Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tamilnadu cattle Breeds

 Dedicated to our primeval cowherd Palani Avinankudi Dandapani

 The Tamil speaking country consists of five socio - climatic - agricultural zones. The Sangam text Purananuru refers to this as the "five Tamil countries". Each country has its own breeds suited to the ecosystems and even micro ecology of the respective areas. All breeds thrive in local conditions and invariably deteriorate in alien environments.

Chera or Konga: 
North: The Nilagiris - Terakanambi - Talamalai - Biligiri rangan mountains - Perumbalai (northern mountain chain)

East: Yercaud - Kollimalai mountains - Mayanur madukkarai great wall - Sirumalai mountains

West: The Nilagiris - Vellingiri hills - Walayar - Anaiamalai mountains

South: Anaimalai mountains - Kodaikkanal mountains - Sirumalai mountains

Breeds of the Chera country:
1. Mee Konga (Mekattu madu or nowadays "Kangayam"  मी कोङ्ग, मॆकाट्टुमाडु, काङ्गयम, गङ्गनाड ): The Chera country is also called Konga country therefore referred in Tamil as "Konga" cattle and "Ganganad" in Kannada. There are 24 divisions in this country. The cattle from one of the divisions "Kangayanadu" are referred as the typical Kangayam cattle. Mae Konga cattle are bred in the modern taluks of Kangayam, Dharapuram, Tiruppur, Udumalpet, Avinasi, Palladam (all in Tiruppur dt.), Palani, Oddanchatram, Vedasandur, Dindigul (all in Dindigul dt.), Aravakurichchi, Karur (Karur dt.), Coimbatore, Mettupalayam, Sulur, Pollachi (all in Coimbatore dt.), Erode, Bhavani, Perundurai, Gobichettipalayam, Sathyamangalam (all in Erode dt.), the right bank side of the Kaveri in Mettur tk. in Salem dt., the panchayats of Mayanur, Balarajapuram, Manavasi, Renganathapuram in Krishnarayapuram tk. of Karur dt. summing up as the region to the west and south of the Kaveri until Mayanur. Bred by the Konga Vellala community. It is said to have come with the Konga Vellalas from the Gangetic (therefore Konga or Ganga) region in the pre - Sangam age.

                      A Mee Konga (Kangayam) bullock

2. Mazha Konga (Kikattu madu or "Tiruchengodu" मऴ कोङ्ग, कीकाट्टु, तिरुच्चेङ्गोडु): Found on the northern and eastern side of the Kaveri in the Taluks of Mecheri, Omalur, Nangavalli, Salem, Sankagiri, Attur, Gangavalli (all in Salem dt.) Rasipuram, Namakkal, Paramatti Velur, Tiruchendgode (all in Namakkal dt.), Kattuputtur (Tiruchirapppalli dt.) and parts of Dharmapuri dt. Bred by the Konga Vellala community. It is said to have come with the Konga Vellalas from the Gangetic (therefore Konga or Ganga) region in the pre - Sangam age. A smaller sized cousin of the Mee Konga breed yet a better milch variety. Bred by the Konga Vellala community. It is said to have come with the Konga Vellalas from the Gangetic (therefore Konga or Ganga) region in the pre - Sangam age. Has reduced greatly in numbers due to illegal smuggling encouraged by the government with slaughter houses and AI with Kangayam bulls.

Mazha Konga (Salem or Tiruchengodu) cows

3.  Semmarai (Semmarai, Malayan or "Bargur" सेम्मरै, मलैयन, बर्गूर): This is found in the mountainous regions of the Bhavani tk. in Erode dt. Has mixed red and white patterns. It has a white coloured cousin in the adjoining western hills. Resembles the Purnaia cattle (Amrut mahal - Hallikar corpus). Trotting variety firey in disposition. Bred by the Lingayat community of the mountainous forests. Linked intricately with them.

