A Tonga or tanga (IAST ṭā̃gā, Hindi: टाँगा, Urdu: ٹانگہ, Bengali: টাঙ্গা) is a light carriage or curricle drawn by two horses (compare ekka) used for transportation in India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. They have a canopy over the carriage with a single pair of large wheels. The passengers reach the seats from the rear while the driver sits in front of the carriage. Some space is available for baggage below the carriage, between the wheels. This is often used to carry hay for the horses.
Tangas were popular before the advent of automobiles and are still in use in some parts of South Asia. They are a popular mode of transportation because they are fun to ride in, and are usually cheaper to hire than a taxi or rickshaw. However, in many cities, tangas are not allowed to use highways because of their slow pace. In Pakistan, tangas are mainly found in the older parts of cities and towns, and are becoming less popular for utilitarian travel and more popular for pleasure. Tangas have become a traditional feature of weddings and other social functions in Pakistan, as well as in other nations. Tanga or tanga also served most of the urban and rural areas of Pakistan over decades. Hence Tonga became culture of Pakistan. But from last two decades Tonga is being disappear from Pakistani culture as people are now facilitated with the alternate public service transport means like Auto Rikshaw etc. This dying culture also needs attention of Government. In this regards efforts of Pakistani National channel i.e Ptv News are being encouraged at every level. Famous Producer of Ptv News Mr. Junaid Sultan has prepared a very informative report on Dying Tanga Culture. Its is important to note that no doubt in the cities of Pakistan Tonga service is disappears from various famous cities like Rawalpindi but Ptv Producer Junaid Sultan has told general public that Tonga service is still prevailing in the rural area of Capital city i.e Islamabad. He said Tonga service is serving people in a town of village Tarlai, known as "Sudhraan".
In India, Tangas also prevail in rural areas of North India like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab. Apart from the modern modes of transport, tangas are still standing in line at bus stops, railway stations to transport luggage and passengers to their destinations in small towns of North India. The culture of the Tanga is disappearing due to the speed of modern transportation and the earnings people make. However, there are still some that continue to support themselves and keep the tradition alive. Tourists that come to India, still take rides in tangas to experience the Indian charm. It is the still one of the most appreciated experiences of Northern India.
- Gilbert, William H., Jr. (1944). Peoples of India. Washington: Smithsonian Institution. p. 16.
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