Kulkubaji draws hundreds of pigeon lovers in Agra

December 30th, 2007 - 7:02 pm ICT by admin  

Agra , Dec 30 (ANI): Pigeon lovers in Agra city wait for the annual event of Kulkulbaji when they get an opportunity to watch thousands of birds contending against each other in flock by following directions of their respective owners through screeching whistles.

Organised under the banner of Agra Pigeon Association, the competition is stated to have drawn inspiration from the centuries-old Mughals love for competition through pigeons.

“This game is in vogue since the Mughal era. It is called Kulkulbaji. I have been participating in this competition since the age of 10. Now I am one of the organisers of the competition, said Chunni Lal, the organiser.

Agra has two Akharas (institutional clubs). One is Shehari Akhara, another is Mandi Akhara. Both these Akharas compete with each other. From December 17 to 25 general games are organised whereas from December 25 to January 1 pigeon flying competition is held,” Chunni Lal added.

About 8,000 pigeons have been used this year during the competition.

Around 18 vans were pushed into service to ferry around 500 pigeons each from the nearby areas where these birds are especially trained for Kulkulbaji competition.

Racing pigeons are trained to fly from a specific release point to their home loft or a sheet of cloth spread over the ground. To differentiate one team from the other, at least one feather is marked with a specific colour.

The winner team is the one whose maximum pigeons return to their respective piece of laid out fabric sheet after covering the longest distance in the sky.

“In this competition catching pigeons is not an issue. Actually, the winner is considered to be the one whose pigeons fly to the farthest and come back to him,” said Mohammad Aslam, a participating pigeon owner in the competition.

Many of these pigeon owners claim that they offer these birds a special diet with dry fruits and nutritious grains to ensure the birds’ strength and endurance. The pigeons are trained for about a month ahead of the commencement of Kulkulbaji competition. (ANI)

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