JALLIKATTU “Tamil pride”

Introduction and origin –

Introduction and origin

Jallikattu is a traditional bull-chasing sport of Tamil Nadu which is organised during the harvest festival Pongal. The sport is more than two millennia old. A 2,500-year-old cave painting discovered near Madurai, shows a man trying to control a bull. Historical references indicate that the sport was popular among warriors during the Tamil classical period. Several rock paintings, more than 3,500 years old, at the remote Karikkiyur village in Tamil Nadu also show men chasing bulls with big humps and long, straight horns.

Jallikattu is the corruption of the word “Sallikattu” where Salli means coins and Kattu means a particular kind of bag which is still famous in Villages south India. It refers to the bag of coins tied to the horns of bull which contestants try to get hold. The sport was also called Yaeru Thazhuvuthal, which means hugging the bull.  It is a platform for display of bravery, and prize money was introduced for participation encouragement. Another popular name Manju Virattu means chasing the bull. It is considered to be bio cultural sport which helps to conserve native cattle breed.

Fact- Supreme Court of India ordered Jallikattu banned because of animal welfare issues. People of state protested against Supreme Court’s in the Marina beach, more than 2 million people participated in the protest against the government of India special ordinance for jallikattu to lift the supreme Court’s ban, after the protest in 2017 Jallikattu became legal again.

Purpose behind Jallikattu –

  • In Tamil culture a person is considered as wealthy by the presence of livestock at their houses
  • According to the socio-economic background of villages it is impossible for poor farmers to afford the maintenance of bulls and those bulls constantly wins the sport are sold are higher prices.
  • Winner of bull Jallikattu are sold for mating because they have higher potency. It is believed that their offspring either be it a cow will be a good milk yielder or be it a bull will be best in Jallikattu.
  • It is believed that bulls require a limited aggression for their hormonal balance and such sports help them in the process.

Rules of Sport-

In this sport people stand on each side of bull and a narrow pathway is made softened with ploughed earth. The bull is allowed to run from the “vaasivaasal” an opening or arch through the passage way, where the contestants try to hug the bull from the flanks and hold on to it for a few seconds.

Kids Custom on this event –

On this day Kids and families gather on the riverbanks and have a picnic together. They also dance the traditional dances Kummi and Kolattam. It is a custom to clean every nook and corner of the house a few days before the festival. On Pongal, wearing new clothes is customary. Kids watch Jallikattu sport. (Kids are not allowed to play this sport)

Ways to wish Pongal –

  • Let the warmth of the auspicious festival of Pongal fill your home with joy. Have a wonderful Pongal.
  • Between beautiful kolams and auspicious decoration, let us meet, greet and, of course, eat, Happy Pongal.
  • May Lord Surya shine his divine blessings on your home Wish you and your family a Happy Pongal!
  • Sending you out the most fortunate warm wishes on the happy occasion of Pongal, have lots of fun and enjoy your every moment. Happy Pongal!
  • May this day of Bhogi Pongal, usher in goodness, peace, health and happiness to your life. Here’s sending you my best wishes and warm Bhogi greetings.


Q1. What is Jallikattu?

Q2. Where Jallikattu is celebrated?

Q3. What is rule of Jallikattu sport?

Q4. Write down the controversy behind Jallikattu.

Q5. What is purpose behind celebrating Jallikattu?