Manju virattu a big draw at Kuyilapalayam village

Manju Virattu held at Kuyialapalayam village near Auroville on Friday. S.S. Kumar   | Photo Credit: S_S_KUMAR

A festive spirit permeated Kuilapalayam, a nondescript village near the international township of Auroville as a large number of tourists, including foreigners flocked to the village square on Friday to catch a glimpse of the manju virattu or bull race event.

Tourists from countries in Europe turned up in large numbers in front of the local Ellai Pidariamman temple to watch the event.

Manju virattu, hosted by the hamlet for the last six decades, served as a grand finale for the three-day Pongal festivities. The event was a huge draw for the villagers. Unlike jallikattu, manju virattu does not involve taming the bulls.

The event commenced at 12.00 p.m. after pujas were performed at the temple. The deity was brought in a procession near the temple, where cattle, including bulls, cows and calves, from the surrounding 22 villages decked up with balloons, bananas and posters of actors were lined up for the race.

The bulls wkere let loose and made to run through the streets in the village. People including foreigners converged on both sides and cheered the bulls and clicked photographs

For Aurelie, a tourist from Switzerland, the event was full of fun with the cows beautifully decorated. “This is my first visit to Auroville. It is very nice to be here and see and experience the local traditions,” she said.

According to Srinivasan of Yatra Art and Culture Foundation, an organisation from Auroville, “The Pongal festival is very significant here as none of the villagers from the Auroville bio region celebrate such an event. Jallikattu and manju virattu is held on Maatu Pongal across Tamil Nadu. But in Kuilapalayam our forefathers celebrated the event on the day of Kaanum Pongal,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 12:16:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/manju-virattu-a-big-draw-at-kuyilapalayam-village/article30589927.ece

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