Saturday, February 4, 2017




Sri Anoor Amman Kirupai        
Sri Chandika Devi Kirupai

Welcome to the House of Palayakottai, the acclaimed and original regal in situ genetically pure Kangayam cattle breeding station from times immemorial. Here where the internationally acclaimed  - the fastest, most economical and hardiest breed among all native zebu cattle is being selectively bred in its pristine natural state, right from the Mahabharata and Sangam ages down the generations in continuum. Where history meets sustainability.

Coat of arms embossed on the facade of the palace Coat of arms embossed on the facade of the palace
The Verandah The Verandah
The Porch housing antique bullock carts of various capacities The Porch housing antique bullock carts of various capacities

Frontal approach towards Noyyal Frontal approach towards Noyyal

A young stud in Korangadu pasture A young stud in Korangadu pasture

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Heritage

  1. The Chera or Konga country is one of the 56 geophysical divisions called desams of Greater India or Bharatavarsham. It is the first and foremost of the five desams - Chera, Chola, Pandya, Tondai and Nadu. The frontiers of the region correspond to the western and eastern ghats to the west and east. This area almost totally falls under the lower Kaveri catchment basin where the rivers Bhavani, Kanchi (Noyyal), Anporunai (Amaravathi), Thirumanimutharu, Sarabanga and Karaipottanar debouch into the great river.
The borders include:
The ministers of the Chera king presided over 24 subdivisions or Naadus with Kaangaya Naadu being one among them. The Pattagar ministers preserved and nurtured royal strains of cattle  which tremendously aided in the building of our most ancient yet miracle of our sustainable nation. The Sarkarai Mandradiars of Palayakottai who were conferred the title of Uthamakamida were involved in selective breeding of the cattle of Kaangaya Naadu right from the time of the last Pandya kings.
The Pattagar enjoyed jurisdiction over Palayakottai (Nathakadayur), Muthur, Valliyarachal and the Senthodai half of Pappini villages, four and half panchayats in total.
A modern map of Chera Kongadesam - the number three province being Kangaya Nadu:
A modern map of the Kangayam Nadu superimposed on then modern Kangayam taluk:

      காங்கயம்-தாலுகா Kangayam Nadu and the Palayakottai Samasthanam
Oorthokai of Kangayam Nadu:
Oorthokai of Kangayam Nadu:
காங்கய நாடு ௨
After the collapse of the Pandyas after the Malik Kafur interregnum , the Pattagars joined the Vijayanagara Dore's confederacy against Turkish invaders through the Madurai Nayakkars. After the defeat and reduction of the confederacy, they opted for the security of the the Mysore Wodeyar Doregalu. The Pattagars, loyal to the Doregalu, remained faithful to the throne through the Haidar Ali -Tippu Sultan chaos. In 1799, the British East India Company held the Coimbatore district after the young monarch ceded it and Salem, the whole of Kongadesam.  

The spiritual guides:
 The Sankaracharya of Sringeri founded by Adi Shankaracharya is the Acharya of Palayakottai as they belong to the Smartha faith:
 04 Jagadguru performing Abhishekha to Lord Chandramoulishwara on Maha Shivaratri

The Deeksha Guru who bestows the Pattabhishekam for the Pattagar belongs to the Nathakadayur Chidambareswara Swami Matam founded by a Chidambaram Deekshithar:
The Moksha Guru or Kula Guru of the Pattagar belongs to Marudurai Gurukkalpalayam Alalasundara Pandithar Matam founded by Sundaramurthi Nayanar, one of the 63 Saivite saints:
The antique copy of the ancient Copperplate manuscript awarded by the Pandyans to the Pattagars in Oriental Manuscript Library, Chennai: DSC_0594DSC_0595DSC_0596DSC_0597DSC_0598 Palayakottai Pattagar History (Palmleaf Manuscript):;r=26962 Book: பழையகோட்டை மரபு (புலவர் ராசு) in pdf

