Jallitkattu and Kambala

Context: The Tamil Nadu government has permitted jallikattu to be held across the State during the coming Pongal season. But the bull-taming sport would be subject to fresh restrictions in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.


What is Jallitkattu?

  • It is a traditional bull-taming sport organised in Tamil Nadu during Pongal.
  • The sport involves a natively reared stud that is set free inside an arena filled with young participants.
  • The challenge lies in taming the bull with bare hands.
  • In 2011, the Environment Ministry added bulls to its 1991 notification banning the training and exhibition of bears, monkeys, tigers, panthers and dogs. The notification was challenged in the Supreme Court and was upheld in 2014.
  • The ministry in 2016 modified its earlier notification and declared that the sport could continue despite the existing ban.
  • Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra have amended the central law, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and allowed jallikattu and bullock cart racing, respectively. The state laws have been challenged in the apex court.


  • Kambala is an annual buffalo race.
  • It is mainly celebrated in Karnataka.
  • In Kambala, the contest takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair raced in wet rice fields, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer.

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