Ludhiana, June 16 : Punjab is the only State where 'Kabutar Baazi', a sport is played passionately during the month of May-June.
In this game, the owners of pigeons leave the pigeons to fly in the sky. The pigeon, which flies for a longer duration, gets an awarded for being the best pigeon.
The owner of the pigeon, which wins the competition, gets either gold shields or a cash award of Rupees one lakh. Such competitions usually are held during the month of May/June. The Mughals popularized this sport and now many politicians are taking part in it.
"For 35 years I have been breeding pigeons and taking care of them. Pigeons are considered a symbol of peace and humanity. Competitions take place among these pigeons during the month of May and the pigeon, which stays in the sky for a longer time, is awarded the first prize. This sport was popular during the times of kings and princes and we follow it in the same manner.
Pigeons from Pakistan are more popular here. There are a few women here who take keen interest in these competitions.
Many of the pigeon owners claim that they offer these birds a special diet with dry fruits and nutritious grains to increase the birds' strength and endurance. They also train these pigeons to win the competition.
"Our neighbours' hobby influenced us to breed pigeons. We take care of the pigeons day and night and feed them with chole, bajra and grains," said Praveen Kumari, Pigeon lover
The specially trained pigeons fetch good rates. Some expensive pigeons are sold at the cost of Rupees two lakhs. Pigeon lovers do not mind spending high amounts to buy them.By Karan Kapoor