Namakkal, India, A Day Of Rekla Races And A Massive Pongal Festival

Namakkal, India is an extremely vibrant city that celebrated the Pongal Festival with a day of rekla races, a massive parade, and dances.

City of Namakkal
Namakkal Street Scene

The stop in Namakkal, Tamil Nadu was a very eventful one. It was a long day of none top people, excitement, energy, and interesting sights. The day started off with watching men racehorses through the town Roman-style called a Rekla Race.

Then we stopped at a poultry farm. We saw what seemed like a million chickens raised. After that, we joined the mayor of Namakkal to watch a massive Pongal Festival parade with some of the most amazing and craziest things I’ve ever seen. Then we finished the night with several dance performances by local high school students and adults.

Rekla Races

Rekla Races have race bulls or horses pull makeshift carts for some defined distance. The winners are then given prizes. This sport used to be popular during the three-day Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu. India banned Rekla Races in 2014 due to cruelty and abuse that happened to some of the animals at the hands of the racers.

Rekla Race in Namakkal
Rekla Race in Namakkal
Rekla Race in Namakkal
Rekla Race in Namakkal by Matthew T Rader
Rekla Race in Namakkal
Rekla Race in Namakkal by Matthew T Rader

Poultry Farm

I had never been to a poultry farm. This was truly an eye-opening experience. It was a sad sight but seems necessary in a country of over a billion people. Farmers raise them to lay eggs before they are big enough to be slaughtered.

Baby chickens at a poultry farm in Namakkal, India
A poultry farm in Namakkal, India
A chicken at a poultry farm in Namakkal, India

Pongal Festival Parade In Namakkal

Then the mayor of Namakkal invited us to sit with him and watch a massive Pongal Festival parade. At the parade, people did dances, performances, and stunts.

Pongal Festival Parade
Mayor of Namakkal
Mayor of Namakkal
Pongal Festival Parade in Namakkal
Pongal Festival Parade in Namakkal
Pongal Festival Parade
Pongal Festival Parade
Pongal Festival Parade in Namakkal
Pongal Festival Parade
Pongal Festival Parade
Pongal Festival Parade

Evening Dance Performances

I finished the day off with an evening of musical dances that were mesmerizing and beautiful.

More Photos From My Incredible Trip to India:



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