February 15, 2019
Cattle-rearing is one of the oldest trades in Tamilnadu. Coimbatore city is surrounded by villages with fertile agricultural fields. While cattle trading shandies are conducted in various places in kongu land, the thudiyalur cattle market is famous in this region. Cattle rearers have been convening in this place every Monday at 7 am to trade cattles for almost a century now 100 years.
S. Palaniswamy, a 78 year old cattle rearer fondly remembers his childhood days at the market. Palaniswamy’s family has been in the cattle business for three generations now and he visits the market every Monday though he does not own any cow now. Palaniswamy explains that the cattle trade is done orally and there were no documents whatsoever to seal the deal.
There are numerous middle men who thrive in this business, take hefty commission from both buyer and seller nowadays, he rued. But he recollects that during his time both the parties that were involved in the trade were honest. “Both the buyer and seller had thorough knowledge and no one had any intention to cheat” he stated. Indegenious breeds of bulls and cows are predominantly traded in this cattle market, he added.
“Ever since jallikattu protest, there has been widespread awareness about the need to breed indegenious cattle”, 70 year old SM Veerappan, another cattle farmer stated. Veerappan deeply loved his cattle but was forced to sell them due to the loss that he incurred in the trade. He said that Kangeyam bulls were the most sought after. Buffaloes and goats are also bought and sold here, he added. “A buyer checks the age of the cow or bull by checking its lower teeth line to ascertain if they are rough and flat indicative of their age. Their tails are inspected to see if it is as long as it’s knees and some even feel their tongues” he laughed.
According to Veerappan, cows are the most expensive. A cow which can give more than 20 litres a day is sold for one lakh rupees. Along with cattle, vegetables and cattle fodder are also sold in this market.
“This market is very special to the city because of its authenticity. Cattle shandies are scheduled in several places in TN including Athikombai, Andhiyur, Kannapuram, Gobichettipalayam, Thoppampatti and Puliyampatti but the thudiyalur market is the one which is most preferred by trades from across the State”, he added.