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About 4000 years ago, Jallikattu, a bull taming sport which is still being considered an intrinsic part of Tamil tradition was usually held amongst warriors with a view to adjust their bravery.

This traditional spectacle is vividly depicted on several rock paintings at remote Karikkiyur village in the Nilgris District in Tamilnadu. The time-old inscriptions on these rocks strongly substantiate the co-existence of people with cattle and their taming sport to flaunt their valour.

Jallikattu was common among the ancient Aayar people lived in Mullai geographical division. The young members of Aayars would daringly participate in the sport of taming the rampant bull by holding its hump and be the cynosure off spectators. The winners would be personified as the epitome of valiancy and the young women of Ayyars would be married off to them. A seal made of stone found at Mohenjodaro, a historical place of Indus Valley Civilization in the erstwhile united India, now in Pakistan after separation, depicts the practice vividly.

The term Jallikattu comes from the derivation “Salli” kassu (coins) and “Kattu” (meaning a package) tied to the horns of the bulls as the prize money. Later days, this term got changed to Jallikattu which is the term currently used.

This jallikattu is held on diverse formats in different parts of Tamilnadu. In Vaeli Virattu, the bull is released in an open ground without any restrictions and the bull fighters, adapting to a mosaic of strategies, rush to tame them clinging to its hum. Among the versions of Jallikattu, Alanganallur in all grandeur remains a curious attraction to many foreigners.

In the northern part of Tamilnadu, known Manjuvirattu is held with a bull tied to a 20 ft long rope and free to move within this space. A team of fighters must attempt to subdue the muscular bull to grasp the prize money on its lethal horns.

Bullfighting is an iconic tradition in Spain. The bull fighters known as Matadors confront the bull with sharp knife like tool and kill the mighty bulls as soon as the spectacle is over. Similar attitude is adopted by the fighters in Portugal, South France and Latin America. As contrast to the western matadors, the cruelty to the animals is utterly abhorred by the Tamil People during the taming occasion. In the world, it is only the Tamil fighters who don’t harm the bulls and prove their mettle on the ground. It is a legacy of pride that holds the head of Tamilnadu ever high.

As far as India is considered, it has very old and rich culture of traditional sports. There is a mention of traditional sports in ancient scriptures. Many regional sports in India are honoured with the status of National sports. The boat race in Kerala is the most popular event of tourist attraction in the world. The participants of the boat fiesta are extended rigorous training before the show of pageantry. Kabaddi, emerged from the ancient Tamil region, is predominantly present in National format and received international exposure through Asian games. Similarly, our primeval tradition sport, Jallikattu to be declared as our National sporting event is the paramount objective of us in future.


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50-A Ramaya nagar | Trichy road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu - 641 103

jallikattupremierleague@gmail.com, contact@jallikattupremierleague.in


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