Watch | All about Jallikattu

A video on Tamil Nadu's annual bull taming sport which is set to take place this Pongal season

January 13, 2020 11:04 am | Updated 11:05 am IST

Jallikattu, a popular bull taming sport held during Pongal, is set to take place in Madurai district. The three main venues where the sport will take place in are Palamedu, Alanganallur and Avaniapuram. Preparations have started for the conduct of jallikattu, involving the departments of police, animal husbandry, public works, revenue, district administration, and local organising committees.

Come Pongal, the streets of the three towns will be a riot of colours. Locals and tourists will throng the towns near Madurai to catch a glimpse of the world famous Jallikattu.

The sport requires fighters to pounce on a running bull, try to hold on to its hump and move along with the animal without falling or getting hurt. It requires quick reflexes and a fleet foot to tame the bull, which will try to get away, shake off the fighter and, at times, stamp or gore the fallen participants.

Jallikattu is a dated tradition. An ancient reference to bull taming is found in a seal discovered at Mohenjodaro, which is dated between 2,500 BC and 1,800 BC. The sport was called Eru thazuval or “embracing the bull”.

The term ‘jallikattu,' comes from Tamil terms ‘salli kaasu' which means coins and kattu which means package tied to the horns of bulls as prize money.

In 2017, Tamil Nadu saw massive popular protests demanding that the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government take legal steps to hold jallikattu.

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