The interesting facets of rural life hogged the limelight as farmers organised traditional bullock cart race at Ulavpadu coinciding with Maha Sivaratri on Monday.
Proud owners of bullock carts from different parts of the State including Srikakulam, Kadapa, Guntur, Krishna and Potti Sriramulu Nellore districts participated in the event to exhibit the strength of robust bulls.
The farmers prodded their bulls with sticks and ran along with them on the sides to make them run faster and faster even as thousands of spectators lustily cheered the animals at the local college grounds.
The wheels were welded in such a manner that they did not rotate, and it made it harder for the docile bulls to pull the cart, said farmer Challa Ravi, member of the race organising committee.
The spectators enjoyed every aspect of the rural sport, held as part of the festival, even while tasting sugarcane. The Ongole bull, the pride of Prakasam district, is considered vehicle of Lord Siva and symbol of fertility.
The specially trained bulls, which can withstand extreme climatic conditions, exhibited their strength highlighting the best of native culture. The competition was organised to encourage farmers to preserve and promote the native breeds which were being replaced by cross-bred ones, another organising committee member C Krishna Rao said.
The native bulls were also getting sidelined with tractors increasingly used in fields due to cost factor, farmer B Koteswara Rao said.
In all 35 pairs of bulls participated in the traditional rural sport to decide which pair ran the maximum distance in 10 minutes, organising committee member P Samuel added.