Jallikattu Begins in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai, 36 Including a Sub-Inspector Injured

Madurai: The festive spirit of Pongal in Tamil Nadu was dampened by injuries in Jallikattu events, with at least 36 people, including a police officer, hurt in Avaniyapuram’s bull-taming spectacle on Monday. Six of the injured were sent to Madurai’s Rajaji Government Hospital for further treatment, adding to the 29 already injured in Pudukkottai earlier.

Despite the unfortunate incidents, the three-day Jallikattu extravaganza in Avaniyapuram commenced on Monday at 8 AM, featuring 1,000 registered bulls and 600 enthusiastic tamers. The event coincides with the start of the auspicious ‘Thai’ month, marked by the traditional preparation of ‘Pongal’ – a sweet rice dish symbolizing prosperity.

How Jallikattu is Played: On the first day of the month during Suriya Pongal celebrations, Jallikattu is organized at Avaniyapuram. Eight rounds of the bull-embracing sport take place between 8 AM and 4 PM.

For each round, a minimum of 70 bulls are released from the Vadivasal (bull tunnel), charging onto the ground chaotically. Tamers who successfully control the maximum number of charging bulls advance to subsequent rounds.

Rules of the Sport:

  • Tamers cannot hold the bull’s horns or cling to its legs.
  • A tamer is declared the winner if they can hold on to the bull until it crosses 100 meters or completes three spins.
  • Only one tamer is allowed to catch a bull after it exits the tunnel.

Safety Precautions:

  • Bulls undergo thorough medical inspections before being released.
  • Bull tamers also undergo mandatory medical tests before participating.
  • Medical camps and multiple standby ambulances are present for immediate emergency response.
  • At Avaniyapuram, 800 police personnel are deployed, and 20 medical teams are on-site to provide swift medical assistance.
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