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147/365 – Jallikattu

Jallikattu or Manju Virattu is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations usually on Mattu Pongal day.

This is one of the oldest living ancient sports seen in the modern era. Although it sounds similar to the Spanish running of the bulls, it is quite different.

In Jallikattu, the bull is not killed and the ‘matadors’ are not supposed to use any weapon. It is held in the villages of Tamil Nadu as a part of the village festival.

The festivals are held from January to July, every year.Madurai is very famous for this Jallikattu. Jallikattu’s been played first in Palamedu, a village located near madurai on January 15 which was getting famous in recent years followed by the world-famous “Alanganallur-Jallikattu” in Alanganallur, another village near Madurai on 16 January.


Jallikattu, which is bull-baiting or bull fighting, is an ancient Tamilian tradition called Eruthazhuvuthal, popular amongst warriors during the Tamil classical period. According to legend, in olden days the game was used by women to choose their husbands. Successful “matadors” were chosen as grooms.

The term Jallikattu comes from the term Salli Kaasu (coins) and Kattu (meaning a package) tied to the horns of the bulls as the prize money. Later days during the colonial period this term got changed to Jallikattu which is the term currently used.

It is said that the Tamil people hold on to their tradition forever. It is interesting to note that there is a seal from the Indus Valley Civilization depicting the sport. It is currently preserved in the Delhi museum.


There are three versions of jallikattu:
– Vadi manju virattu
– Vaeli virattu
– Vadam manjuvirattu

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallikattu

Categories: General Knowledge, Sports
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