7 December 2014

Cow Festival 2014 Karthigai Deepam Festival Tiruvannamalai

Below is a pictorial representation of the 2014 Cattle Festival held at Tiruvannamalai during the Arunachala Karthigai Festival. 

The history of the Cattle Festival (which is held at Tiruvannamalai this time each year), is a long one that stretches back for hundreds of years. 

Unfortunately last year 2013, due to an outbreak of an infectious Cattle disease, the Festival had to be cancelled. However this year's Festival is a grand one with many bullocks, horses and even some sheep in evidence at the grounds of the Fair. 

The Fair is held in fields off the NH66 on the southside of Arunachala

Hundreds of Bullocks from Tamil Nadu at the Fair

These lucky bullocks enjoying the shade

White horse commonly used during wedding processions

Large number of horses for sale at the Fair

Horse carts and even sheep this year at the Fair

Beautiful colourful decorative and functional specialty items

Such stalls stretch down the sides of the NH66 near Arts College

Plentiful bells for cows and bullocks

Sometimes selling a bullock, is like losing a friend

Powerful bullocks to be used for agricultural and cart pulling purposes

Traditionally negotiations conducted by finger touching under cover

Excitement surrounding a deal just completed


Divya said...

Very nice & colorful pictures! What is the 'finger touching under cover'? That's the first time I heard of that.

Anonymous said...

The buyer and seller are surrounded by a sea of people and often want to negotiate privately. They do this by covering their joined hands under a towel or cloth and tap each other on the hands with their fingers to negotiate the price of the bull.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

What Anonymous says is right. Pretty clever.

Anonymous said...

I did the girivalam on the night of the Karthik full moon, and sadly I think I saw some of these ponies being dragged through the massive surge of crowds. They were really frightened and were being pushed and hit by the impatient crowds and very uncomfortably pulled along by their owner. Wasn't really a very pleasant sight to see animals suffering like that during a girivalam. Tried telling the owner to handle them more gently, but I don't think he really understood me.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

Last year the Cow Festival was cancelled because of an outbreak of infectious disease in the South. This year there was a delay with the Municipality giving permission for the Cattle Fair in 2014.

I was in two minds about wanting the Fair to go ahead. On the one hand, it is a beautiful sight, and historically part of the Karthigai Festival. But on the other hand I worried about the distress of transporting the animals here.

Don't understand why the horses were being moved through the crowds. There seems no logical reason to move them from the Fair as 90% of the Bulls and Horses came from outside Tiruvannamalai and would have been brought in on trucks.

If the horse owners were local, then why would they move the horses from the Fair 2 days before the Fair closed? I don't understand. Its very peculiar.

But definitely can relate to your concern over their mistreatment. Its very sad.

The crowds that night would have been too massive to have been able to help the horses in any meaningful way. But there is an Animal Shelter here:

That takes reports of animal abuse VERY SERIOUSLY and are always ready to intervene to prevent such abuse. If ever possible please report any cases of abuse to them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I will mention this incident to them. May not have much of an impact, but doing something is better than nothing.

Meenakshi Ammal said...

To add to what anonymous said about the cloth covering the hands of the negotiators. It is actually the broker negotiating with the buyer and seller individually and secretly so he can make a deal and ensure that the the price isn't so low that he loses out on his commission.