On the occasion of the 265th birth anniversary of Veerapandiya Kattabomman, bullock cart races were held in the village of Vaippar near Vlathikulam in Tamil Nadu’s Thoothukudi district today. Like every year, the entire village celebrated the 265th birthday of freedom fighter Veerapandiya Kattabomman this time as well.
Winners of the bullock cart races were showered with prizes of Rs 1 lakh cash, lambs, and LED TV. The event gathered a crowd who watched the Bullock cart race with interest.
Many pairs of bullock carts from various parts of Tamil Nadu like Thoothukudi, Nellai, Madurai, Ramanathapuram, Theni, and Virudhunagar became a part of this event at Vaipar ECR (East Coast Road) road today.
The competition was held in 3 categories – big bullock cart, small bullock cart and poonjittu. Following this, the owners of the bullock carts and the drivers who won the competition were honoured with prizes.
Notably, the Great warrior Kattabomman, popularly known as ” Veerapandiya Kattabomman”, raised his voice against the British regime. He was born in the 17th century AD in Panchalankurichi, a small historic village located 25km from Thoothukudi and 55 km from Tirunelveli.
The existing Memorial Fort was constructed in 1974, by the Government of Tamil Nadu. The Memorial Hall has beautiful paintings depicting the heroic deeds of the saga which give a good idea about the history of the period.
Sri Devi Jakkammal Temple, the hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman, is located in the fort complex. Cemetery of British soldiers can also be seen near the fort. The rest of the old fort is protected by the Department of Archaeology. City bus services are available from Thoothukudi.
On January 3, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister paid his homage to the great warriors: “Today is the birthday of the pioneers Veeramankai Velunachiyar and Veerapandiya Kattabomman, who wrote the sacrifice chapters of the south in the history of the Indian freedom struggle in the eighteenth century! All Indians should know the bravery of these two who refused to pay taxes, resisted the creation of the British, and proclaimed the character of a Tamil who was bigger than life! The land that planted the seeds of freedom struggle a century before the 1857 soldier’s mutiny should be remembered as Tamil Nadu!
(with inputs from ANI)