Sunday, April 14, 2013
Bullock Cart Race Murud Through The Eyes Of A Poet, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
I began shooting the Bullock cart races about 8 to 10 years back..
I was introduced to this action sport photography and the art of panning by my photo guru Mr Shreekanth Malushte at Alibagh ..and it was Jayant Dhulap of Alibagh who further eencouraged me to shoot the same .. every year till the sport was banned for animal cruelty.
But this needs explanation.. this race is not for money, the winning gives added respect to the bullock owners.. and strange sometimes the prize is a metal container for drinking water.
The bulls are treated like their own children by the owners fed well , even bought to the racing venue in comfort by trucks .. the owners of the bulls here in Raigad District of Maharashtra treat their bulls like gods with wings.
However as this race takes place during Holi at Alibagh and Gudi Padwa at Murud Janjira it was rogue drunk elements in the crowd who would beat the bullocks with a nail attached stick.. and though every attempt was made by the organizers to stamp out this evil..
So I can tell you that as a photographer shooting this event both at Alibagh and Murud Beach , it is a solemn moment ..I shot a picture once of a bullock cart driver who met with an accident and the bull got injured , he cried he wept on the body of the bull.. who was grievously hurt on one of its leg and was limping..
I have shot an old driver who lost control and was entrapped in the wheel of the bullock cart of the racing bull, and these are moments dangerous moments.
This is the only race with no inkling of gambling at all.
This bullock cart race is the pride of the Maharashtrian ethos.. and its culture that I have documented , I too shoot dangerously standing in the path of the racing bulls ..I have been lucky..
I would not miss this race I was in Gujrat I travelled 16 hours non stop to catch this event at Murud Janjira a very long tiring trip.. I wish the Government of Maharashtra ecourage this sport and make it tourist friendly.. this is a message of peace hope and harmony.
The bulls are expensive , and no owner would harm his bull ..not just an investment but a pride of place in his family.
This is dedicated to my Indiblogger friend Desi Traveler... Jai Ho,
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Murud-Janjira ( pronunciation (help·info)) is the local name for a fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra, India. It was occupied by the Siddis and is famous for being the only fort along India's Western coast that remained undefeated despite Dutch, Maratha and English East India Company attacks.[
The word Janjira is not native to India, and may have originated after the Arabic word Jazeera, which means an island. Murud was once known in Marathi as Habsan ("of Habshi" or Abyssinian). The name of the fort is a concatenation of the Konkani and Arabic words for Island, "morod" and "jazeera". The word "morod" is peculiar to Konkani and is absent in Marathi.
Murud-Janjira Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rock off the Arabian Sea coast near the port town of Murud, 165 km (103 mi) south of Mumbai. Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. The fort is approached by sailboats from Rajapuri jetty. The main gate of the fort faces Rajapuri on the shore and can be seen only when one is quite close to it. It has a small postern gate towards the open sea for escape.
The fort has 19 rounded bastions, still intact. There are many cannons of native and European make rusting on the bastions. Now in ruins, the fort in its heyday was a full-fledged living fort with all the necessary facilities, e.g., palaces, quarters for officers, mosque, two big fresh water tank, etc. On the outer wall flanking the main gate, there is a sculpture depicting a tiger-like beast clasping elephants in its claws. There are prominent "ASHOK-CHAKRAS" on all major gates of the fort Janjira. There are images of playing elephants, lions etc.
The sculpture on the main gate
The palace of the Nawabs of Janjira at Murud is still in good shape. The palace was self-sufficient and must have support of the locals. It has secret gates to hide and escape. Its construction is unique and very strong.
Originally the fort was a small wooden structure built by a Koli chief in the late 15th century. It was captured by Pir Khan, a general of Nizamshah of Ahmednagar. Later, the fort was strengthened by Malik Ambar, the Abyssinian-origin Siddi regent of Ahmednagar kings. From then onward, Siddis became independent, owing allegiance to Adilshah and the Mughals as dictated by the times.The last surviving prince Roby Philip lives in New york.
Inside the fort
The fort was originally built in 15th century on a smaller scale by a local Maratha-Fisherman Chieftain- Ram Patil to protect his people from pirates/ thieves and was known as " Medhekot". He was a fearless man with independent bent of mind who was quite popular with the local fishermen. Nizam, the ruler from Ahmadnagar sent one of his Siddi commanders Piram Khan, who came with three ships armed with necessary weapons and soldiers and captured the fort. Piram Khan was succeeded by Burhan Khan, who demolished the original fort and built an impregnable much bigger, 22 acre, stone fort sometime in between 1567 and 1571. The fort was called 'Jazeere Mahroob Jazeera ' which in Arabic means an Island. Siddhi Ambersatak was nominated as Commander of the fort.
Despite their repeated attempts, the Portuguese, the British and the Marathas failed to subdue the power of the Siddi's, who were themselves allied with the Mughal Empire. Major historical figures from Murud-Janjira include men such as Yahya Saleh and Sidi Yaqub. The fort has a tunnel which opens in Rajpuri. The fort was made by a mixture of lead, sand and gul.
The Marathas led by Shivaji attempted to scale the 12 meters high Granite walls but failed in all his attempts. His son Sambhaji even attempted to tunnel his way into the fort but was unsuccessful in all his attempts.
The small pond inside Janjira fort
In the year 1736, Siddis of Murud-Janjira set out to recapture Raigarh from the ravaging forces of Baji Rao, on 19 April 1736, Chimnaji attacked the gathering forces in the encampments of the Siddis during the Battle of Riwas near Riwas, when the confrontation ended 1500 Siddi's including their leader Siddi Sat were killed. Peace was concluded in September 1736, but the Siddis were confined to Janjira, Gowalkot and Anjanwel.
I reach Alibagh .. Breakfast at Sumangal Restaurant, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
I did not shoot pictures at Gateway , on the boat or at the pier of Mandwa..
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gudhi Padva (pronounced as Guḍhī Pāḍavā) (Marathi: गुढी पाडवा, often mis-pronounced as guDi padwa because ढी sounds like डी when spoken), is the Marathi name for Chaitra Shukla Pratipada. It is celebrated on the first day of the Chaitra month to mark the beginning of the New year according to the lunisolar Hindu calendar. This day is also the first day of Chaitra Navratri and Ghatasthapana also known as Kalash Sthapana is done on this day.
The word पाडवा(pāḍavā) or पाडवो(pāḍavo) comes from the Prakrit word पड्ड्वा/पाड्ड्वो(pāḍḍavā/pāḍḍavo), which stands for the first day of the bright phase of the moon called प्रतिपदा (pratipadā) in Sanskrit.
In the south of India, first day of the bright phase of the moon is called pāḍya(Tamil: பாட்ய or பாட்டமி , Kannada: ಪಾಡ್ಯ, Telugu: పాడ్యమి, paadyami,Konkani: पाड्यॆ). Konkani Hindus variously refer to the day as संसर पाडवो or संसर पाड्यॆ (saṁsāra 'pāḍavo/ saṁsāra pāḍye),संसार (saṁsāra) being a corruption of the word संवत्सर (saṁvatsara). Konkani Hindus in Karnataka also refer to it as उगादि (ugādi).
Guḍhī Pāḍavā in other languages, states and people
Known as Guḍhī Pāḍavā ("Gudhee Paadavaa") in Maharashtra, this festival is also known as
Samvatsar Padvo among Hindu Konkanis of Goa and Konkani diaspora in Kerala
Yugadi among the rest of Konkani diaspora in Karnataka and Ugadi in Andhra pradesh and Navreh or Navreh amongst Kashmiri Pandits
In other parts of India this festival is celebrated during
Ugadi in Andhra Pradesh
Yugadi in Karnataka
Cheti Chand among the Sindhi people
The word Pāḍavā is derived from the Sanskrit word Pratipada for first day of a lunar month i.e. first day after new moon day (Amavasya). A Guḍhī is also hoisted on this occasion giving this festival its name. The term padva or padavo is also associated with Balipratipada the third day of Diwali which is another celebration that comes at the end of the harvesting season.
See also: Balipratipada
This new moon day has special meaning from Astronomy point of view. The Sun is supposed to be in first point of Aries, (Hamal) which is first sign of zodiac and is a natural beginning of spring. Many civilzations have known this. People of ancient Egypt knew this and Nowruz( literally "New Day" ) in Persia is also based on this observation. The Sun however may not be exactly in Aries due to Lunar month. This is adjusted by adding a "Adhik" (Literally an extra) Lunar month every three years to ensure New Year Day( "Gudhee Padwa") indeed matches observed season. See Panchang for details.
It has evolved into of many festivals Holi, Gudhee Padwa around this part of year in India It is one of the most famous harvesting festival in India.
Being the first day of the first month of a year, Gudhi Padwa is the New Year's Day for Marathi people.
India is a predominantly agrarian society. Thus celebrations and festivals are often linked to the turn of the season and to the sowing and reaping of crops. This day marks the end of one agricultural harvest and the beginning of a new one. In this context, the Gudhi Padwa is celebrated at the end of the Rabi season. Guḍhī Pāḍavā is one of the Saadhe-Teen Muhurta (translation from Marathi: 3 and a half auspicious days) in the Indian Lunar calendar. The full list is as follows -
Gudhi Padwa- 1st Tithi of Chaitra (Bright Half)
Akshaya Tritiya- third Tithi (Lunar day) of Bright Half (Shukla Paksha) of the pan-Indian month of Vaishakha
Vijayadashami - 10th Tithi of Ashwin
Balipratipada - 1st Tithi of Kartika (Bright Half)
This day also commemorates the commencement of the Shalivahana calendar after he defeated sakas in battle.
According to the Brahma Purana, this is the day on which Brahma created the world after the deluge and time began to tick from this day forth.
On this day, the sun assumes a position above the point of intersection of the equator and the meridians. According to the Hindu calendar, this marks the commencement of the Vasanta ritu or the spring season.
But why this festival celebrating only in Maharashtra any one have that answer...
On Guḍhī Pāḍavā, a gudhi is found sticking out of a window or otherwise prominently displayed in traditional Maharashtrian households. Bright green or yellow cloth adorned with brocade (zari) tied to the tip of a long bamboo over which gaathi (sugar crystals), neem leaves, a twig of mango leaves and a garland of red flowers is tied. A silver or copper pot is placed in the inverted position over it. Altogether, it is called as Gudhi. It is hoisted outside the house, in a window, terrace or a high place so that everybody can see it.
Some of the significances attributed to raising a Gudhi are as follows:
Maharashtrians also see the Gudhi as a symbol of victory associated with the conquests of the Maratha forces led by Chhatrapati Shivaji. It also symbolizes the victory of King Shalivahana over Sakas and was hoisted by his people when he returned to Paithan.
Gudhi symbolizes the Brahmadhvaj (translation: Brahma’s flag) mentioned in the Brahma Purana, because Lord Brahma created the universe on this day. It may also represent Indradhvaj (translation: the flag of Indra).
Mythologically, the Gudhi symbolizes Lord Rama’s victory and happiness on returning to Ayodhya after slaying Ravana. Since a symbol of victory is always held high, so is the gudi (flag). It is believed that this festival is celebrated to commemorate the coronation of Rama post his return to Ayodhya after completing 14 years of exile.
Gudhi is believed to ward off evil, invite prosperity and good luck into the house.
The Gudhi is positioned on the right side of the main entrance of the house. The right side symbolizes active state of the soul.
On the festive day, courtyards in village houses will be swept clean and plastered with fresh cow-dung. Even in the city, people take the time out to do some spring cleaning. Women and children work on intricate rangoli designs on their doorsteps, the vibrant colours mirroring the burst of colour associated with spring. Everyone dresses up in new clothes and it is a time for family gatherings.
Traditionally, families are supposed to begin the festivities by eating the bittersweet leaves of the neem tree. Sometimes, a paste of neem leaves is prepared and mixed with dhane, gul/gur (known as jaggery in English), and tamarind. All the members of the family consume this paste, which is believed to purify the blood and strengthen the body’s immune system against diseases.
Maharashtrian families also make shrikhand and Poori or Puran Poli on this day. Konkanis make Kanangachi Kheer, a variety of Kheer made of sweet potato, coconut milk, jaggery, rice flour, etc. and Sanna.
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