Bhont (Shimla), Oct.20 : Thousands of people converged on the weekend at Bhont Village near Shimla for the traditional buffalo-fight fair. The rural folk of Himachal organize it as an annual ritual.
The fair showcased the traditional religious beliefs prevailing in rural areas. Over 25 buffalo from the different villages were brought for the buffalo fight here
"This fair holds historical importance. We have been celebrating this fair here for over 90 years. We believe that this fair helps to protect the people from bad omens," said Baldev Thakur, the village head of Bhont Village.
People from nearby villages also arrived to paticipate in the annual festival, which is held to appease the local deities.
"Previously, this tradition used to be brutal. But now, we just organise this fair to protect our village from bad omens. And women here believe that after seeing this buffalo fighting it helps them to have and raise a good family," said Roopa Sharma, a local leader.
Reportedly, activist of animal rights groups had sought a ban on this fair. However, keeping in view the rural folk's tradition, the government has not interfered.
The participating villages in the fair included Neri, Seri, Shangti, Bharari and the cowherds from the neighbourhood of Summer Hill besides the host venue of Bhont.
The local women here hold this fair in high esteem. By Hemant Chauhan