Monday, January 3, 2011

Want to Buffalo race? Then Kambala it is!

I had heard a lot about it and had also read a lot about it, and they all talked about the burly buffaloes running down the slushy track. But what no one had talked about before was about the well sculpted men, tall, dark, lean and walking about with their six-packs like there was no big deal at all. All of them bare-chested wearing a very modest lungi. But for the sake of this post I will stick to telling you about the Kambala sport itself :-)

Kambala is a sport that originated in Coastal Karnataka where buffaloes race in slushy muddy tracks created in a paddy field. We were in a little town called Mulki where we took part in the local Kambala. I first found a prime position right beside the track and positioned myself with my camera lens and little bunny in tow. Somebody next to me shouted 'Move back with the child' and the race began and I literally realised how this whole race was shaping up.

The buffaloes raced down the track and I felt that they were charging directly towards me. I decided that the pavillion that they had built for the journalists was the better and safer place to stand. With the camera around my neck I did not have any problems getting up on that and could get little bunny up there as well.

 Little rabbit, hubby and hubby's Mom found a vantage viewing point as well. The drums were beating rhythmically and trumpets were reverbating in the air and the buffaloes looked menacing as they raced down the tracks. What an experience, I could feel the shiver down my spine imagining getting run down by one of them.

I figured out that the race was not just about who came first on the track but who could splash the water to about 6.5 - 7.5 high. Wow that was definitely interesting. I wondered all along how the village elders stood around the track without even getting a single stain from the muddy waters on their pristine white dhotis.

A great experience and definitely want to relive this again the next time I am in town.


  1. You did manage to take nice pictures of Kambala. It's always nice to grow up with traditions.

  2. Awesome info and the quality of pics is great..I am already plannin my trip for Kerala soon ur blog is helped me now i can ask my travel agency to add in my itenary...
    It's really cool tradition men are bare -chested, well sculpted; having a six-pack is no big deal here wearing just a modest lungi. it's simply making me excited to be there!