Cockfight in Coastal Karnataka and Tulunadu

Cockfight – Korikatta in Mangalore

A cockfight is a blood sport between two roosters, held in a ring called a cockpit. This sports is usually conducted in the vicinity of temples or country bar (It’s called Gadang in local Tulu Language) and still goes on albeit surreptitiously and furtively in many surrounding parts of Mangalore or Tulunadu. There may be a religious basis for this sport, most of the time it will be conducted in the evening or at the night of the festival day.

Kori Katta (In Tulu Language) or Korida Katta (Koli Anka in Kannada Language) is one of the traditional event of rural community in Mangalore and entire Tulunadu (Mangalore, Udupi and Kasargod Districts). It’s a fight between two Roosters, they let their cock fight against each other, these cocks are armed with razor sharp steel blades (Baal in Tulu Language) tied to their feet. These blades are specially made for the rooster or cockfight only. The fight will end if one of the rooster dies in the fight or getting wounded beyond survival. These cocks are breed with special care only for this type of events or for the betting sports. The defeated or wounded cock is given to the opponent. The delicacy made of Kattada Kori is much in demand and has a distinctive taste, not like the broiler or farm chicken.

Fighting Breeds and Betting

There are various names for roosters used in cockfights. They include Maipe, Kave, Kupule, Kemmaire, Kadle, Bolle, Uriye, Peradinge, Kabule, Kempu Panchoni, Kornge and Kakke. Some The cost of a rooster can go up to Rupees 25,000, and betting can cross Rupees 1 lakh. Not just in rural areas, within Mangaluru city limits too, the cock fights are popular. In some places Police raid such cock fight as cockfight is not legal in any part of Indian states, still many people flock around the scene and participate in the event. Lots of betting takes place and is full of fun. Betting is also illegal in most of the states in India.

cockfight or korikatta in Mangalore
Cockfight – Kori Katta (in Tulu) Local Places in Mangalore

Kori Katta Invitations only through Social Media to the Known People

Until a few years ago, whenever coastal Karnataka’s traditional rooster fight or kori katta events were held across region, they were free of police raids as news was spread by word of mouth. With increased police vigil, the blood sport often involves gambling and now invitations are sent out only through social media. There are no restrictions for these annual events held in the vicinity of temples across Tulunadu. After the end of the monsoon, the kori katta season started from Deepavali. “We conducted cockfights during Balipadyami. Invitations were completely secret and sent through social media groups,” said a young enthusiast Shekar (name changed) from Karkala.

Seasons for Cockfight in Mangalore

There was cockfights conducted during Aati Amavasya and Sona (Tulu calendar month of August-September). The illegal events are held on various occasions like the day before baby shower, after wedding, bhoota kola, Kambala katta or any special occasion in Tulunadu. They’re also held only for gambling. “There is gambling during every event but it’s rampant during korikatta held only for that purpose. There is heavy flow of money and betting goes into lakhs of rupees. Sometimes, it’s held overnight and there are elaborate arrangements for participants as well as roosters,” said Shekar, who occasionally takes his rooster to kori kattas.

In the past, police have raided such places and seized cash and rescued roosters. The roosters are later put up for auction. Murali Suvarna, an expert from Moodbidri, said korikatta in undivided Dakshina Kannada was a blood sport and part of village entertainment. Over the past three decades, there’s been gambling in and came to be considered illegal. “In every village, after the end of the annual temple fair, korikatta was organized. It’s believed that shedding blood on the temple ground keeps away all bad elements and ensures the village is free of disease. The belief holds good even today.”

Undeterred, Cockfight Still on in Coastal Karnataka

Despite the ban imposed on cock fights, which is also a form of gambling popularly known as ’Kori Katta’ in local Tulu language, the sport remains popular in the coastal region. It has remained a cat and mouse chase between police and gamblers. Despite constant raids, cockfight dens across Dakshina Kannada and Udupi continue to flourish.

In Padubidri (Near Mangalore) police station limits, officials had organized the auctioning of roosters recently. This attracted a lot of people to the station, many of them allegedly wanting back their seized roosters. The Padubidri police said there were about 40 roosters for auction. The court has fixed a minimum value of Rupee 400 per rooster. “We were able to collect Rupees 45,000. Such auctions are held only when the raids are conducted and roosters are seized. About 200 people had gathered at the station to buy the rooster in auction,” said an official. While it is believed that the people representing the gamblers themselves participate in auction, the police said, “The public in general participates and bought the roosters as well”

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