Alanganallur Jallikattu, the Spanish Bull Fight of Tamilnadu

Alanganallur Jallikattu is synonymous with bravery and people in Tamilnadu is witnessing this event from olden days. Alanganallur is located near Madurai, a temple town of Tamilnadu. This event is conducted every year during pongal time ( any day from January 14 – 18th). This year it is on 15 Jan 2012.

Traditionally love and valour have been great virtues of Tamil culture and at Jallikattu they are intertwined. By proving his valour a young man increases his status among girls choosing a suitor.  In modern times Jallikattu, like European equivalents such as the Pamplona bull-running, is facing increasing condemnation.

Bulls in the competition are known for their grievous assaults on competitors resulting in fatal injuries.  Unlike at Pamplona, the spectators face as great a risk as the competitors as there are no barricades to stop the bulls charging into the crowd. The Supreme court of India allowed the event to continue with many imposed restrictions to protect human life and animals. Read on..

History of Jallikattu Game

The name Jallikatuu is famous in Madurai and Allanganallur. It is a very old ancient sport and festival in Tamil nadu similar to the bullfight in Spain. This is celebrated during the harvest festival,Pongal festival in the above places. The men and Bulls are the competitors in this game. This Jallikattu game was a competition held to select the bridegrooms for the bride in olden days. The person winning the Bull fight will be selected as bridegroom by the bride. This festival is also termed as Manju Virattu.

Prizes and Awards 

The Bulls in Jallikattu game are very energetic and bold. The Bulls in this game come from all over Tamil nadu every year. The Kangayam Kaalai is a type of Bull which forms of the majority breed in this game. During this game, the bull will be released from a small zone to a public place triggered and irritated to its best level to maximize its anger and speed. The competing people try to control the bull and also try to bring them under their control. Once the bull comes under the control of a person, the erson will be declared as a winner. Special awards and prizes allocated for this Jallikattu game will be given to him. In Some places, the Prize money is tied in the bull’s horn. and the Challenge is for the players to take away the prize from the bull’s horn.

Rules and Regulations 

The Bulls in Jallikattu Game should meet the terms and conditions of the Committee of this game. The participants will be allowed based on some restrictions. The players injured will be sent to the hospital immediately. No Alcohol or drugs will be allowed in any mode in the gaming area. Judges decision is final. People travel from places during Pongal Holidays to see this game. There are many rules passed by the Supreme Court to conduct this festival in order to save the human life. This is one of the dangerous game because many players die and or injured while controlling the Bulls.

Types and values of Bulls 

There are many types of bulls like Kangayem,Jercy,etc. These bulls will be brought by their owners to this festival during Pongal. The value of Kangayem Kalai goes upto one lakh rupees. Special food is given to the bulls to make them strong. The Government of Tamil nadu gives full security and protection to this game to avoid violence during the event.

Jallikattu Preparations this Year, 2012

Collector U. Sagayam has on Thursday announced a list of guidelines for organisers of the popular sport, ‘jallikattu,’ a bullfight conducted mostly during the Pongal festival in January.

At a meeting attended by officials from the departments of Police, Revenue, Public Works, Animal Husbandry, Health, Municipal Administration, Fire and Rescue Services, he said that officials had to strictly adhere to the apex court’s directive.

According to officials who participated in the meeting, ‘jallikattu’ organisers must deposit a minimum of Rs. two lakh which would be used as compensation in the event of the participants either suffering injuries or succumbing to them.

Only those bulls which were registered with the Animal Welfare Board could participate in the ‘jallikattu.’ Acts that may irritate the bulls should be avoided. For instance, since sprinkling of chili powder on tender parts of the bull could harm the animal, it would be treated as a violation. Similarly, when a bull is let into the ring, more than four participants should not be allowed to target the animal as overcrowding would harm it.

The ring should be wide and spacious for the bulls to freely move around. The organisers should ensure that first-aid medical emergencies were at hand within the venue and the Animal Husbandry officials would be made accountable for the same. For both the bulls and participants, on the-spot treatment should be available.

Separate timings for each bull had to be scheduled by the organisers. Permitting a group of bulls or all the bulls into the ring at a time would not be allowed. There should be adequate distance between the ring and the spectators’ gallery to ensure safety. Double barricade with a height of 10-feet must be erected between the gallery and the ring. The barricades should be strong since the bulls could damage them while running about the ring, resulting in stampede.

PWD certificate

A stability certificate on the safety of spectator galleries shall be issued prior to the conduct of the event by the PWD engineers. The capacity of the audience shall be certified by them and it should be adhered to by the organisers.

The physical condition of the bulls participating in the ‘jallikattu’ shall be certified by the Animal Husbandry officials. Diagnosis for nicotine, cocaine, if any, on the animals shall be examined prior to the issuance of the certificate. The bull tamers shall register their names with the revenue authorities well in advance and only after medical examination they would be permitted to take part in the event. If it was detected that the players had taken performance enhancement drugs, they would not be allowed to participate in the sport.

A mobile medical team supported by para-medical staff, and essential and life-saving drugs shall be kept ready near the venue. The drugs shall be certified that they were well within the validity date by the Health department authorities and that there were no expired drugs. Emergency ambulance services with trained staff, from government and private parties, shall be kept ready at the venue. The respective local bodies shall ensure that potable water was available in and around the venue. To identify the registered bull tamers, they shall be provided T-shirts and shorts.

The organisers should get adequate police personnel for bandobust. For effective crowd management and regulating the viewers and at the parking space, the organisers shall discuss with the police officers.

Apart from getting permission from the district administration for conducting the ‘jallikattu,’ the organisers shall inform three days in advance about the event with the Revenue Divisional Officer concerned. The members of the Animal Welfare Board should be informed and given a vantage position to view the sport from the visitors’ gallery. The entire ‘jallikattu’ shall be captured in video. All the expenses incurred in installation of barricades among others shall be borne by the organisers.

Only after the crowd dispersed from the venue, the bulls shall be handed over to the owners for taking them home. The organisers shall provide adequate space for the bulls and the infrastructural facilities shall be inspected by the local body authorities.

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Posted on January 9, 2012, in Adventure, Attractions, Entertainment, Events and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Nice one….proud to be a tamilian.

  2. I believe the heading should be different…. It shoud be “Alanganallur Jallikattu, Mother of Spanish Bull Fight”

  3. arumugam thiagarajan

    got information in time,thanks

  4. shankara narayanan

    support jallikattu to save our identity brothers

  5. Its a brave play by tamil peoples no one should banned it

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