Karanataka offers a bunch of attractions for tourists. The state has beautiful landscapes, mouth-watering cuisine, serene beaches, and a rich cultural heritage. One of the most famous festivals in the state is the Kambala race, which is mainly celebrated on the Karnataka coast. This is a traditional buffalo race, a popular sport among the state’s farming community. The festival begins in November and lasts until March the following year.
Kambala begins after the paddy harvest. Buffalo racing can be seen in action in Dakshina Kannada villages including Mangalore and Udupi.
Kambala celebrations date back thousands of years. There are multiple beliefs and versions of the festival’s history. Many believe it was started by the farming community of Karnataka, to please Lord Kadri Manjunatha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva for a good harvest for the season. Another belief regarding the origin is linked to a royal family. The kings of the Hoysala dynasty are said to have started the tradition for their past time.
The race takes place on two parallel running tracks, filled with muddy water. The buffaloes are trained, well fed and fed for the aggressive breed. Animals are usually raced in pairs during the event, held together with plows and ropes. Traditionally, the winner of the race is offered coconuts, but as the weather has changed, the winner now receives a gold medal or cash prize.
Many animal activists had raised the issue of animal cruelty and a petition was filed in the Supreme Court in 2014 against animal cruelty. The SC issued a decision in November of the same year to ban Kambala.
But in 2017, under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, kambala was legalized again as it was a traditional sport. Although SC has issued guidelines and asked participants not to use whiplash on buffaloes.
Kambala Bajagoli jockey Jogibettu Nishanth Shetty set a new record by covering a 100 meter race in 8.36 seconds. pic.twitter.com/R1klO4W7qq
— Solmelu (@TeamSolmelu) April 11, 2022
If you wish to attend the race, book the tickets according to the schedule shared by the Kambala committee.
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