Rampur, Nov.6 : Rampur's famous annual horse fair, which attracts buyers from Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, was held this week and the star attraction at the three-day event was the 'Chamurthi' breed of horse, also known as 'snow horse, because of its ability to trot on snow at nights.
Breeders and stud farm owners at this year's horse fair brought over 300 horses. Almost all of them were available for sale. But the Chamurthi commanded the premium price.
A well-bred and grown up Chamurthi commands a price of nearly 28,000 rupees which till a few years back stood between rupees 500 to 1200.
"I come here every year. Three years ago, these horses did cost 500 to 1200 rupees. Now, they cost 28,000 to 29,000 rupees. Chamurthi is compatible in walking. And we come to this exhibition for these horses only," said Girmid Kalsang, one horse owner.
Horse owners and businessmen from Spiti, Kaza,Tabo Lahul, Rampur, Kinnaur and Pin valley arrived at the fair with their horses to sell them in the trade fair.
"Chamurthi is only found in Pin Valley now. The Chamurthi horse can walk in at night; it can survive in snow, jungles and also on an empty stomach. The main struggle is that we give it good nutrition for a after its birth. These horses have big faces and big ears," said Dr. Ramesh Kumar Sharma, an organiser of horse fair.
The Chamurthi horse traces its origin to the Tibet region. In India, Chamurthis are found in the villages of Himachal Pradesh bordering China.
It is believed that centuries ago this horse was first found in the remote village of Chamurthi in Tibet. Later, it was bred and brought to the border areas of Himachal Pradesh.
Though small in size, the Chamurthi with its long mane is the lifeline of the people in the tough and difficult terrain of the Himalayas. It is an endangered species.
This is called Kayang in local dialect, which means faster than the fire.
"We have got over 200 registrations by now, and here there is a breed competition. There are 17 categories. The main breed is Chamurthi and the second is the Chamurthi cross. And they are also given awards," said Prem Singh Rana, a horse buyer of horses from Uttaranchal.
Every year, local horse breeders and owners attend the Rampur horse fair and earn the money they need for the rest of the year.
Incidentally, the Rampur Horse Mela is hosted just a week prior to the International Trade Fair at Lavi, which is also held in Himachal Pradesh.