‘Fox darshan’ for Pongal in Salem

Published: 17th January 2013 09:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th January 2013 09:56 AM   |  A+A-

Defying a ban, the villagers of Periyakrishnapuram on Wednesday celebrated this Pongal in what was said to be ‘traditional’ fashion — with a fox captured from the forest and brought into their village.

As per the ritual, immediately after the main pongal ritual, male members of the village disappear into the forests, spend days on end and run without food and water in search of a fox.

Once a fox is trapped, word is sent to the villagers, asking them to wait on the forest fringes to welcome the fox. For them, the once-in-a-year ‘darshan’ of a fox is considered auspicious. Until last year, the tradition was carried out with gaiety, but this year, a start up animal activist group put pressure on the forest officials, who in turn went around warning residents of villages where the practice is in vogue.

However, defying the ban, the male residents  of Perikrishnapuram forayed into the forests and returned with a fox on Wednesday.

The fox was taken into the village in a procession with dance and beating of drums. At the village square, more rituals and fun was in store. Later, the animal was taken door to door for elders and women to have ‘darshan’. After the frolicking waned, the animal was let back into the forest.

“With wildlife dwindling, the hunt is becoming arduous,” said Palanisamy, a village elder.  Meanwhile, Valapadi forest range officials claimed ignorance about Wednesday’s happenings in the village, but said they would investigate.

At neighbouring Renganur and Kottavadi, the hunt for a fox was still on.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp