Bull fight spectators increasing every year

To prepare the bulls for this winter fight, the owners singled out some oxen and bulls and fed them high-protein diet to make them robust and rowdy

Trishuli, January 15

The annual traditional bull fight event of this year saw a total of 26 pairs of oxen in the fields of Taruka, Betrawati and Ghale Bhanjyang of Nuwakot district.

There were 14 pairs at Chandani of Taruka.

The annual bull fighting events have been gradually making Taruka and Betrawati popular among tourists in the district. The bull fight drew a large number of spectators this year.

Although several places in the district used to organise bull fights in their own way, it has been made more systematic by gathering more number of oxen in one place, especially in Taruka, in the past 11 years.

The bulls used for tilling lands are set free in the winter to give them time to fight to entertain the people. Winter is the post-harvest time, with open spaces that allow the domestic animal to frolic and brawl.

Tamed with yokes for tilling during the rainy season, especially to cultivate paddy in the hilly region, then tediously tethered for nearly four months, the open space in winter obviously excites the oxen not only for calisthenics but to go wild and rowdy.

Unlike bull fights in any other parts of world, the bull fight here is merely fight between two bulls of different owners.

Gradually, the winner bull is made to wrestle with the winner bull from another group.

To prepare the bulls for this winter fight, the owners singled out some oxen, fed them high-protein diet to make them robust and rowdy.

But during the fight, there is no direct role of the owners and people, except provocation from out of the field.

Nepali bull fighting has both bulls and oxen in the field.

This year’s bull fight at Taruka was inaugurated by Minister for Irrigation Umesh Yadav.

He underscored the need to preserve such unique cultural events to attract more tourists. Many political leaders from the district, vicinity and even the capital city reached Taruka to obverse the fighting.

The owners of the best bulls were awarded on the occasion.

Although there are no historical facts on the provenance of such festival, the tradition is regarded as old as 150 years.

Elderly people say the bull fight was organised by the maternal uncle of King Jay Prithvi Bahadur Singh of Bajhang to entertain the latter. Taruka was the home of King Jay Prithvi Bahadur’s maternal uncle.

However, no evidence of it has been found yet.

Giving continuity to such tradition, the event is held every year, said Janakraj Dhungana, chairman of the fair management committee of this year.

He expressed happiness over the growing number of spectators every year.

To add to the fun, several troupes of singers also performed on the sidelines during the event.