Anjaneya was in Raichur to participate in a boulder-pulling competition, organised as part of Mungaru Samskritia Raichur Habba, a three-day annual cultural festival, held by the Munnur Kapu (Balija) community

Anjaneya, a 50-year-old resident of Ramdurga village in Deodurg taluk, believes in living life king-size.

A farmer, who owns 50 acres of fertile farmland irrigated by the Krishna waters through the Narayanpur Right Bank Canal, Mr. Anjaneya commands a certain respect, not only in the surrounding villages but also in the district. The reason? It is his passion for participating in boulder-pulling competitions, along with two sturdy bullocks that he has raised.

“For the last 14 years, my animals have been winning prizes in boulder-pulling competitions at Nandyala, Shreeshailam, Vijayawada and other towns and cities of Andhra Pradesh, apart from Raichur, Bijapur and other cities in Karnataka,” he proudly told The Hindu here on Sunday.

Mr. Anjaneya was in the city to participate in a boulder-pulling competition, organised as part of Mungaru Samskritia Raichur Habba, a three-day annual cultural festival, held by the Munnur Kapu (Balija) community in the city.

Mr. Anjaneya ensures that one pair of bullocks is always there in his cattle shed. “I bought these bullocks for Rs. 3.8 lakh three years ago when they were young. I have nurtured them with utmost care all these years. Now they pull a boulder weighing 2.5 tonnes for a distance of 700 metres within 20 minutes,” Mr. Anjaneya explains.

Though, there have been many offers from farmers in neighbouring Seemandhra and Telangana to buy the bullocks for Rs. 25 lakh, Mr. Anjaneya has turned them down. “Participating in boulder-pulling competitions is my passion. It never became a business for me,” he says.

The bullocks participate in around 50 competitions a year, between October and June, and are put to work in the field the rest of the time. “The bullocks are trained in the village whenever there is no competition and work in the field,” he says.

Mr. Anjaneya takes special care of the bullocks’ diet. He boils three different types of grains, usually ragi, horsegram (hurali) and pearl millet (sajje), mixes them with jaggery and feeds them himself every day.

“Each bullock consumes 15 kg of grain and 3 kg of jaggery every day, apart from regular fodder,” he says. He also ensures that the bullock’s shed is always clean. The animals even have mosquito nets, he says.And what does Mr. Anjaneya get in return?

“If the pair wins, we get a nominal cash prize, which can be used to maintain the bullocks for a few days. From a financial viewpoint, I get almost nothing in return. It is my passion and it gives us a special status in the area,” Mr. Anjaneya says.

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