Madurai

Plea to revive famous cattle shandy at Muthulapuram

The dilapidated buildings where the veterinary camps were held during the cattle shandy at Muthulapuram near Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district.

The dilapidated buildings where the veterinary camps were held during the cattle shandy at Muthulapuram near Kovilpatti in Thoothukudi district.

A famous mattuthavan i (cattle shandy) that functioned at Muthulapuram near Ettayapuram till 1984 must be revived, say villagers in Kovilpatti region of Thoothukudi district.

People here depend on agriculture and allied activities. The Muthulapuram mattuthavan i functioned on 66 acres. There is a 16th century Bhavaneeswarar Temple, where a car festival was conducted during Adi tabasu every year, coinciding with the month-long cattle shandy.

A similar shandy of the same duration was conducted during Masi magam . The biannual event attracted farmers and merchants from across the State. Also, there were lakhs of palmyra trees in the region and palm jaggery ( karuppatti ) was sold in a big way during the shandy days.

Famous breeds

Famous cattle breeds such as Kangeyam, Umbalacheri, Bargur, Theni, Darapuram, Kannayiram, among others, were brought for sale. Importantly, the ‘small’ Poonchittu bulls and the ‘big’ bulls — cattle breeds used for rekhla race — were brought and the Muthulapuram cattle shandy was famous for this line of business. During the shandy days, veterinary special camps were conducted.

Gradually, the arrival of cattle heads dwindled over the years, so did the palmyra trees in the region. And the shandy stopped functioning in 1984, much to the disappointment of farmers in the region. Sheds in ruins, dilapidated buildings that housed veterinary teams, stone grinders ( ural ) used for grinding punnakku (oil cakes) stand as mute witnesses to a place that bustled with people in its hey days

Vilathikulam DMK MLA G.V. Markandeyan has stressed that it would be fitting to establish a veterinary college at the place.

Muthulapuram panchayat president M. Muniyasamy says, “Everybody in this trade in the State knows this mattuthavan i. But the present generation does not even know that a flourishing cattle trade was happening here Only in this shandy did people get the kaaram breed of cattle. Buffaloes were sold on the western side and the other breeds on the eastern side. Buffaloes were sold only here and nowhere else in Tamil Nadu.”

They have sent a representation to the Chief Minister seeking revival of the weekly shandy for cattle and sheep

Even the Joint Director of Animal Husbandry has recommended that Muthulapuram is apt for setting up a veterinary college.

All the facilities will be benefit the agrarian economy and the people in the region, Mr. Muniyasamy adds.


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Printable version | May 29, 2022 7:15:36 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/plea-to-revive-famous-cattle-shandy-at-muthulapuram/article38282613.ece