Pongal time has ushered in the famed rooster fight at Poolamvalasu area of the district with hundreds of birds and handlers descending on the village alluring thousands of onlookers. The village and its peripherals are reverberating to the shrieks of the birds fighting for their life and the honour of their masters.

The arrival of the harvest festival raises the tempo of residents in select villages around Aravakurichi who get ready to organise rooster fights.

What jallikattu is to Madurai and Tiruchi region, seval kattu is for Karur region. Handlers bring thousands of roosters to take part in the duels organised at Poolamvalasu.

Red, black, white and tan-coloured roosters are being raised especially for the fights. Handlers from Tiruchi, Thajavur, Dindigul, Theni, Madurai, Karur, Coimbatore, Salem, Erode, Tirupur district have arrived in the village and are camping here for the fight.

Insiders say that some handlers and roosters are expected from neighbouring Kerala as well for this year's fighting season.

The duels have been underway for the past couple of days and the season might last more than a week during Pongal festival. Small motley groups of people squat around the duel arena and encourage the roosters to go at each others' throats.

“The preparations continue all through the year as the bird is reared, fed and trained especially for the fight. Patience and perseverance bring good results,” says trainer P. Senthilvelavan from Vedasandur in neighbouring Dindigul district.

Diet and training are at the fulcrum of victory at Poolamvalasu where the losers do not live to see another week, says A. Chinnusamy of Poolamvalasu village who has been organising rooster fights in the surrounding for decades.

He however denies that any betting activity takes place or lawlessness prevails during the seval kattu season.

The seval kattu provides thrust to the rural economy with milling crowds thronging the village and its neighbourhood all through the week.

The police are keeping a vigil on the happenings .

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