearls, the rich heritage of Hyderabad and athlete torch, the national flame of sports.  The Mascot was  the Ongole Bull, named aptly ‘Veera’  meaning  bravery.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
4th Feb 2015.


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