Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu got all the play on Pongal, but in Karnataka an equally gruesome custom of hurling sheep from a hill top on to a moving palanquin created nearly no noise.
According to a report in The Hindu, devotees at the Myralingeshwara temple festival in Yadgir in northern Karnataka defied a ban to hurl at least four sheep on Saturday.
Some 850 sheep and goats were seized at various checkpoints leading to the hill temple.
In 2015, the Kannada news channel TV9 showed these visuals of the custom in Yadgir which attracts devotees not just from Karnataka but also from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra.
In 2008, among those who took part in the retrograde ritual was former Supreme Court judge Justice Shivaraj Patil, then ironically with the National Human Rights Commission.
In Indipatna in Bijapur district, babies are thrown off a 20-foot tall temple balcony as part of the Sadguru Shanteeshwara village fair, in a bizarre ritual that is said to usher in good health for the infants between 6 and 8 months of age.
The babies are caught in a trampoline kind of ring that relatives and other devotees hold below. Babies born after this year’s fair will qualify for the ceremony next year. The custom has apparently been followed for generations.