• About
  • Getting There
  • Food
  • Accomodation
  • Must Try
  • Jallikattu is considered to be one of the most significant and living ancient sports among all the cultural events and is celebrated with great fervor in the 10th month of the Tamil calendar which is January (usually on 17th Jan).
  • It is Celebrated annually across various towns in certain districts of Tamil Nadu such as Madurai, Trichy, Pudukkottai, Sivaganga Tiruchirapalli, and Tanjore. 
  • Jallikattu celebrated at Alanganallur near Madurai is a world-renowned one and it is the largest Jallikattu event in Tamilnadu with thousands of spectators and hundreds of tamers. 
  • The one-day festival is held generally in the evening of the Mattu Pongal day (the third day of the four-day Pongal, the famous cultural festival). In some villages, it is held one day after the Mattu Pongal day, on the Kaanum Pongal day.
  • Also known as ‘Eru Thazhuvuthal' meaning bull embracing, Jallikattu is celebrated to worship cattle stock. On this special eve, all the oxen are decorated, beautified with flowers and color powders.
  • The term 'Jallikattu' (or Sallikattu) is derived from Tamil words 'Jalli' and 'Kattu'. ‘Jalli’ refers to gold or silver coins while ‘Kattu’ refers to the package. Therefore it refers to the small bag of coins tied to the horns or forehead of the bull and whoever tames the bull takes the prize. 
  • Jallikattu has been known to be practiced during the Tamil classical period (400-100 BC). It was common among the Ayar people who lived in the ‘Mullai’ geographical division of the prehistoric era of Tamil country. They often used to conduct this game to select an efficient warrior and the successor of the reign.
  • The National Museum located in New Delhi still preserves the seal depicting the practice of the sport that originally belonged to the Indus Valley Civilizations. There is even a cave painting colored with white kaolin that picturizes a man trying to control an angry bull, found near the caves of Madurai which is believed to be over 1500 years old.
  • Every year a huge number of tourists from overseas and other parts of India take part in the event willingly and with great enthusiasm and every year, more than 2,000 bulls participate in this festival.
  • The bull species called Bos indicus, or Kangayam Ox, the native breed of Tamilnadu are specifically bred by the villagers for this sport. These oxen have a finest and well-built body and are much stronger than other breeds. The bulls are fed a very well nutritious diet by their owners, which makes them even stronger. 
  • Famous folklore which revolves around this festival is that Lord Shiva asked his bull Nandini (Basava), to send a message to human beings on Earth that they should take an oil bath daily and have food once a month for a period of six months. But Nandini twisted the words of the messages and ended up conveying people to eat every day and take an oil bath once a month. This debacle angered Lord Shiva and he cursed Basava to aid humans in plowing fields. 
  • Before starting the festival, the temple bull is worshipped and is adorned with garlands. Later  Bulls enter the competition area (a narrow pathway softened with plowed earth) through a gate called Vaadi vaasal ( Pattam pole). 
  • The bullfight is held, at a central location, in an open ground in the village where people assemble in large numbers to witness the fight. It is held in an enclosure with a 30 feet (9.1 m) marker.
  • The participants try to get hold of the hump of the running bull for a particular time or distance and hang onto it while the bull tries to escape. There may be several goals to the game depending on the region such as Vadi manjuviraṭṭu, Vēli viraṭṭu, Or Vaṭam manjuviraṭṭu. In all variants, the main aim of this ritualistic competition is to conquer or embrace the bull.  
  • The one who tames the maximum number of bulls wins the prize and the competition. But if the bulls win, the prize money goes to the bull owner. The bulls that win in the festival are used for further breeding and will also be the most expensive cattle in the market.
  • In Kalithogai, a literary piece, it is evident that people used this sport to select grooms for their daughters. The poems mention young women falling in love with those who could tame the bulls.
  • This popular festival of Tamilnadu has its special mention in Dravidian Literature as well where the winner of Jallikattu gets to marry the daughter of the village head. 
  • Jallikattu was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014, but after a fortnight of massive protests in 2017 by thousands of people, the Tamil Nadu and central governments stepped in to take legal steps to hold Jallikattu.
  • Complete testing is also done by the authorities of the Animal Husbandry Department, to ensure that performance enhancement drugs or other irritants are not used on the bulls.

By Air

  • There is no direct flight connectivity to Alanganallur.
  • The nearest airport is Madurai airport, in Madurai which is well connected to major Indian cities.
  • Alanganallur is around 30 km away from Madurai airport.
  • You can easily book a cab or auto from the Airport.

