facebook
CRAFT YOUR JOURNEY
A Bullock Cart Race in Tamil Nadu
NARRATIVES

A BULLOCK CART RACE 


BY THE INDIAN TRAVEL CRAFTSMAN
South India

In the land of sun-worshippers, dawn is a blessed time. It is advisable to start early and take a break during the hottest hours of the day.

At 7 o’ clock in the morning, when the road offers views of the most unexpected, a bullock cart race appears out of the blue on the way to Chettinad. You can decide to be angry with the farmers, who take over the main arterial road and hinder daily traffic, or you can find pleasure in such a twist in the tale. Only men around, most of them sporting a moustache and wearing the traditional mundu, some wearing it folded in half. Four bright blue bullock carts pulled by the leanest, fastest oxen in the region, line up on the street nervously waiting for the “go”, shouted out by the man who seems to be the authority there. The finishing line is only a couple of hundred meters away; the race is about speed, not endurance.

Excitement is tangible in the air, man and beast are both gearing up to win. The race is over quickly, and the winners only seem to gain everyone’s admiration. After much congratulating and hugging, everyone slowly goes back to their lives, leaving behind a few pink and orange balloons while the street vendor, who had a good start to the day, pedals away his mobile shop.

Bullock Cart Chettinad 2
Bullock Cart Chettinad 6
Farmers at a bullock cart race, Tamil Nadu
Bullock Cart Chettinad 5

Explore More

A Sleepy Hamlet
A Sleepy Hamlet

On the banks of the Betwa River, lies a sleepy hamlet named Orchha. It was the capital of the erstwhile eponymous princely state...

Nature & Wellness Orchha
Tamil Nadu Confectionery 4
The Home Confectionery

From where I stood, there was no way to guess what was cooking inside the large mansion. From outside the...

Cuisine South India
Where Desert Meets the Sea
Where Desert Meets the Sea

A classic journey to the west sojourning the major cities of Maharashtra and Gujarat

Classic West India
Cathedrals of Ecstasy
Cathedrals of Ecstasy

Retrace our steps with Hole & Corner as we explored the derelict performance spaces of Chennai and Madurai in the south...

History & Architecture South India
Palais De Mahe
Palais De Mahe

The gentle rumbling of the sea beckons you towards worlds long lost – of palaces with high ceilings...

South India
A Recovered Beauty
A Recovered Beauty

It was early morning when Lizzy and I left Madurai for a destination we both knew nothing about. Mrs. Meenakshi Meiyappan...

History & Architecture South India