                        A Semmarai (Bargur) bull

4. Palamalai (पालमलाई): Bred in the Palamalai hills in the Mettur taluk of the Salem district and adjoining Anthiyur taluk of Erode dt.. Bred by the Malayala Goundans (Native hillsmen) in the hills and some Kongu Vellalans around. Nearly extinct. Confused with Alambadis and Bargurs, they are black in colour with white patterns.

                                                                   A Palamalai bullock

5. Alambadi (आलाम्बाडि): Bred in the hilly forest areas of the upper Kaveri basin Mettur (Salem dt.) Pennagaram, Dharmapuri (both in Dharmapuri dt.) Kollegal, Bangalore rural (both in Karnataka state). Trotting variety known for endurance. Bred by Konga Vellalas, Lingayats, Vanniyars and Vokkaligas of the region.


 An Alambadi bull

The black individuals are Alambadi cows

6. Kollimalai - Seravaroyan hill cattle:
Looks like a stunted pygmy version of Konga (Kangayam). Well suited for the tropical evergreen vegetation and malarial life in the Kolli - Yercaud - Pachamalai - Kalvarayan mountain corpus.  Reared by the native Malayali tribesmen.

A large Kolli bully boy wishing us adieu!

Chola country:

North: North Vellar
East: Bay of Bengal
West: the Mayanur Madukkarai great wall
South: South Vellar

Breeds of the Chola country:

7. Mottai cattle (Mottai madu, Soliya Vadakarai, चोलिया वडकरै , मोट्टै): Rounded shaped variety with small or polled horns. Bred by Choliya Vellalas, Mutturajas and Vanniars of the region. Found in Trichy North Dt (including Srirangam), Perambalur and Ariyalur Dts.

  Mottai (Perambalur) herd

8. Konadan ("Manapparai" कॊनाडन, मणप्पारै): Found in the modern taluks of Krishnarayapuram, Kulittalai (both in Karur dt.), Manapparai, Trichy and Tovarankurichchi (all in Trichy dt.), Bred by the Choliya Vellalas of the region and intricately linked with their lifestyle.

            Konadan (Manapparai) cows at work 

9. Mottai cattle (Tanjore polled cattle or "Umbalachery" तञ्जावूर मोट्टै, उम्बलच्चॆरि): Polled horns and firebranded feet mark the cattle. Best suited for the Kaveri delta alluvium. Found in Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapatnam dts. Choliya Vellalas, Choliya Brahmans and Tanjore Kallars are big breeders.
         Mottai (Umbalachery) stud bull


Pandya country:
North: Kodaikkanal mountains - Sirumalai - Piranmalai - North Vellar
East: Sethu (Adam's bridge) and the Bay of Bengal
West: Peruvali - Westen ghats - Dindigul - Karaikkadu
South: Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) and the Indian Ocean

Breeds of the Pandya country:
10. Irucchali (इरुच्चाळि): Found as herds in the Sivaganga dt. and southern Pudukkottai dt. Nearly extinct.

                             Irucchali herd

11. Jallikattu (Pulikulam or Jellicut पुलिक्कुळम, जल्लिक्कट्टु): Previously found all over Nilakkottai, Nattam (both in Dindigul dt.), Madurai, Teni, Sivagangai and Ramanathapuram dts. now to be found mainly in the Cumbum valley of Teni dt. Used for bull baiting and draught. Predominantly bred by the Konar  communit and part of  its lifestyle. Endangered.
Pulikulam Cattle herd


  Jallikattu (Pulikulam) stud bulls

Jallikattu (Pulikulam) calves

12. Thambiran madu (तम्बिरान माडु, दॆवरु आवु): Bred by Kannada speaking Kappiliya Gounders of the Teni dt. Called by them "Devaru Avu". All names meaning the "sacred herd". Intricately linked with the community.

13. Tenpandi (Tirunelveli तेन्पाण्डि, तिरुनेल्वॆलि): Found in the Virudhunagar, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts. Well suited to the area. Bred by the Idayans (Konars),Nadars and Mukkulathors.

