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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
17. Punganur (पुङ्गनूर): A miniature variety yet a good milker. Found in the Chitoor dt.
Pungaur bull and cow
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:
Go Vignana Anusudhana Kendram,
Kongadesam chapter, Erode.
Contact: 91- 424 - 2274700 for suggestions and information.