By Train

  • There is no direct rail connectivity to Alanganallur.
  • The nearest major railway station is Madurai Junction (MDU).
  • The Madurai Junction is well connected across the Major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur. The train frequency here is 244.
  • You can easily get a taxi or auto to Alanganallur which is about 17 km away from the Madurai Junction.

By Bus

  • Reaching there by bus is not a great option for long-distance travelers.
  • There is no direct bus to Alanganallur or Madurai.
  • Although there are direct buses to Bengaluru from major metro cities. You can reach there by bus.
  • From Bengaluru, take a bus to Madurai which is approximately 436 km from Bengaluru.
  • Then you can take a taxi to Alanganallur from Madurai.

Madurai is well known by the name ‘Thoonga Nagaram’, the city that never sleeps. Due to the enormous popularity of its street foods, it draws foodies from all over the world. Now let’s take you through the streets of Alanganallur near Madurai for some delicious dishes in your budget.

Budget-Friendly -

  • Sai Chettinadu Hotel veg restaurant- Address- Tiruppalai, Pechikulam
  • Dharshini Foods- Address- Sundaram Radios Complex, Thenoor Road, Samayanallur
  • Subhiksha hotel & fast food-Address- Alanganallur Main Road, Thanichiampirivu, Vadipatti
  • Murugan Idli Shop -Address- 46, Thalavoy Street, Madurai Main, Madurai

Feed your Hunger -

  • Anatha Mass-Address- Alanganallur - Alagar Kovil Road, Alanganallur
  • Anbagam Tiffin Centre-Address- Sridevi Nagar, Thirumalpuram
  • Amma Mess-Address- 136, Alagar Kovil Main Road, Melur, Tallakulam 
  • Konar Mess-Address- N Veli St, Simmakkal, Madurai Main, Madurai

Fine Dine -

  • Taj Restaurant-Address- 55/10, Town Hall Road, Madurai Main, Madurai
  • Highway Restaurant-Address- Atchampathu, four-way track, Madurai
  • Bell Food Court-Address- 40, Workshop Road, Simmakkal, Madurai Main, Madurai
  • Punjabi Restaurant-Address- 22, Town Hall Road, Near Canara Bank, Madurai Main, Madurai

Rs. 500-600 Per Night

  • SPOT ON 62056 Sri Peryandavar Lodge- Address- 1 Manamadurai, Kilangattur, Sivaganga
  • MR Residency- Address- Vellai Pillayar Kovil St, Mahapupalayam
  • Hotel International Madurai-Address- 46, west, Mela Perumal Maistry St, Madurai Main, Madurai

Rs. 700-800 Per Night

  • Siva Residency-Checkanurani, Madurai
  • Hotel Pearls-95, W Perumal Maistry St, Madurai Main, Madurai
  • M3 Boutique Hotel-No 24 Panagal Road, Shenoy Nagar, Madurai

Rs. 800-900 Per Night

  • Hotel Boopathi Madurai-16-17, Perumal Tank East, Town Hall Road, Madurai
  • Hotel New College House-2, Town Hall Road, Madurai Main, Madurai
  • Hotel Dream World Lodge- Aranmanai Vaasal, Sivaganga
  • OYO 15850 KS Residency-224, Vadipatti, Madurai


  • Fluffy Soft Idlis
  • Crispy Golden Dosas
  • Jigarthanda (ice-cream)
  • Paruthi Paal (A thick drink)
  • Halwa


  • Bull Taming
  • Ecstatic Crowd
  • Participants holding hump of the Bull
  • Anguish Bull


  • Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Gandhi Museum
  • Banana Market

Worth Seeing -

  • Meenakshi Amman Temple
  • Ramanathaswamy Temple
  • Thirumalai Nayakar Mahal
  • Meghamalai
  • Gandhi Museum
  • Samanar Hills
  • Kutladampatti Falls
  • Vaigai Dam
  • Arulmigu Koodal Azhagar Temple

Gears –   

  • Wide Angle Fish Eye Lens
  • Telephoto Lens
  • Tripod
  • Zoom Lens
  • Portrait Lens


  • 30.6°C
  • 87.1°F
  • Days are sunny
  • Nights are chilly

Shoot –

  • Landscape
  • Bull Embracing
  • Portraits
  • Cheerful crowd
  • Bull Temple Worshipping

Safety –

  • Friendly People
  • Safe Place to Travel
  • Madurai city never sleeps!
  • Carry Prescription Medicines
  • A Handy Torch
  • Cash

How To Reach

Nearest Airport – Madurai Airport (30 km), Tiruchirappalli International Airport (142 km) and Coimbatore International Airport (197 kms)

Nearest Railway Station – Madurai Junction (17 km) and Dindigul Junction (65 km)

Near By