 Tenpandi herd

14. Tirunelveli hill breed cattle (तिरुनेल्वॆलि पहाडी गॊ):  They  were grown along the eastern slopes of western ghats in Ancient pandya country. They are used by the local Organic farmers.

Dravida or Tondai country: 

North: Tirupati hills - Suvarnamukhi river
East: Bay of Bengal
West: Mountains west of Krishnagiri
South: Thoppur ghats - South Pennar

Breeds of the Dravida country:

15. Tondainadu (Tiruvannamalai तिरुवण्णामलै,  तोण्डैनाडु): Found in Chittoor (A.P), Velur, Tiruvannamalai, Chengalpattu, Chennai, Vizhuppuram (all in T.N). Has Red, White, Black and mixed colours. Reared by Todai mandala Vellalas and Vanniars.

                Tondai (Tiruvannamalai)

Ramana Maharishi's favourite cow - Lakshmi

16. Turinjithalai (तुरिञ्जित्तऴै): Drought resistant variety. Eats only  Albizia amara (Telugu: Thurinji, Tamil: Arappu, Unjal, Usilai, Hindi: Ailaa) leaves and bark. Reared by Telugu Golla herder community. Less than 100 remain.

               Thurinjithalai cattle

17. Punganur (पुङ्गनूर): A miniature variety yet a good milker. Found in the Chitoor dt.


Pungaur bull and cow

        Punganur stud bull


North: South Pennar
East: Bay of Bengal
West: Yercaud - Kollimalai range
South: North Vellar

Breeds of the Nadu country:

18. Nattan (नाट्टान): Resembles the Perambalur mottai breed.

 Many more breeds have gone non-descript due to the government system. The government also tries to mongrelise native breeds by crossing other native and alien species for making quick bucks through its infamous 'milk societies'.  More to come.
To contact the Author of the article:
PonDheepankar K
Go Vignana Anusudhana Kendram, 
Kongadesam chapter, Erode.
Contact: 91- 424 - 2274700 for suggestions and information.


tulasikrishna said...

It is very informative write up. It encourages me to ask more about Punganur breeding bull. I stay in Secunderabad and own a young Punganur cow. I am however facing lot of problem in getting a good breeding bull of the same breed. Can anybody help me out?

Shanmugam said...

Thank you so much for the info,planning to get Indian cattles for my farm in the future.

Saravanan, Malaysia

indian's blog said...

very nice page im from teni dist i recollected the breeds i watched during childhood:)

Rama said...

Hi TulasiKrishna, I live in Hyderabad trying to get Punganur Cow and Bull. Please let me know so that i would like purchase it.
please email me your contact or email id please. Mine is

mad madrasi said...

Never realised there were / are so many native breeds of cattle within TN.
Great work.

vinod kumar said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Go to Palamner farm and get a few semen samples showing ur cows fotos....hope this'll work

Kasturi Nadarajah said...

Dear sir, I'm studying Doctor of Veterinary Medicine(DVM) n I've completed agri sc too. I have an obsession towards cows and I would love to work at farms in india for free. I just wanna gain as much experience as possible. I dont mind woking under whatever condition and i dont expect anthing in return except knowledge.:)If you could suggest a proper dairy farm for me to do some volunteering work together with the guidance of a vet in the famr, it would be really helpful. I have working experience with Dairy Australia too.

DMy contact id would be email:

Kind Regards,


Great effort Sir and our salutations please continue the work so that many will turn towards farming soon.

rock said...

Can you tell me about Karam pasu???and where can get pure breed of that???

rock said...

can you tell me about karam pasu and where can get pure breed???

Raja raj said...

Holstein Friesian cattle--what is tamil name for this

Kannan J said...

i need karm pasu so where avaliable

Kailash Sharma said...

Indian cows and Bull have no comparison, and just because these foreign breeds give a little extra milk, we should not keep them.
The quality of Indian cow milk is the best in the world with numerous benefits. Foreign cow milk is one cause of CANCER. So just dont go by money and save our Native Indian COW BREEDS, encourage other people also to do the same. Its best thing u can do to mankind.

RAM KUMAR said...