Tanha-Pola inculcates significance of bulls in young minds
Nagpur: India being agriculturally leading country, the Pola is celebrated by farmers in particular and public in general to accord importance to bulls which are used day out and day in for all sorts of agricultural activities. In fact, the bulls are decorated, offered quality fodder as well as eatables and literally worshipped. The following day of Pola is fixed for celebrating Tanha-Pola, particularly enjoyed by children who are taught the significance of bull in human life, and they are provided wooden bulls to worship.
Let us look into the historical background of Tanha-Pola. According to a press note issued by Senior Bhosla Group, Maharaja of Nagpur Trust, the then ruler of Nagpur, late Shrimant Raje Raghujirao Maharaj Bhosale (Second), who was lover of animal world, festivals and aesthetics, introduced ‘Wooden Bull’ worship (Tanha-Pola) in AD1806. The aim was to inculcate the significance of bulls in young minds, all our loving children, and they were provided wooden bulls and taught rituals. Late Raje Raghujirao Bhosale then ordered the carpenters to make wooden bulls for children and he himself distributed them with his own hands to all children within his reach in his palace or selected ground (Maidan).
Like the live bulls, the wooden bulls with the children were (are) arranged in a line under the festoons over head. All eatables, like jalebis, fruits, biscuit-packets, etc, were (are) hung up with festoons, and after worshipping the wooden bulls the children were required to pluck all eatables from festoon; the plucking was then called looting of Pola. The Raje then used to visit Hanuman temple through his palatial Khidki Marg (a window type passage of his palace) with drum beats and music, have darshan of Hanuman and offering a coconut to god, return to the palace where the children with their wooden bulls were already present waiting for him. The Raje would then distribute sweets and other things to children and would give them some money in particular. It is said that Tanha-Pola is celebrated in Vidarbha since then, and this practice has now become a part of regional culture. Raja Bhosla successors, today, are still continuing the said practice. And, this Pola, the practice of Tanha-Pola celebration completes 209th year.
In the ‘wada’ (enclave) of late Raj Raghujirao Bhosale, Senior Bhosla Palace, Mahal, here in the city, a huge size wooden bull is still standing for the valuable possession of Tanha-Pola companion. It will be open to all on Sept 13, Sunday, at 4 pm where celebration of Tanha-Pola will take place, and the children will participate in it, and they will enjoy eatables and some tips of money. The six-feet tall wooden bull will be kept for exhibition of all, said a press note issued by Sarang Dhok.