His Highness Maharaja Sri Sir. Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore, GCB, GCSI and head of the Amrit Mahal Breeding station, Mysore (18 July 1919 – 23 September 1974) during his royal visit along with the erstwhile Pattagar N.S.S.Mandradiar and President-to-be R. Venkatraman. His Highness Maharaja Sri Sir. Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore, GCB, GCSI and head of the Amrit Mahal Breeding station, Mysore (18 July 1919 – 23 September 1974) during his royal visit along with the erstwhile Pattagar N.S.S.Mandradiar and President-to-be R. Venkatraman.OI0A3532-e1446824093908OI0A3535
 The Kongu Mandala Sathakam verses detail on how Anoor Sarkkarai got his title from the Pandya for defeating Uthama Chola, who tried to invade Kongadesam. It also details other exploits of the clan. The verses in Tamil:
ஆணூர்ச்சர்க்கரை பாண்டியனால் பட்டம்பெற்றது
ஆணூர் புரக்கவும் விக்கிரமன் கோட்டை யழிக்கச் சொட்டை
வீணூர் புரக்கவும் உத்தம சோழனை வென்றனென்று
தாணூர் புரக்கின்ற சர்க்கரை பாண்டியன் றந்தபட்டம்
வாணோர் புரக்கக் கலிதடுத் தான்கொங்கு மண்டலமே.
கரியான் சர்க்கரை வெண்ணை மலையில் வீரர் குறும்படக்கியது
கரியான்சொற் சர்க்கரை பெற்றது முத்தமக் காமிண்டன்றான்
குரியான சொட்டையில் வீரரை வென்று குறும்படக்கிச்
சரியாய் நிறுத்திடும் வெண்ணைநன் மாமலைச் சார்பினிற்றான்
வரிவாழை சூழ்ந்தனை வோர்களும் வாழ்கொங்கு மண்டலமே.
சர்க்கரை உத்தமச்சோழனை வென்று மதிற்கரை காத்தது
நதிக்கொளுங் கொல்லியி ரசவாத கங்கையி னாகபடம்
ஒதுக்கிய பாசையி லுத்தமக் காமனை யொன்னலரை
அதக்கிய வேல்சொட்டை யாணூர்ப் பவுதையு மன்னக்கொடி
மதுக்கரை சூழ்ந்தனை வோர்களும் வாழ்கொங்கு மண்டலமே.
சர்க்கரை விசயநகர்ச் சர்க்கரை யெனப் பெயர் பெற்றது
விக்கிரமன் கோட்டை யழித்திடும் கொற்ற விசயநகர்ச்
சர்க்கரை யென்றவன் வந்துதித் தான்றரு காரைநகர்
கைக்கரச் கொட்டையில் வீரர் கதறக் கதறக்குத்தி
வைக்கவுஞ் சர்க்கரை யுத்தமக் கோன்கொங்கு மண்டலமே.
The lineage:
  Sri Rao Bahadur Nallathambi Sarkarai Uthamakaminda Mandradiar (Star of India recipient) sustained and took the Kangeyam breed to international limelight by the end of the colonial era. The visitors book entries at Palayakottai farm pay glowing tributes to his efforts at selective breeding of Kangeyam cattle.
Sri Nallasenapathy Sarkkarai Mandradiar, former M.L.A had keen interest on breeding and took the breed to international fame. It was during this period that Kangayam went overseas to Ceylon, Malaysia, Brazil and other tropical countries for its economical nature.
Sri Rajkumar Mandradiar, the current heir along with Srimati Jayashree Mandradiar shows keen interest in continuing the legacy of cattle up-gradation and conservation. During the last three Pattagars, the Hosur Livestock Farm, an ex situ centre for breeding programmes is being supplied with stud bulls and corpus.
The Pattagars inspect the cattle sitting in this mandapam, their de facto office:
The Kalai Sami or Bull God, which were dedicated to the  Anoor Amman and are worshipped in their burial mound:

The open well or Vavi (Sanskrit: Vapi) where cattle climb down and drink water on their own and even take a dip!:

Screen-Shot-2015-11-09-at-6.11 Another vaavi kinaru (open well with slope)

The Breed

A comprehensive study in our farm in 1958 by Dr. Pattabhiraman:

