Kambala is an annual buffalo race held in the south Indian state of Karnataka. On the occasion, number of Buffaloes are decorated and prepared for fast running on the Muddy track. Karnataka has very unique historical culture and tradition which is why the state is also best location for filming in India, has several interesting stories for Video documentary shooting.
Kambala usually starts in November and lasts until March. As per the local tradition, the race is sponsored by local Tuluva zamindars and coastal districts of South Karnataka and Udupi and Kasaragod in Kerala, collectively known as Tulu Nadu. Kambala is organized through Kambala Committees (Kambala Association).
There are two parallel racing tracks in Kambala. Mud is spread by spreading water across the track. These tracks are 120 to 160 meters long and are 8 to 12 meters wide. The two buffaloes are tied and hauled by players (jockeys). The first to reach the finish line with a buffalo is the winner. Racers also beat the buffaloes with sticks or rope to run them.
Award for the Winners in Buffalo Race
In past times, the winners of the race used to receive coconuts, but they are now honored by gold medals & trophies and several other valuables items. The racing event lasts for several days and the grand finale is organised at the regional level. The festival begins with the inauguration ceremony, where farmers from the district and nearby regions gather with their buffaloes.
How and Why Buffalo Race Started
It is believed that the buffalo racing game begin about 800 years ago. In past, the game was played by usually among farming community of Karnataka State. The festival is said to be dedicated to Lord Manjunath, who is called an incarnation of Lord Shiva. This game is said to please God for a good harvest of that season. There is also another belief, some thinks that this game originated from royal family.
The present day Kambala race started in 1969-70 from Bajagoli. It was named Luv-Kush Kambala. More than 5 thousand people are directly involved in organizing Kambala race. For the last 700 years, the Kambala race on the mud-soaked track in coastal areas of Karnataka has many umpires. Video referral is available throughout the race. Flood lights are also often used during races. The organizers use the laser beam network to decide the winner.
Popular Buffalo Racer of India
Recently there was a person named Srinivas Gowda’s who became quite popular in the news. Mr Srinivas lives in from Mudabidari in Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.
Mr Srinivas covered 100 meters in just 9.55 seconds during the Kambala buffalo race and broke all the 30-year-old records. People on social media compare him to Usain Bolt of Jamaica, who is the fastest runner in the world. Bolt holds a world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meter race.
Demand for ban on Kambala by Animal Activists
Animal Activists who are working for the conservation of animals had opened a protest and filed a case against Kambala game a few years ago. The animal activists accused the Jockeys of forcing buffaloes to run fast. After this incident the traditional 600 years old game was banned. However, the then later on the government passed a bill to continue the sport in Karnataka State.
Film and Documentary shooting Policy in Karnataka, India
The State government of Karnataka released Film Tourism Policy in 2018 which aimed to promote the state for tourism destination by providing various relaxation in policy matters including hassle free services for film makers to set up their film shooting in Karnataka. Apart from transparency in the system, the government inspired by international film making policy & incentive system, has decided to give financial incentive up to Rs 2.5 crore to film producers for showing popular tourist destinations of their state.
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