Hubballi: It was a bull that brought fame to a village with its dancing skills at the Mysuru Dasara and Hampi utsav. Earning the people of B S Beleri in Ron taluk, Gadag district, lakhs in cash prizes at various cultural festivals where it danced to bhajans, it was greatly revered as the villagers believed it had brought them prosperity and bumper harvests for nearly three decades.
But on Sunday it died, plunging the villagers into grief. Its death was mourned by its many devotees, who often weighed it against foodgrains, coins, fruits, sugar, vibhuti and rudrakshas and offered the lot to the Sukhamuneshwar Mutt in the village.
Presented to the mutt several decades ago by a devotee, the bull was in the care of its Bhajana Mandal, whose members trained it to dance to their bhajans and took it along with them to various parts of the state where they performed.
So possessive were the villagers of the bull that they refused to hand it over to people of surrounding villages, who wanted to perform tulabhara and hand over their offerings weighed against it to the mutt.
The Beleri villagers were afraid they could lose their good fortune to the other villagers, if they took care of it even temporarily. But all their love and affection and prayers for the bull, which earned them much appreciation from animal activists, could not save the bull which passed away on Sunday.
In a fitting send-off the animal was decorated like a groom, garlanded with rudrakshas, and had vibhuthi smeared on its forehead before it was buried.
The villagers contributed money and foodgrains to feed people of surrounding villages who attended its burial at the mutt. “Our village has faced few difficult times ever since the bull arrived in our midst,” said Shivaputrappa Sulikeri, the village elder and member of the Bhajana Mandal, mourning its death....