 A recent study by S.Panneerselvam and N.Kandasamy:

Estate Farming in India - The Palayakottai Cattle Farm by Dr. Pattabhiraman:

 The desi cow - fountain head of Indian civilization and the secret behind its sustainability. Konga desam or Chera country  has been producing the best breeds of Indian Zebu cattle (Bos indicus) and is well documented in Tamil Sangam literature. The recent archaeological excavations at Porunthal and numismatic evidence from Amaravathi river at Karur corroborate with the Sangam texts in confirming the cattle producing nature of the country. Porunthal: Terracotta Humped Bull, 1st cent BCE
Konga cattle in “Sangam Age Chera coins: R. Krishnamoorthy”
Konga cattle in “Sangam Age Chera coins: R. Krishnamoorthy


Tamil Sangam literature refers to the vast herds of the region "Kongar-Aa-paranthanna" (as vast as the cow herds of the Kongars) and the cattle producing nature of the country, "Aa-kezhu-Kongar-Nadu" (The cow rearing Kongars) in Patiṟṟuppattu verses 77 and 22 respectively. Patiṟṟuppattu is a eulogistic work on the Cheras and the attributes of their country. Also another literary tradition says, "Kongu-Nadu-Avinam-Udaithu" reflecting on the abundance of cattle in this country."கொங்கர் ஆபரந்தன்ன" (பதிற்றுப்பத்து 77)"ஆகெழு கொங்கர் நாடு" (பதிற்றுப்பத்து 22)The words Chera and Konga are used interchangeably as referring to the monarch and his people. The literature refer to the Vellalas as Gangakulam of Suryavamsam, originally from Kosala country of the north, which again is evident from the literary nomenclature of the Cheras and Adiyamans as "Mudhu-Kosar" and "Ilang-Kosar" - the elder and younger Kosars respectively. Every breed in India has two types: The basic foundation breed,  Nadu Dana which is found throughout the tract and its improved version - the über Dodda Dana; best expressed by these Kannada terms. Here in this context, the foundation breed is the Konga or Ganganadu which is acclaimed as the cattle that accompanied the Vellalas from the Gangetic plains during prehistoric times.  This fact is also established by modern genetic studies. The cattle of Kangayam Nadu which due to the unrelenting efforts of the House of Palayakottai, right from the ancient times have been the only über breed to escape the ravages of the overlapping Semitic invasions which wiped out nearly all of the other über breeds of Konga cattle.  This selective breeding mechanism had then inspired breeders like Dewan Purniah of the erstwhile Mysore Kingdom to develop über Dodda Dana breeds like Amrit Mahal and Khilari from their foundation Hallikar breed. Konganad cattle: Madurai District Gazetteer (1906)
Konganad cattle: Madurai District Gazetteer (1906)
Chart of standard genetic distance between Kangayam and other indigenous breeds: Singh and Bhat (1981b)
Chart of standard genetic distance between Kangayam and other indigenous breeds: Singh and Bhat (1981b)
This chart proves beyond doubt the Gangetic origins of the Konga-Kangayam breed. Tharparkar cattle purportedly brought by Krishna from Vrindavan (western Uttar Pradesh on the river Yamuna) which stands as a genetic island among the other distantly related west Indian breeds - Kankrej, Gir, Red Sindhi and Sahiwal; is the nearest genetically, but the farthest geographically as it is found in south-west Rajasthan and adjoining Thar Parkar District of Sindh, Pakistan. Hariana being the next, from Haryana State and Ongole purportedly brought from the Gangetic plains again.The mild difference between Konga foundation breed and the improved draught Kangayam strain is evident from the below chart: Power Capability of Kangayam, Konga(i) and other breeds: Surendrakumar (1988)
Power Capability of Kangayam, Konga(i) and other breeds: Surendrakumar (1988)
The Konga cattle of Salem district which had the least of Kangayam infusion attributed to the non-extension of "up-gradation" schemes among Konga cattle with Kangayam during the British era - is the smallest variety, called Tiruchengode cattle: Livestock of Southern India (1936)
Livestock of Southern India (1936)
The erstwhile Pattagar was a visionary and opposed the admixture of alien breeds with the native. Excerpt from Ananda Vikatan (1936): The terms and Konga and Kangayam are being interchangeably used nowadays resulting in more ambiguity. The Konga cattle is said to have had 24 major sub-breeds corresponding to the 24 nadus, which have gradually coalesced into three major sub-breeds -
  1.  The smaller "Western" variety which is prevalent in Kangeyam, Dharapuram, Udumalpet, Pollachi, Palladam, Tirupur, Sulur, Coimbatore, Perundurai, Bhavani, Sathyamangalam, Gobichettipalayam, Mettupalayam, Madathukulam, Avinashi and Erode taluks. The young stud bull depicted below is  the perfect specimen photographed in our farm. The nuclei at DLF Hosur, Brazil, Ceylon and Malaysia were supplied from our farm in the later half of the last century. A young stud in Korangadu pasture
    A young stud in Korangadu pasture
    A study by Dr. D. Pattabhiraman 1958 (pdf): Click to open pdf 
  2.  The larger "Eastern" variety which is prevalent in Karur, Aravakurchi, Vedasandur, Palani, Oddanchatram, Attur and Dindigul taluks. The below bullock is a good specimen.DSC01016
  3. The "Tiruchengode": the smallest prevalent in Tiruchengode, Sankagiri, Namakkal,  Paramathi Velur, Sendamangalam, Komarapalayam, Omalur, Mecheri, Salem, Dharmapuri and Rasipuram taluks.DSC02198

