Makar Sankranti Cockfighting Tradition In Andhra

Makar Sankranti Cockfighting Tradition In Andhra

With Andhra Pradesh police increasing its patrol near Makar Sankranti, let us look at the tradition of cockfighting in the state, what occurs differently there, and the legends associated with it.

Crux of the Matter

Recent News
Andhra Pradesh police recently seized 482 knives. These knives are tied to cocks’ feet in cockfighting popular in the state.

Cockfight is a “blood sport” between two roosters (cocks). The fight goes on till one of them dies or gets critically injured.

Kodi Pandalu In Andhra
The 3-days Sankranti period is celebrated by cockfighting in Andhra Pradesh known as Kodi Pandalu. It has been famously called “illegal Super Bowl’” of India by The Washington Post.

Cockfighting is illegal in India, yet mass attendances are recorded in Andhra, with people from all over India as well as NRIs visiting. It is also attended and funded reportedly by politicians across all political spectrum.

Makar Sankranti

  • Makar Sankranti – the first day of the sun transitioning into the sun sign Capricorn (Makara).
  • Also celebrated as harvest festival – kites flown in several Indian states.


  • Birds are trained for weeks.
  • Large bets are placed on roosters in the event.
  • Knife tied to roosters’ leg – renders fight more vicious.
  • Losing rooster traditionally taken by the winner’s owner for consumption.
  • Cockfighting betting said to generate ₹2000 crore transaction (2019).
  • Enormous arenas are built for the event – but also done in fields if required.

Guiding Text

  • Kukkuta Sastra is a text widely claimed to be followed for cockfighting.
  • It reportedly guides regarding astrology of betting, nurturing and classification of chickens, horoscope of chicken etc. for a favourable result in the fight.

Associated Legend
Cockfighting was reportedly popularized in the state by the ‘battle of Palnadu’ (between 1178 and 1182 AD) between King Nalagamaraju and his stepbrother Malidevaraju.

2 accounts of the battle are reported:

  • Malidevaraju was sent to exile after losing in cockfighting to the King (similar to the dice game in Mahabharata). This sparked the animosity which ended in the war
  • The other account is that cockfighting was the ‘decider’ of the battle between the two.
  • The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL). Since 2004, the game has been played on the first Sunday in February. The Super Bowl is the second-largest day for US food consumption, after Thanksgiving Day. In addition, the Super Bowl has frequently been the most-watched American television broadcast of the year.
  • A blood sport is a category of sport or entertainment that involves bloodshed. Activities characterized as blood sports but involving only human participants, including the Ancient Roman gladiatorial games.
  • Cockfighting is an ancient spectator sport. There is evidence that cockfighting was a pastime in the Indus Valley Civilization. Based on his analysis of a Mohenjo-Daro seal, Iravatham Mahadevan speculates that the city’s ancient name could have been Kukkutarma (“the city of the cockerel [kukkuta]”).

Andhra Pradesh to get three Capital cities

Amid heavy protests by opposition leaders and farmers, the Andhra Pradesh assembly passed the AP Decentralisation and Inclusive Development of all Regions Bill, 2020, which will make Visakhapatnam as the executive capital and Kurnool as the judicial capital.

Crux of the Matter
  • AP government believes development only in one place is leading to inequalities and emergence of backward regions.
  • 10-year annuity term which was announced for compensation of Amaravati farmers has been extended to 15 years.
  • The pension amount will be increased to Rs 5,000 from the existing Rs 2,500 for 21,000 families.
  • The CM has accused former CM Chandrababu Naidu of lying about the Sivaramakrishnan committee report wherein the committee clearly opposed the construction of super capital in Amaravati region.
  • CM Reddy said, “the 1937 Sribagh Pact clearly discussed where to place the capital, high court and accordingly Kurnool was declared the capital city in 1953. Similarly, in 2014, the Justice Srikrishna Committee recommended that the decentralisation of development is needed.”
  • The government has plans to develop Amaravati and transform it into a great city.
  • CM Reddy said, “we are not in a position to invest Rs 1 lakh crore on the construction of capital alone. There are other priorities as well wherein at least Rs 500 crore for each municipality is required.”

Amaravati is a proposed and planned Capital city as the Geographical Center of Location for the Andhra Pradesh state, India. It has been allotted space to be built on the southern banks of the Krishna river in Guntur district, within the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region. Amaravati city is being designed to have 51% of green spaces and 10% of water bodies, with a plan to house some of the most iconic buildings there. The city is being modelled on Singapore, with the master plan being prepared by two Singapore government-appointed consultants. Other international consultants and architects will then be roped in to give it an international flavour. More Info