Hyderabad: A festive atmosphere prevailed at the Barkas playground in the Old City with the ‘mela’.
Horse-drawn carriages, snacks, joy rides and swings were lined up to celebrate Id-uz-Zuha’s mela.
Children from the local neighbourhoods flocked to the grounds to enjoy the rides. For boys, there were horse rides while for girls it was a ride in horse drawn carriages. There was also a small giant wheel, which was run manually.
The concept of the mela, according to locals, dates back a few decades when there was limited access for children for outdoor entertainment.
“A few local persons, who were into the entertainment business, installed rides decades ago. Slowly vendors and horse owners, who were staying in the neighbourhood, chipped in. The fair draws thousands of children who come along with their parents to enjoy the festival,” said Mr. Fahad Bavazir, a local resident.
Mr Abdullah Bahamed, another local resident, said that the concept was introduced in the Old City following the traditional fairs held in Middle East on occasion of Id-ul-Fitr and Id-uz-Zuha.
The most sought after item at the fair is the horse drawn ‘tonga’. “Seldom do we find tongas offering a ride to children in the city. But at the Barkas mela, you can find several youngsters with tongas offering a ride for just Rs 10. Of course, it is a new experience for children who are accustomed to automobiles,” said Mr Abdul Khadeer, a businessman from Chandrayangutta.