12 November 2013

Cancellation of 2013 Deepam Cow Fair, Tiruvannamalai

The wonderful, colourful Cow and Horse Fair celebrated each year at Tiruvannanamalai during the time of Karthigai Deepam, is cancelled this year due to what is being reported as an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in these parts. 

The below report is by J Shanmugha Sundaram and appears in local newspapers. 

“The wide spread dreadful foot-and-mouth disease among milch animals in several parts of the State has stalled the time immemorial horse and cattle shandy, which is part and parcel of the annual Karthigai Mahadeepam festival, this year. 

The district administration has cancelled the shandy as trans-shipped animals would lead to the spread of the viral disease and infect huge number of livestock. The shandy is conducted during the last three-days of the 10-day festival. Next to Anthiyur shandy in Erode district, the Tiruvannamalai cattle shandy is the second biggest one in Tamil Nadu. 

Historians and archaeologists said it had been mentioned in Sanga Illakkiyam that traders brought their horses and cattle to the shandy organised as part of the Tiruvannamalai Karthigai Mahadeepam festival. “It is as old as the festival,” said R Segar, Professor of History Department, Government Muthurangam Arts and Science College, Vellore. 

Though the shandy had lost its sheen, thousands of traders and proud owners of horses of different breeds such as Kathiawari and Marwari, native breeds of milch cows and bulls from across the State and from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala States continued to bring their animals to it . . . ” 

To read more go to this link here 


The below photographs are of the wonderful Fair from an earlier Deepam. 

Most people in these parts are hugely disappointed at the cancellation of the Cow Fair, as it is regarded as an integral and essential part of the Deepam Festival. And it brings a wealth of colour and energy into the area. Oh!

1 comment:

Divya said...

Very sad, I hope the spread of the disease is quickly curtailed.