Banni Pashu Mela

The Banni Pashu Mela is an annual and a much awaited event organized in Banni by the Banni Breeders’ Association. The first Pashu Mela was held in 2007 and since then five Pashu Melas have been held. The Pashu Mela serves as a link between the local Maldharis and the Maldharis outside Kachchh. It helps the Maldharis establish a market for animal trade at local level. Initially, the Pashu Mela was organized by the Hodka Paryatan Samiti, but after the Breeders’ Association was formed, it has undertaken the organization of Pashu Mela, with support from local NGOs and corporates. Every year, the Mela has some themes and objectives set, on which discussions and consultations are held with experts during the event. Apart from animal trade, other activities such as competitions for animals like looks and strength for cows, buffaloes and camels, milk collection for cows and buffalos, human race, traditional wrestling (bakhmallakhado), documentaries on bullock trade, pastoralist lifestyle and other such issues, and cultural programme showcasing Kachchhi musical styles such as Sufi, Kaafiya and Kaala. Food stalls and stalls highlighting the indigenous traditional knowledge possessed by the Maldharis are also put up in the Pashu Mela.