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Traditional boat race held in Bajali
ANN News

Participants at a boat race held on the occasion of Bijoya Dashami at Patacharkuchi on Tuesday. – UB Photos
 PATACHARKUCHI, Oct 11 - The bank of Pahumara river here in Bajali subdivision of Barpeta district wore a festive look today with the decorative kahua – harbinger of autumn on both banks of the river and thousands of jubilant audience enjoying a rare event of traditional boat race on the day of Bijoya Dashami.

At a time when some of traditional events are on the verge of extinction, people of no. 2 Medhikuchi village undertook this praiseworthy effort. In fact, they have been holding the event for the last five decades.

Local people informed that such boat races have been a tradition of the locality since a long time. But the villagers have been organising it in a systematic manner since the last five decades. This year too, on the Bijoya Dashami day today, it was no different as around 15,000 people gathered on the banks of Pahumara river to witness the annual event. At least 600 metres of distance was fixed for the competition.

The race started from a specific point of Pahumara river near no. 2 Medhikuchi, about five kms from Pathsala, which is popularly known as the ‘Member Ghat.’ The boats, which are at least 50-foot-long and in resplendent colours were powered by at least 50 rowers on the mildly flowing waters of the Pahumara river. With the kohuwa on both the sides of the river playing the perfect backdrop of autumn, the cheering crowd put an extra dimension to the competition. The rowers with colourful attire also provided a lyrical touch to the competition as they sang rhythmic songs playing ‘taal’ while navigating their boats with ores. The rowers took part with full enthusiasm.

Five teams, namely, Shahnaz, Raijor Tazmahal, Moi Sundari, Maa Zarina and Raijor Ashirbad took part in this year’s competition that was held in various rounds. Shahnaz emerged the proud winners while Raijor Ashirbad bagged the second position in the overall competition.

Earlier, Mafijur Ahmed, Superintendent of Dalopathar High Madrasa cut the ribbon and declared the competition open. He expressed the hope that unity among the people will be strengthened through such events. He also praised the efforts of the organising committee for this rare traditional competition. Dipul Patgiri, president of the organising committee anchored the opening and felicitation programmes. The judges of the competition were Gagan Talukdar, Pulak Taluikdar and Gajen Pathak in the starting point; Pankaj Patgiri, Pramod Patgiri, Gopeswar Patgiri, Nirajnan Choudhury, Girin Patgiri and Sankar Talukdar in the middle point and Lachit Choudhury, Tiken Kakati Som Nath Patgiri and Robin Patgiri at the end point.

The authority concerned had also arranged precautionary measures to avert any untoward incident by deploying security forces along with a rescue team.

The prize distribution was held in the evening. The day also saw immersion of Durga idols in the river in the specific ghat.

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