• Recently Bengaluru hold its first Kambala race, with 159 pairs of buffaloes and their jockeys racing through the specially made slush tracks in the city’s Palace Grounds.


  • It is a folk sport practised in coastal Karnataka districts, especially in regions where Tulu speakers form a majority.
  • In the past, races were hosted by various families and groups in sludgy fields in the days after paddy was harvested.
  • Kambala is a buffalo race event popular in Coastal Karnataka
  • Kambala is a spectacular sport and entertainment event for villagers and is equally popular with tourists and photographers.
  • More recently, various Kambala Samithis or organising bodies have come up, which host weekly events from the end of November till the first half of April across Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.


  • Kambala is generally held under four categories.
  • First is Negilu(plough), where light ploughs are used to tie buffaloes for the race. The event is for entry-level animals.
  • The second is Hagga(rope), where buffaloes are raced by jockeys with just a rope tying the pair together.
  • The third category is Adda Halage, in which jockeys stand over a horizontal plank dragged by buffaloes.
  • Thus, unlike Haggaand Negilu, where jockeys run behind the animals, in this, buffaloes drag the jockeys.
  • Kane Halage is the fourth category, where a wooden plank is tied to buffaloes.
  • The plank, on which the jockeys stand, has two holes through which water gushes out as the plank is dragged along the slush tracks.
  • The height to which water splashes determines the winner of the event.


  • Several organisations, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), had filed a petition against all traditional sporting events, complaining about animal abuse.
  • Historically, members of the Koraga community, once considered “untouchable”, were ill-treated before the festival kicked off, with some even made to race instead of the buffaloes.
  • Today too, critics argue, the sport is controlled by dominant caste groups while those considered “lower caste” end up doing menial jobs during the event.
  • In January 2016, the Environment Ministry issued a notification where an exception was made, saying “bulls might be continued to be trained as performing animals at events such as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and Bullock Cart Races.


The post KAMBALA appeared first on Vajirao IAS.


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