Andhra Pradesh

Cockfights draw huge crowds in Krishna, Godavari districts

Face-off: Two roosters prepare for a duel in Razole area in East Godavari district.  

Cockfights drew thousands of spectators in the villages of Krishna, East and West Godavari districts over the three-day Sankranti festival, with many villagers betting large sums of money on the illegal bloodsport.

Large crowds threw COVID-19 norms to the winds as they made a beeline for the cockfight arenas. A festive atmosphere prevailed as people of all ages, from children to newly-weds and elderly people, lined up to witness the games.

Many VIPs, including public representatives, actors, traders, software professionals, NRIs and realtors, were seen at the venues near Avanigadda, Kankipadu, Kalidindi, Gudiwada, I. Bhimavaram, Palakoderu, Dindi, Jangareddygudem, Razole and other places on Bhogi, Sankranti and Kanuma.

Women take the lead

Women organised rooster fights at Mandalaparru village of Nidamarru mandal in West Godavari district. Punters bought fowls for ₹50,000 and above

“As women participated in big numbers and invested huge amounts in betting during cockfights, we arranged a seperate venue for women and their families. Women from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu and abroad came to witness the cockfights in Mandalaparru,” said Ramu, an organiser.

Hundreds of cockfight arenas were seen at Elamanchili, Mogalturu, Bhimavaram, Kalla, Undi, Akiveedu, Palakol, Vempa, Marteru, Achanta, Narsapuram, Veeravasaram, Dwaraka Tirumala, Mudinepalli, Kaikalur, Bantumilli, Amalapuram, P. Gannavaram, Koduru and other places in the last three days.

Rooster fights were held under floodlights and huge tents were erected in paddy fields, coconut and mango orchards. Organisers arranged hotels, fast food centres, ice cream parlours, soft drink and pan outlets at the venues.

“We came all the way from Warangal to enjoy the cockfights. My children are very keen on watching the games. We lost ₹60,000 in two games but won ₹1.4 lakh in three fights,” said a woman named Ketha Sai Swetha, at a venue in Mogalturu.

Sankranti fervour

“Rooster fights are a part and parcel of Sankranti. We arrange family get-togethers, kite-flying, gambling and other indoor games like housie and musical chairs. We also cook traditional delicacies and enjoy the harvest festival at our native village in Veeravarasaram,” said a software employee named R. Prakasa Rao, who works in Bengaluru.

“There was a huge demand for the meat of roosters that were killed in the fights. This year, we sold the meat at ₹2,000 and above per kg,” said M. Satyaveni, another organiser.

Many students and youth witnessed the cockfights under floodlights at Pulapalli, Narsapuram, Sakinetipalli, Ravulapalem and other areas. Traffic was jammed on some approach roads near the cockfight venues.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 10:02:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/cockfights-draw-huge-crowds-in-krishna-godavari-districts/article33585492.ece

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