Jallikattu was prevalent 400 years ago

Updated - February 05, 2015 05:35 am IST

Published - February 05, 2015 12:00 am IST - SALEM:


SALEM 04/02/2015: Tamil inscriptions identified in the 400-year-old sculpture kept in Government Museum in Salem, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. Photo: Special arrangement


 SALEM 04/02/2015: Tamil inscriptions identified in the 400-year-old sculpture kept in Government Museum in Salem, Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. Photo: Special arrangement

The deciphering of inscriptions on a ‘hero stone’ points to the fact that Jallikattu was prevalent some 400 years ago. The six-ft-long stone was found in Pethanaickenpalayam in Attur in 1976. The stone, kept in Salem Government Museum, has the form of a human being, supposedly a bull tamer, trying to snatch a prize from the horn of a bull.

The words carved in it was identified on Tuesday by epigraphist and manuscriptologist N. Kumaraswamy.

The Salem Historical Society took the effort of identifying them.

According to Mr. Kumaraswamy, the inscription says ‘Kovur Kangan Karuvanduraiyilae, Erudhu vilayadi pattan. Kangan Magan periya payal natta kallu’ meaning Kangan of Kovur village took part in bull taming sport held in Karuvandurai and attained martyrdom.

Hence in remembrance of Kangan, his son Periya Payal erected the hero stone. The stone stands as a proof that Jallikattu existed for centuries in the region.

Mr. Kumaraswamy read inscriptions of a 13th century stone too kept in the museum. The stone dates back to 1,227 A.D, during the rule of Raja Raja Cholan-III.

It tells about two brothers who created a lake located between Konganapuram and Tharamangalam at Katchipalli. Pongilan Amandankali and his younger brother, whose name in the inscription was damaged, erected the stone with a request to the people to preserve and maintain the lake which serves for agriculture and drinking water needs.

The inscription said: ‘We will keep the foot of the people on our heads and praise and celebrate them who help maintain the lake.’

J. Barnabas, secretary of Salem Historical Society told The Hindu that such stones should be preserved, and steps should be taken to read all the inscriptions in the stones kept in the museum. The readings from inscriptions should be recorded and displayed near the stones so that visitors would be able to understand them, he added.

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