buffalo sacrifice

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Sun Aug 13 13:56:15 UTC 2000

>I am trying to find out the temples in India where baffalo is sacrificed or
>was sacrificed till recent times. Could any one be
>so kind to provide relevant information/references?

AthanUr(=attan2Ur) amman temple in Salem district, Tamil Nadu is a
place where 100s of buffalos were sacrificed in annual festivals.
After the Hindu Religious  Charities & Endowments (HRCE) board
of the TN govt. took over the administration of village goddess
temples (scores of them) eyeing on the income, the animal sacrifices
were banned from 1940s or so. Of course, Pallava, Chola & Pandya
temples are never without a Durga standing on a severed buffalo head.
Literature like CilappatikAram speaks about the buffalo demon,
he is called Vikkiraman in tamil stalapurANams. District manuals
of the British period, E. Thurston's volumes on castes & tribes
etc., will have that information. Toponyms may be another source.
Mysore is named after Mahisha-asura. Erumai-veTTi-pALayam
near ISRO's Sriharikotta, etc.,

N. Ganesan

Hiltebeitel, Alf. "The Indus Valley 'Proto-Siva', Reexamined through
Reflections on the Goddess, the Buffalo, and the Symbolism of
Va-hanas." Anthropos 73:5-6 (1978):767-97

Parpola, A. The metamorphoses of Mahi.sa Asura and PajApati, p.
275-308 1992, Ritual, State and History in South Asia, Leiden:
E. J. Brill


Beck, Brenda, The Goddess and the Demon: A local South Indian
festival and its wider context, 1979

Biardeau, Madeleine, L'arbe sami et le buffle sacrificiel,
in Autour de la d'eesse Hindoue, 1981

Shulman, David, The murderous bride: Tamil versions of the
myth of Devi and the Buffalo-Demon, History of Religion,
v. 16, no. 2, 1976


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