Dasara Horse Fair revives memories of bygone era

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Mysore, Oct 17 (UNI) In a bid to revive the famous Mysore Tonga, the Mysore Heritage Centre (MHC) is organising a Dasara Horse Fair at Kudure Siddappaji Talwar Mutt on the city outskirts.

According to MHC Project Director Madhukar G Appaji, tongas and 'sarots' had been swept away under a wave of modernisation.

The horse or pony drawn carts were symbols of the bygone era of the Mysore Maharajas and heritage icons of the city but were now literally extinct.

The 'City of Palaces' once boasted of a 1,500-strong tonga 'fleet' which was the main form of public transport within the city in the absence of autorickshaws.

Now, the 'fleet' had dwindled to a mere 70. The show comes as a ray of hope for poor tongawallahs who were unable to compete with faster modes of public transport.

The fair includes exhibition and sale of various breeds of horses and ponies, different types of tonga and 'sarots' spiced up with several programmes like training for enthusiasts who still had the will to own a tonga.

The Mutt trains enthusiasts in riding, transporting goods in tonga and maintenance of horses and ponies and stable 'skills.' UNI

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