Jallikattu, the popular bull taming sport of Tamil Nadu lived up to its reputation of being a huge crowd-puller as the contest unfolded at Palamedu in Madurai and Suriyur in Tiruchirappalli district.
As thousands of spectators continued to flock both the events, the tamers were awed by several bulls which were determined to not allow anyone to even come anywhere near them.
Interestingly, a huge bull not only allowed none to go near it, but also stood boldly on the sporting arena for a while refusing to move on.
When a team of men arrived on a mini-truck to drive it away, it kept charging towards the vehicle.
Eventually, a man well trained in cattle rearing managed to throw a rope around its neck and led it away.
Approximately 1,000 bulls and an equal number of tamers are taking part in these two events. Madurai District collector had said that those below the age of 21 will not be allowed to participate. The Supreme Court on Wednesday had refused to entertain a plea challenging the Madras High Court order for conducting Jallikattu in various districts of Tamil Nadu, under supervision of monitoring committees headed by a retired district judge.
In Palamedu, the event was inaugurated by Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar and tamers took an oath to stick to rules and not do anything that may harm the animals.
Jallikattu was held at Avaniapuram here on Wednesday to mark the start of the annual event.
The Supreme Court (SC) in 2014 banned 'Jallikattu' after a plea was filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) but the state government insisted that Jallikattu was a crucial part of its culture and identity.
The ban was later lifted in January 2017 with an amendment to the law after massive protests in Chennai.