What is Jallikattu?

The Indian Supreme Court has banned a version of bull fighting which has been popular for centuries in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Jallikattu, which is bull fighting, is an ancient Tamilian tradition, 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” kassu (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. Usually the majestic Kangeyam bull is involved in this game, as they are naturally more ferocious and muscular than any other of its species.

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