A 2010 plan to promote it on the lines of Pushkar mela remains on paper
Though it has a rich history, the almost 1,000-year-old Kannapuram Kangayam cattle mela is yet to get its deserved attention in the official tourism itinerary.
A plan chalked out by the Tourism department with the district administration in 2010 to promote the festival on the scale of Pushkar Mela in Rajasthan, at an initial estimated outlay of Rs.15 lakh, has not been implemented.
The mela, held along with the annual temple car festival of the 11th century Vikramacholeesvara temple and the three-century-old Arulmigu Mariamman temple near Kangayam, is attended by lakhs of farmers and breeders to display and trade in pure Kangayam cattle.
Tourism department officials told The Hindu that as per the 2010 plan, special tourism promotional material on the event was to be brought out and circulated among travel agents in the country and abroad to attract tourists in large numbers.
“At present, even the website of the Tamil Nadu tourism department has not given any place for this traditionally rich event,” officials said.
However, the Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation (SKCRF), the only such organisation involved in ‘in-situ conservation and breeding' of genetically pure Kangayam breed of cattle, is planning to submit a fresh proposal to the government asking to declare Kannapuram an eco-tourism and native animal destination.
“Even though the Pushkar Mela, where camels are exhibited and sold, started many centuries after the Kannapuram Mela, it occupies a prominent place on the tourism map and is attracting sightseers from across the globe, only because the Rajasthan Government tapped its tourism potential,” Karthikeya Sivasenapathy, managing trustee, SKCRF
He further pointed out that the tourism potential of Kannapuram Arulmigu Mariamman temple is yet to attract the attention of the government.
“According to the legend, worship at the temple will result in blessings for childless couples and unmarried people,” he said.
Keywords: Kannapuram Kangayam cattle mela