September 20, 2019
A unique, hardy, native breed of cattle – the Kangayam cattle – is traded at this unique fair in Palayakottai in Tiruppur district.
In order to preserve the purebred strain of the native Kangayam cattle, a village fair specifically trading in this breed has been running successfully for 150 weeks at Palayakottai village in Kangayam taluk in Tiruppur district. Cattle traders come here from Erode, Tiruppur, Salem, Udumalpet, Thiruchengodu, Dharapuram, Sankari and nearby areas.
This fair, called Palayakottai Maatuthavani, is held every second Saturday. It also has an additional fair on September 14 which is called Palayakottai Kaalai Maatu Thavani.
S Karthik Kumar, a coordinator of this fair says, “The founder trustee of this fair is Rajkumar Mandradiyar the headman of Palayakottai village and its director is Sivakumar Venkatachalam, who also owns the Kongu Gowshala, a rescue shelter for older Kangayam cattle. The Palayakottai Maatu Thavani is held on the second Saturday of every month and it allows villagers to trade in bulls, cows and calves of Kangayam breed. The second fair to be held on September 14 will trade only in Kangayam bulls. So visitors can buy purebred cattle for ploughing, bull races (rekla) and jallikattu or bullfights.”
Several hundred villagers attend these fairs and close to a 100 cattle are bought and sold without interference of middlemen.
Karthik added, “Kangayam is a hardy breed of native cattle suitable for arid areas and can survive on local feeds like neem, palmyra and other cheap fodder. Their prices can range from Rs. 40,000 to Rs.70,000, while animals with strong bloodlines, majestic looks and pure breed can fetch prices of one lakh rupees to one lakh fifty thousand rupees. A fortnight ago, a pregnant Kangayam cow was sold for Rs.99,000 here.”
“We update the trade in newspapers and social media but there are no online sales. We do have closed WhatsApp groups, where traders can book cattle and purchase it at the fair. This fair has helped preserve the native breed and created awareness among the people in this region. Our director Sivakumar Venkatachalam has rescued many Kangayam bulls and cows destined for slaughterhouses, by purchasing and bringing them to his Kongu Gowshala shelter,” said Karthik. The Covai Post was unable to contact Sivakumar Venkatachalam.
Another feature of the September 14 fair is that Dr. Puniyamoorthy, a veterinary doctor from the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Thanjavur is expected to visit. “He will give valuable advice to cattle owners on curing sick cattle with home remedies,” said Karthik. The fair timings are from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm.