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Sports in Madurai

Madurai is a well known as a historic city. Madurai city is also famous for its valiant citizens who never fear when it comes to proving their talents. Games and sports have played a vital role in Madurai city’s history. Many traditional games have been practiced in Madurai and are still followed. Some of them are the traditional Bull Fight, Cock Fight, Kabbadi, Silambattam and many more. Apart from these, other sports like Rekkla Race, Kite-flying are also played in and around the ancient city Madurai.

Games and Sports of Madurai

Bull Fight

Sports in Madurai

The Bull Fight colloquially referred as ‘Jallikattu’ is a sport in which the raging bull is to be tamed, by clinging to the hump of the bull. The person holding the bull for a longer time will considered as the winner. Specially bred cattle are used in these fights. The bull fights conducted at Alanganallur and Palamedu in Madurai during the Pongal festival are world famous. It is been played right from the Tamil Classic Period which is used to portray the valour and courage of Tamil men.

Cock fight

Cock fight is a sport between two roosters of two different people in which specially trained gamecocks are made to fight. The frenzy birds fight until one of them dies or injures, bringing victory to the owner of the cock that defeats. Cock fights are sometimes even played for gambling.


Kabbadi is another significant sport played widely in Madurai. It involves two teams occupying opposite halves of the field holding their hands to each other forming a chain. There is a ‘raider’ been sent by each team attempting to touch the opponents.  To win the game the opponents defend from the raider, by not being touched.


Madurai Sports

Another vital game played in Madurai is the Silambattam. It is a form of martial art that is in practice from the 2nd century as referred in the Silappatikaram.  It is practised using a bamboo staff called ‘silambam’ in which the player touches the opponent’s body by making marks using a sticky powder. The player with least number of marks in the body wins the game.

Kite flying

Kite flying is a hobby for few; but it is a game for many! Different kites, of many colours and designs and sizes participate in this sport. Kites are tied to threads called “Maanja”- a specially prepared thread made by dipping the thread in fine particles of glass. The kite which cuts many kites is declared as the winner kite! This game is widely played in Madurai during the summer seasons.

Rekkla race

Rekkla race is a game played with bullock carts. Strong bullocks are tied to carts and well skilled cart drivers are the participants. The talented and fastest cart driver becomes the winner of this game. This game is mostly played during the festival season of Pongal. Many participate enthusiastically and this is a great day for the participants.

Sports Stadiums in Madurai

Apart from these traditional sports, Madurai people contribute to the various other games too. A spacious 21-acre multi-purpose sports stadium under Madurai unit of Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (SDAT) has been constructed by the city corporation. It has four floodlights, a mini-astro turf hockey ground, and host of other ideas to improve the overall outlook of the stadium.

Some sports associations like the Madurai District Basketball Association (MDBA) and Madurai District Hockey Association are very active. The MDBA has got a cement basketball court of its own under Namakku Naame scheme. The indoor stadium at the Race Course has four wooden badminton courts catering to the needs of aspiring players creates enough impetus to the development of sports!

Race Course Stadium
Arasaradi, Opposite Solamalai Theatre, Arasaradi, Madurai
Indira Gandhi Indoor Badminton Stadium
Madurai, Tamil Nadu

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