Monday, January 2, 2017


img_87 new-Green-Garden IMG-20151108-WA0014 CATTLE 

  1.The famous cattle scene of yesteryear fame Tamil movie Deiva Thirumagan was shot in Palayakottai Cattle Farm

2. The Kangayam cattle exported to Brazil continue to thrive and expand: 
A documentary in Portuguese on Indian Zebu with a short clip on the cattle from our farm being offloaded in Brazil in the 60s:
Other links:
3. The famous video on Noyyal Valley Civilisation was shot partly  in Palayakottai:

4. The famous cattle fairs of Kannapuram, Anthiyur, Athikombai and others were started by the erstwhile Pattagar 100 years ago.

Sunday, January 1, 2017


SHANDY: The erstwhile Pattagars acted as mediators in transactions of bullocks. They facilitated the sales of mhote bullocks from the ryots to other regions and even abroad. They offered free bull service and procured the best progeny for further development of the breed. Due to growing demand, they offered the nucleus for the current District Livestock Farm semen station at Hosur and also the governments of Ceylon, Malaysia and Brazil. Changing times made the Pattagars to inaugurate cattle fairs and shandies as a point for direct transaction, first at Kannapuram (Kangayam) - from which the name 'Kangayam' stuck with the breed, Thavittupalayam (Anthiyur Gurunathaswamy temple), Athikombai (Oddanchatram)  and numerous other weekly shandies. Sadly, as the privy purse was abolished and the District Board system dismantled, the traditional knowledge flow stopped. The renewed interest in the breed has lead to the establishment of various services for the changing times.
  1. Shandy: A new shandy in the palace environs has been commissioned for direct farmer to buyer transaction of cattle. The name plaque. This transit facilitation point aims at finding homes for Kangayam cattle.

Name plaque

A normal business day at the shandy
Facilitators' numbers: 97885 80005 , 93085 33005
VIBHUTI: Vibhuti is traditionally made from naturally grazed desi cows' dung. The Sastric - Agamic formula of a kundam is constructed for sphutam of dung balls for this. Palayakottai Pattagar Kangyam Cow brand is being launched for the two -pronged purpose of value addition and creating distinction between real and fake Vibhutis. A few photographs of the process:
Lighting the Kundam

Extraction of Vibhuti from Kundam

Extracted burnt dung balls

A close-up

Quality prima: Suvarna varna Bhasma or Golden coloured Vibhuti
Second and third quality Bhasma:
Wastage - used as toothpowder in Ayurveda