Tamil Nadu and its traditional game Jallikattu

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Jallikattu is a traditional Tamil game. This is also called ‘Eruthazhuvuthal’. Pulikulam and Kangeyam bulls are used for this. This bull must be chased away and tamed. Person who subdues it is hailed as a hero. There was a custom of tying Indian coins called ‘sallik kasu’ in cloth to the horns of cows. The payout belongs to the player who won the cow. This custom later changed to ‘Sallikattu’. It is also said that it got twisted and became ‘Jallikattu’ in colloquial terms. It is popular in southern districts.

Notably, Madurai, Alankanallur is special for Jallikattu. There is evidence of jallikattu in the Palatinate literature and the Indus Valley Civilization. Organizations such as the Animal Welfare Board of India, PETA, and the Indian Blue Cross have filed lawsuits in Indian courts in recent years demanding a ban on jallikattu, which they believe is cruel to animals and causes unnecessary deaths and injuries. According to them, the incidents of jallikattu violate the Indian Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. Every year since 2008, supporters and opponents of jallikattu have continued to fight in the courts.

Every year the courts allow jallikattu to take place with various conditions. It is noteworthy that in 2017, students held protests for several days across Tamil Nadu in support of Jallikattu. Tamil Thirunal is Pongal. Pongal is a festival created to give thanks to cows, plows and the sun for helping agriculture flourish after the harvest. Pongal, Matuppongal, Kanum Pongal. On these three days, the entire Tamil Nadu will be filled with enthusiasm. Jallikattu is the staple of Pongal festival. Alankanallur jallikattu is world famous. Hence tourists from many countries come to see it and participate in the Pongal festivities. You can see them everywhere where Jallikattu matches take place.

In 2004, rock paintings related to jallikattu were discovered at Karikaiyur near Kothagiri in Nilgiri district. Vadivasal is the place where bulls are untied one by one during Jallikattu. Before crossing this threshold, all the tethers including the nose ropes of the bulls are cut off. Vadivasal will be used in Alankanallur Jallikattu. 

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