Jallikattu (or sallikkattu), also known as eru thazhuvuthal and manju virattu, is a traditional spectacle in which a Bos indicus bull, such as the Pulikulam or Kangayam breeds, is released into a crowd of people, and multiple human participants attempt to grab the large hump on the bull’s back with both arms and hang on to it while the bull attempts to escape. Participants hold the hump for as long as possible, attempting to bring the bull to a stop. In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags on the bull’s horns.

  • Jallikattu is typically practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongalday, which occurs annually in January.
  • Jallikattu is a traditional event in Tamil Nadu.
  • It is an ancient Tamil event where participants try to embrace a bull, when the bull try to knock then off. It displays the bravery of a person who embraces the bull. The person who wins the event was awarded with money in the ancient Tamil period.


    The earliest history of Jallikattu was from about 2500 years ago. It is held on the day of third day of Pongal festival and second day of Thai month of the Tamil calendar which is known as Maatu Pongal.


    Jallikattu is key to the farmers. It is a chance for them to flaunt their personal strength, the strength of their bulls, love for their cattle and how well they have looked after them and a chance to find out the most potent bull to breed with their cows.


  1. The Bull will be released on the the arena through the entry gate called ‘ Vadivasal’.
  2. The bull tamer / contestant should try to ‘catch’ the bull by holding onto its hump only.
  3. The bull-tamer should hold onto the bull till it crosses the ‘finish’ line. (Usually it is about 50 feet, marked by hanging overhead marker flags along the line.)
  4. If the bull throws the tamer off before the line or if no-one manages to hold on to the bull, then the bull will be declared victorious.
  5. If the bull-tamer manages to hold on to the hump till it crosses the ‘finish line’, then the bull tamer is declared the winner.
  6. Only one bull tamer should hold on to the bull at one time. If more than one bull tamers hold on to the bull, then there is no winner.
  7. The bull tamer should ONLY hold on to the hump. He should NOT hold on to the neck or horns or tails of the bull. Such tamers will be disqualifies.
  8. No bull tamer will hit or hurt the bull in any manner.

Famous Jallikattu locations include

  •  Alanganallur
  •  Avaniapuram
  •  Tiruvapur near Pudukottai
  •  Thammampatti in Salem, Tamil Nadu
  •  Palemedu near Madurai
  •  Sravayal near Karaikudi
  •  Kanduppatti near Sivagangai
  •  Venthanpatti near Ponnamaravathy, Pudukottai (Dist)
  •  Pallavarayanpatty near Cumbum

Nicknames  : Eru thazhuvuthal, Manju virattu

First played : 400–100 BC


  • Mixed gender : No
  • Type  :  Traditional sport
  • Venue :  Open ground


  • Country or region :Tamil Nadu, India
  • Olympic  :  no
  • Paralympic : no


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here