Jallikattu or Manjuvirattu- Ancient sport of bravery
Jallikattu is an ancient valor sport of Tamilnadu. It’s not only a game of bravery, it’s an identity of Tamil people which reflects their rich culture and heritage. The real meaning of this game is Bull embracing; Tamilians revere Bull as God and share a brotherhood with them. To restore this rich culture, people of Tamilnadu have undergone worldwide protests and struggles. Now, this act of bravery has reached out to the world and it has become a symbol of Tamilnadu. This unique event is a part of the Pongal celebration and generally takes place on Mattu Pongal.
The Game Of Bulls:
Fear is an obscure word in the dictionary of Tamil people. Courage and bravery are infused in their blood. Ordinary things never interest Tamilians, all they need is an adventure, thrill, and spirit. To show their bravery to the world, even from the alpha of the clan lots of gallantry sports had been practiced.
One such ancient valor sport is Jallikattu, which is known by many names such as Erthaluval, Erukol, Manjuviratu, and Madu Pidithal. Eru, Manju, Madu all these three words refer to Ox. This game is exclusively designed to exhibit the pugnacious nature of Tamil oxen and the peerless valor of Tamil men who tame it.
Legend Of Jallikattu:
Sallikattu is now modified as Jallikattu. Salli means coin, it is the custom of Jallikattu, that a coin is tied to the forehead of the bull, which is a reward for the warrior who tames the bull. This sport is been practiced from time immemorial. Even in the oldest form of Tamil Literature speaks of this bravery game. From a literary piece named Kalithogai, it is evident that people used this sport to select grooms for their daughters. The men who win the bull win the heart of the beautiful women. In other literary works, such as Silapathigaram, Malaipadugadam, and Patinapalai, we can see many quotes on Jallikattu. From this literary piece, the origin of this game is slightly exposed. The people of the ancient Mulai region (forest), used to conduct this game often to select the clan leader, an efficient warrior and the successor of the reign. Most importantly gorgeous daughters of the clan leaders are married to these gallant heroes. So this game must be in practice from 3000 years above.
Jallikattu is an adventurous sport of Tamilnadu and is a part of the Pongal celebration. This sport takes place from the Pongal Festival in January, this year the Pongal festival falls on 15.01.2020. This is one of the living ancient sport of Tamilnadu, and which is celebrated with great fervor in the village sides and Madurai. The ultimate motto of this game is “Fight or Flight”.
The native breed of Tamilnadu Kangeyam Ox is bred only for this sport. These oxen are very pugnacious and ferocious by nature. Taming these bulls is not an easy task, it needs skill, power, and strength, and so the one who tames these bulls is considered to be the strongest person and is rewarded with titles and prizes.
Taming Of The Bull:
Kangeyam Ox is known for Jallikattu, these oxen have a finest and well-built body and are much stronger than other breeds. It is from these herds that calves with good characteristics and body conformation are selected and reared to become Jallikattu bulls. These bulls attack not because they are irritated or agitated or frightened, but because that is their basic nature. The calves that are chosen to become Jallikattu bulls are fed a nutritious diet so that they develop into strong, sturdy beasts. The bulls are made to swim for exercise. Once the calves reach a particular age, they are taken to small Jallikattu events and are given the practice to fight with men.
Rituals Of The Game:
Jallikattu is more of a ritual than a game. First and foremost the temple bull is worshipped and is adorned with garlands. Later it is led out first from the Vadi vassal ( Pattam pole). It is against the rule to touch or tame the temple bull. After this rest of the bulls are untied one after one. Tugging the tail or using any sharp objects are strictly prohibited. In case of bulls, which have been given any kind of provoking substances or alcohols will be eliminated. The tamers who have tamed many bulls will be considered as the winner.
Where To See This Sport:
Jallikattu takes place mainly in the southern region of Tamilnadu and very specifically regions like Madurai and Sivagangai. Alanganallur Jallikattu is a world-renowned one and this is the largest Jallikattu event in Tamilnadu with thousands of spectators and hundreds of tamers. This grand event is about to take place on 17.01.2020.
According to the news feed, this year about 700 oxen are taking part in the Alanganallur Jallikattu event. The Tamilnadu government has taken various safety measures to avoid any mishaps. Emergency medical help is stationed at every venue of Jallikattu. Proper poles and barricades are installed for the safety of the audience. Every year tourists from overseas and other parts of India take part in the event willingly and with great enthusiasm.
Venues and dates of Jallikattu in Tamilnadu:
- Alanganallur near Madurai (17.01.20)
- Avaniyapuram Near Madurai (15.01.2020)
- Sholavanthan, Madurai ( 15.01.20)
- Avaniapuram, Madurai (15.01.20)
- Palamedu near Madurai ( 16.01.20)
- Viralimalai near Pudukottai ( 19.01.20)
- Neikarappatti near Palani ( 17.01.20)
- Kondalaampatti, Thammampatti in Salem
- Sravayal near Karaikudi
- Kanduppatti near Sivagangai
- Venthanpatti near Ponnamaravathy, Pudukottai (Dist)
- Pallavarayanpatty near Cumbum
- Pavalathampalayam, Erode (17.01.20)
- Nerkuppai near Thirupathur, Sivagangai dist (16.01.20)
- Azhagumalai near Palladam, Tirupur dist ( 2.02.20)
Being one of the greatest games of Tamil culture, it can definitely interest any spectators. Get ready for the nail-biting moments and adrenaline rush, as the ferocious bull tears through the crowd.
Plan a trip to Tamilnadu during this Pongal Holidays and have a wonderful time exploring and experiencing the vibrant Harvest festival – Pongal, the rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty of the state.
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