500 bulls with 200 tamers expected to take part in the event organised by four villages at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh

Nine-year-old ‘Karuppan’ is a pampered ‘lad’ these days with K.Kumar, its owner from Palakurichi village, showering him with a lot of attention. Fed with nutritious diet, the Kangeyam bull with its raging horns is being trained for the annual jallikattu at the village.

This will be the seventh year that ‘Karuppan’ is to be fielded in the bull-taming sport.

Many other bulls of Palakurichi and surrounding villages are also getting ready for the traditional sport.

With January 16 finalised for the annual event, the sleepy Palakurichi is gearing up to play host to jallikattu organised as part of the Pongal festivities.

The sprawling ‘avarangaadu maidanam (ground)’ where the event is held every year will be the centre of attraction this time too on the third day of Tamil month Thai. Permission from the High Court has come as a shot in the arm for the villagers who are working hard to make the event a grand success. The ground is agog with hectic activities. Two big galleries are being erected to accommodate nearly 10,000 visitors.

The striking feature of the event is that it is organised jointly by four villages, Palakurichi, Kalingipatti, Keeranipatti and Solagnarpatti, says G. Simeon, the Nattamai of Palakurichi overseeing the arrangements.

As a safety measure, wire meshes would be put up in front of the galleries to prevent spectators from entering the area during the event.

Around 500 bulls from several districts, including Pudukottai, Sivaganga, Madurai, Dindigul, Ramanathapuram, and Thanjavur besides those from Tiruchi are expected to take part. Blue colour T-shirts will be provided to the around 200 bull tamers for easier identification. Tokens would be distributed to every bull owner to streamline the animals’ entry to the area, said Mr. Simeon.

The whole event would be organised as per the Supreme Court guidelines and monitored by officials from the district administration and the police, he said.

The villagers are organising the event at a cost of Rs. 10 lakh.

Given the high cost involved, we have planned to charge Rs. 100 as minimum amount this time from the bull owners fielding their animals, Mr. Simeon said. Gold and chains, mixies, grinders, almirahs and other prizes are up for grabs for the successful tamers.