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Old 2nd January 2010, 22:23   #1
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Default Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart

Guys,

Here I'm starting a unusual non-BHP as the vehicle that I'm trying to restore is purely based on two catle or bullock cart power to move from place to place. I think I should call it as 2 BBP (two break bullock power).

There is a huge history behind the catle carts in India, almost the only mode of transportation pre-english days in India.

I'm opening up this restoration to save our tradition a colorful dream of myself. Though I don't have space to keep this vehicle with me, I will be give it off to some genuinely interested person after restoration of this incredible piece of our transportation from the history.

Watchout this place for pics pics and pics.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 21:31   #2
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Hmmm, indeed an unusual restoration.
Please post some pictures and details, and Good Luck to you for the project !!
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Old 3rd January 2010, 21:45   #3
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When I heard the above from you over the phone; I was with my dad. I told him about this, he was quite eager & amused by this project as me... Pics soon anna Plz.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 22:13   #4
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These vehicles in south carry different names, as fondly called

1. Petty Vandi (Box cart)
2. Savari Vandi (Safari cart)
3. Katta Vandi (Wooden cart)
4. Gundu Vandi (Nest cart)
5. Nattamaikar Vandi (Cart of village head)

All the above name aka Maatu Vandi (Bullock Cart)

Now going by the finding history this Vandi was sound on the Tiruvannamalai to Pondicherry off NH66 road. Used by a Nayanaar family ladies for travel purposes and abonded for past 15 years(Jainers in the villages are called Nayanaar).

There you go my trip to Tiruvannamalai to Chennai revealed the piece of heritage standing off the road. I rushed into the act of restoration, no time spent on thinking the deal striked. I have loaded the cart into a TATA ACE and moved it to a Carpenter and Lathe facility for further work.

The first and formost thing to attend in the cart is the wheels, the heavily destroyed wooden wheels by the white ants aka. termites.

There are about 6 pieces of wooden wheel outer circle which are kept by the help of a steel ring. Total of 9 wooden outer circle parts are required to be replaced.

Painting will be done as per the original color template on the cart, couple of steer utilities such as rear foot rest, passenger security rod and driver's foot setup also will be done.

The nose of front wooden beam was also eaten up by the termites hence getting done.

The last thing I will be doing is to hang a beautiful old type latern under the passenger couch.

Now watchout the pictures of the cart and it is restoration status


Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-image210.jpg

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Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-image031.jpg
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Old 3rd January 2010, 22:36   #5
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Ah, the same cart I had in mind, IMMORTALIZED by 100's of Tamil/Kannada/Telugu/Kerala movies. Especially the duet songs where the Lady's family goes in the 1st cart, and the Gent's cart tail gates them and a song ensures

How about the numerous fight scenes where the 'achhu aani' (like Lug nut) comes off, and HERO rides on one wheel, the other screaming fire and sparks and wins the race

Also extreme stunts where both the wheels come off and hero wins race and thus the heroine.

Ah, if I can only get the You.T clip of such impressively done up carts...

Siva anna, is the rebuild complete, or WIP?
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Old 3rd January 2010, 22:49   #6
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Santhosh, Actually it is now under Work in Progress state.

These vehicles are not only famous in the movies also a popular attraction for tourist visiting eastern Kerala. You wonder why did I say that, here is the information:


8 hours of Savari vandi travel with 17 kilometer coverage was costing US$ 23 per person as per the year 2005. How many people could go on a single cart is around 2-3 people excluding the driver. Hmmm interesting right, our tradtion got much more atteractions to offer to the guests coming to Incridible India.

Savari Vandi - Bullock cart ride in villages of Palaghat.
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Old 3rd January 2010, 22:59   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trammway View Post
... costing US$ 23 per person as per the year 2005...
So much?!!! Back in 94-98~, I used to take this humble cart (powered by 1 horse), from St.Thomas Mount station to Oil mill Bus Stop (Ullagaram,Nanganallur) for 5Rs per person. Max of 4 used to sit along with the owner/driver. Poor guys'; always used to ask a few Rs Extra since he can only feed his family with the fare. To feed the Kudurai (Horse), they used to struggle and eventually abuse and under feed it... Eventually they ran out of business, Auto's took over that route :( Sigh!!
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Old 4th January 2010, 12:51   #8
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Congratulations NANBA !! Nam ooru vande, you must be moving atleast once feelig like a CHINNA GOUNDER !! unique vehicle not horsepower driven but equvalently powerful bull power (2x2 bullpower), ha ha!! get it done with loads of traditional painting, vibrant colours, hang some brass bells,

I am sure it will be a peice of art proudly standing in front of some 5* Hotel revealing the pride of Indian or rather pre british ears' transportation mode.
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Old 4th January 2010, 13:00   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanu View Post
Congratulations NANBA !! Nam ooru vande, you must be moving atleast once feelig like a CHINNA GOUNDER !! unique vehicle not horsepower driven but equvalently powerful bull power (2x2 bullpower), ha ha!! get it done with loads of traditional painting, vibrant colours, hang some brass bells,

I am sure it will be a peice of art proudly standing in front of some 5* Hotel revealing the pride of Indian or rather pre british ears' transportation mode.

Nandri Nanbare.

He he he not like Chinna Gounder, I wish to sit on the driver seat with traditional tamilian turban on my head. Though not really know the trick of riding the slow speed high torque bollocks.

hey excellent idea, parking it in front of 5* hotel hmmm good going.

If only I can fine tune your idea just add two terracotta bullocks(see pic below) in front of the cart like original bullocks hurray it will be rocking.

Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-porcelain_craft_hh92_l.jpg
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Old 4th January 2010, 16:43   #10
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You are a man after my own Heart!

These humble vehicles were the back bone of civilization and evolved into some very interesting forms of transportation before the "horse-less carriage" era.

My first trip to India was about 40 years ago and one of the strongest memories, then and since, was being in Shantinikitan over Christmas and walking towards the Mela, early evening, past the University with sweet Christmas Carols being sung in the exquisite glass prayer hall and to have hordes of quiet mystic bullock carts coming towards us with swinging oil lamps on the sides and back, many with no apparent driver or life taking the village farmer and families home after a long day at the Fair.

I fell in love with the various foot and bicycle rickshaws and 14 years back my son and I travelled to Delhi, Calcutta, Dhaka, Bangkok & Penang to find the most interesting rickshaws to bring to Toronto as we had a few hundred simplistic foot Rickshaws in the tourist areas and we felt that the real thing should be here in the Worlds most divers City. Even found some on the internet and brought 4 in from Jakarta.

Here are some photos. One of the two "embracing rickshaws" is from Japan and was used at the 1901 Worlds Fair held in buffalo N.Y. It still has its original paint and fabric.

We have been in the Chinese Antiques business since 1998 and have made numerous buying trips and while we didn't buy any, we saw some
awesome Bullock Carts that were being exported. I'll post a few photos.
Attached Thumbnails
Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-170-roseswell053.jpg  

Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-170-roseswell055.jpg  

Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-170-roseswell056.jpg  

Unusual Restoration - II : South India's traditional Bullock cart-img_5334.jpg  

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Old 4th January 2010, 17:16   #11
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@trammway; kalakare ma kannu. really a very unusual interesting restoration. brings back the memories of my bullock cart travel during my childhood.

what are the plans now?

save your herione from the village villains or
participate in the rekla race to win your heroine or
do lots of panchayath

nice idea and where do you intend to 'PARK' it.
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Old 4th January 2010, 20:41   #12
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What breed of bull(s) you going for after the restoration?
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Old 4th January 2010, 22:16   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by john a milne View Post
You are a man after my own Heart!

These humble vehicles were the back bone of civilization and evolved into some very interesting forms of transportation before the "horse-less carriage" era.

My first trip to India was about 40 years ago and one of the strongest memories, then and since, was being in Shantinikitan over Christmas and walking towards the Mela, early evening, past the University with sweet Christmas Carols being sung in the exquisite glass prayer hall and to have hordes of quiet mystic bullock carts coming towards us with swinging oil lamps on the sides and back, many with no apparent driver or life taking the village farmer and families home after a long day at the Fair.

I fell in love with the various foot and bicycle rickshaws and 14 years back my son and I travelled to Delhi, Calcutta, Dhaka, Bangkok & Penang to find the most interesting rickshaws to bring to Toronto as we had a few hundred simplistic foot Rickshaws in the tourist areas and we felt that the real thing should be here in the Worlds most divers City. Even found some on the internet and brought 4 in from Jakarta.

Here are some photos. One of the two "embracing rickshaws" is from Japan and was used at the 1901 Worlds Fair held in buffalo N.Y. It still has its original paint and fabric.

We have been in the Chinese Antiques business since 1998 and have made numerous buying trips and while we didn't buy any, we saw some
awesome Bullock Carts that were being exported. I'll post a few photos.
John that was great.

I did remember the man pulled rickshaws in Tokyo Asakusa area. Here is a pic from old collection.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ikoneer View Post
@trammway; kalakare ma kannu. really a very unusual interesting restoration. brings back the memories of my bullock cart travel during my childhood.

what are the plans now?

save your herione from the village villains or
participate in the rekla race to win your heroine or
do lots of panchayath

nice idea and where do you intend to 'PARK' it.
Same here, I had the same memories coming before my eyes.

Plan is to save her from being extinct. Then hand over the beauty to a genuinely interested person or organisation.

You people should know the story of finding the right person to do the wheel, man I didn't believe when my dad said that there is no one who could do this work in these days. As he rightly stated, to fix the wheels I had to search all the 150kms surrounding of my hometown to find one carpenter who agreed to do this work.

The wheel fixing requires lots of patience as one need to properly bring the wooden pieces into the shape of circle and make proper angle holes to fix the wooden spokes and right alignment, so the circle is formed and kept intact.

Now to keep the wheel wooden outer ring tightly together and to protect it from the gutter and bad roads, there will be a outer metal (iron) ring. But fixing the iron ring is a tricky job. This ring will be heated to red color and fixed on the wooden wheel's outer dia, then they pour water to cool it. Ultimately they get the metal shrink to tighten up the wooden parts and protect it further from travel time damages. Red hot metal ring needs faster action while fixing, otherwise it will burn the entire wheel itself.


I don't think any new heroine scene will happen in my life again, he he he I'm married with two kids.

Where to PARK, thats a question ? Will see if any takers come with foot forward. Otherwise it will take a place in my farm infront of my future farm house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigman View Post
What breed of bull(s) you going for after the restoration?
Terracotta breed

Last edited by trammway : 4th January 2010 at 22:34.
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Old 10th January 2010, 04:30   #14
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Are they used anywhere still? until early 90s we had horse drawn carts (Jatka gaadi) in Bangalore.

There used to be a famous depot for them and we used to call it "Jatka stand". ...used to stink of dung.
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Old 10th January 2010, 17:48   #15
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thanks friends, I have been off for sometime to shabarimala piligrimage, good going friend. all the best.
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