Srinagar: If you thought you had seen it all, think again. A group of avid pigeon rears in Kashmir have taken the hobby one step ahead by organizing a tournament for it.
The registration for ‘All Kashmir Pigeon Tournament’ begins November 15 and its forms are already out.
Organised by Pigeon Association (yes there is an association by that name) Shunglipora, Srinagar, the tournament aims to attract Kashmir’s best Pigeon keepers (Kabootar baaz) who fancy the art of breeding these flying beauties.‘Kabootar baazi’ is not new in Kashmir.
In uptown Srinagar, one can easily see such keepers busy with their birds on the top of the terraces.
They usually raise these birds in large birdcages and once the birds are ready to fly, they let them soar the skies and return to perch back on the wooden shafts.
The idea of flying pigeons usually involves a tug of war sort of the thing wherein one person’s pigeon attracts another one to fly with it and eventually land together. As for the tournament, it will, according to the registration form, begin July 1 2022.The entry fee is Rs 5000 and the last date for registration in November 15.“Participants will be allowed to fly only 8 pigeons in a single flight,” reads one of the rules of the tournament.
“Bahadur Baby pigeon who spends more time in the air will be rewarded Rs 2,000. Best pigeon of the tournament will be rewarded Rs 2,000” read the participation rules.
The Association has also kept a clause for weather vagaries.
“If the weather gets worse during the game, the pigeons remaining in the sky will be given the next date for flight.
”“We have organised this tournament for many years. Usually, around 15 players participate in it,” said Abdul Ahad one of the organisers of the tournament.The participants, he said, are from different areas of the valley.
“The Association has been active for at least two years now,” he said.The costliest pigeon, he added, can even fetch Rs 1 lakh.Some of the popular high-flying pigeon breeds include Fakeer Gul, Rampoori, Ambarsari (Amritsar), Kabuli.