Two centuries on the trot, Anthiyur saddles up for horse good but once again


The historic market for horses in this nondescript area of Erode district, normally as opposed to the Pushkar livestock good in Ajmer, is earning a comeback soon after a two-calendar year pandemic-induced crack with indigenous and rare breeds vying for interest

The historic sector for horses in this nondescript area of Erode district, normally when compared to the Pushkar livestock honest in Ajmer, is making a comeback just after a two-yr pandemic-induced break with indigenous and uncommon breeds vying for consideration

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Point out Anthiyur, a nondescript area in Erode district, and what straight away comes to mind is its once-a-year horse good, which attracts horse-lovers from throughout the nation. For in excess of two centuries, folks have converged in this article through the good to order the most effective horses. For numerous, proudly owning a horse picked from this honest is a symbol of delight and prestige for some, it is a signal of prosperity.

The reasonable remained suspended due to the fact 2020 soon after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. It is thought the practice of holding Kuthirai Sandhai (horse truthful) commenced when Tipu Sultan was the ruler of Mysore (1782-1799). “Our forefathers reported the ruler obtained horses from Anthiyur and offered the horses that are no longer handy for the fight. Around the years, the Sandhai turned preferred,” says T. Murugesan, 75, of Anthiyur.

A four-km forest highway, referred to as Sultan Street, is situated inside the Talamalai Forest Vary in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve that served as a important route for Tipu Sultan’s army connecting Mysore in Karnataka and Palakkad in Kerala. “There is no question that the ruler started off the truthful for buying and selling horses,” he provides.

The six-working day good is held all through the Arulmigu Gurunathaswamy Temple competition at Pudupalayam village in the Tamil month of Aadi (August or September). Around 1,200-1,500 horses are brought from throughout the region and exhibited.

The most appealing

“Native indigenous breeds and rare breeds — Marwari from Jodhpur in Rajasthan and Kathiawari from Gujarat — are the most interesting,” says D. Madhan Kumar of Erode, an ardent horse-lover who has frequented each individual honest considering the fact that 2005. “The honest is 1 of the oldest horse fairs in the country and is also as opposed to the Pushkar livestock reasonable held at Ajmer in Rajasthan each individual calendar year,” he details out, even though expressing his disappointment that the reasonable had not been held given that 2020.

Men and women from many components of the district, from Karnataka and other States witness the system of deities and stop by the good. Horses were being not only exhibited but their competencies were being shown to grab the attention of the visitors that selection about a single lakh. “Local breeds that ended up used for pulling carts in Karnataka were being purchased in massive numbers, while uncommon breeds were being not traded,” states Kumaresan, a farm proprietor in Erode. He adds that horses are not revenue-generators, but they are maintained for enthusiasm and as a symbol of prestige. “Everyone can’t rear horses as maintenance expense is incredibly higher. It wants exclusive focus and only a couple of men and women who have enthusiasm can do,” he explains.

A sign of fortune

Swirls (‘Suli’) or whorls, mostly discovered on the head and neck of the horses, are believed to convey prosperity and excellent fortune to the proprietors. A horse with a minimum amount of nine swirls is deemed to be great, although a horse with 13 swirls is viewed as the very best. Persons born all through distinct zodiac symptoms invest in distinct horses. Also, owning a majestic horse is deemed a status symbol amongst folks, primarily in rural spots.

Revenue for house owners

Considering that horses from numerous States are assembled at the fair, mating is carried out for breeding. This offers the owner with an income. While a community breed is obtainable from ₹40,000, exceptional breeds are bought for a number of lakhs of rupees, based upon their top and temperament. White-coloured horses are normally in very good desire as they are used as displays all through temple festivals and marriages.

R. Manoj Prasanna, 37, who owns a stud farm at Anthiyur, has been participating in the fair for 23 several years now with Marwari breed. “We feel an honor in proudly owning horses,” he suggests. Lots of very own horses for its swirl pattern. Lots of horse-enthusiasts think that if the swirl pattern matches their horoscope, their daily life will consider a major flip.

Desha Kumar, 58, of Mevani village in Gobichettipalayam taluk, who owns two horses, says he has been going to the honest with his grandfather and father due to the fact he was 15 many years outdated. “Only in Tamil Nadu are swirls presented much significance. But, in other States, the height, majestic visual appearance and coloration of the horse is vital,” he claims. His horses are qualified to dance at functions and temple festivals. “I am anticipating the reasonable to be held in 2023,” he adds.

No good this 12 months also

This is the greatest honest in South India and has been held successfully for above two hundreds of years now. The honest was past conducted in August 2019. “This year, much too, only puja will be done at the temple and the honest will not be conducted,” states a member of the temple organizing committee. Committee customers are hopeful that the festival and the truthful would be carried out subsequent calendar year in a grand fashion if there is no menace from the pandemic.

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