Do You Know the Most Popular Jallikkattu Locations to Visit in Tamil Nadu?

Tamil Nadu is the most popular state in the world for a lot of reasons. Among them are gorgeous temples, delicious cuisines from many areas, and most significantly, festivals celebrated for each season. Tamil Nadu is very rich in its culture and heritage. Jallikattu is a bull-taming sport popular in Tamil Nadu during the Pongal festival. This is one of the most oldest sports still practised. Although it may sound similar to the Spanish bull-fight game, it is not the same. The bull is not killed in Jallikattu, and participants are not allowed to use weapons. It is celebrated in Tamil Nadu villages on the eve of Mattu Pongal, one of the four days of the Pongal festival. The most popular is held at Alanganallur, near Madurai. This sport is also called as “Manju Virattu,” which translates to “taming the bull.”

In Jallikattu, an enraged bull is set to run in an open ground. People jump over its hump and would start taming it by controlling its horns. The winner receives a reward, which is usually tied to the bull’s horns. This game is only for men. Jallikattu is an old Tamilian custom that was popular among Tamil warriors throughout the classical period. According to mythology, ladies used to select their spouses from this game. The beautiful ‘Kangeyam bull’ is usually participated in this game since it is inherently more aggressive and stronger than any other of its type.

Most popular Jallikattu locations are:

• Alanganallur
• Avaniapuram
• Tiruvapur near Pudukottai
• Thammampatti in Salem, Tamil Nadu
• Palemedu near Madurai
• Sravayal near Karaikudi
• Kanduppatti near Sivagangai
• Venthanpatti near Ponnamaravathy, Pudukottai (Dist)
• Pallavarayanpatty near Cumbum

In Jallikattu, injuries and sometimes deaths also occur. During the Jallikkattu of 2004, at least 5 people were killed and hundreds were injured in several parts of Tamil Nadu. Over the last two decades, 200 people have died. The participant does not kill the bull unlike the bull-fight game. The bulls rarely had any casualties. Animal activists associations like PETA oppose this dangerous game, but so far no objections won.

There are various rock paintings depicting men chasing bulls that are more than 3,500 years old at rural Karikkiyur village in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris area. Kaikkiyur, around 40 kilometres from Kotagiri town, is the largest rock art site in South India. This site, which has approximately 500 paintings, was found in 2004. Another sculpture unearthed in a cave in Kalluthu Mettupatti, approximately 35 kilometres west of Madurai, in between Dindigul and Madurai. It depicts a man attempting to control a bull and is around 1,500 years of old.

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