Sporting event of ‘Latthe ka Mela’ organized to celebrate Krishna’s birthday

The pole festival or the latthe ka mela was celebrated at RangJi Mandir during the occasion of Nandotsava. Nandotsava happens to be the celebration of Lord Krishna’s birth. To make this event even grander, the sporting event of latthe ka mela was organized. People thronged the field outside the western gate of the temple to witness the pole riding competition.

Several wrestles from dusayat mohalla and other parts of Vrindavan took part in this competition. A wooden pole or a lattha was erected on the ground and the wrestlers had to climb it and reach the top. A vessel full of copper, bronze and silver coins and currency notes were placed on the top. The wrestler who climbed the pole the fastest and reached the top was given the vessel and its contents as the prize.

This feat would have been easy enough except that the pole was made slippery with oil before it was erected. In fact while the wrestlers were climbing, water mixed with oil, curd and turmeric was constantly poured on the pole from the top. The audience took great enjoyment in watching the wrestles slip all the way down after they had nearly reached the target.

Finally it was a wrestler named Danvir who succeeded in reaching the top of the pole and he was awarded the vessel with its rich contents. However, being a good sport, Danvir distributed the prize among all the participating wrestlers equally. It all ended with the wrestlers taking a bath in the kund situated inside the temple grounds.

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