Buffalo fight, a major draw for villagers near Shimla

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Mashobra (Himachal Pradesh), Nov.25 (ANI): Hundreds of rural folks recently converged here at Mashobra village near Shimla for an annual fair in which buffalo-fight was the prime attraction.

The annual fair depicts the traditional beliefs that prevail in these areas in which the buffalo-fight is held to please the local deity the Shani Dev or, the Saturn God in particular.

Villagers from far off places brought their buffaloes on Sunday (Nov.22)for the traditional fight in which the specially reared buffaloes were brought to the ring and then provoked for the duel.

In the months preceding the festival, buffaloes are fed with rich fodder and reeds of long grass typical to the state's marshy land.

"People believe that it is an age-old tradition and is celebrated to please the Saturn god and the local deities as well as preserve our customs," said Kanshiram, one of the villagers.

Local residents here attach great importance to the fair since they believe it heralds a new beginning.

"We believe that fairs like these can help us please the Saturn god and maintain our traditional customs. We also celebrate this to have prosperous year, have a good yield and get rid of diseases," said Jagdish Kumar, Pradhan (the village head) of Mashobra village.

The weeklong festival is celebrated in honour of Goddess Durga known here as Mahishasurmardhini, who the villagers believe has blessed them with prosperity for over a thousand years.

Legend says that Goddess Mahakali, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, killed a demonic buffalo, which had created havoc in the region. By Hemant Chauhan (ANI)

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