What is Kambala Festival? Check these 11 Interesting Facts About It.

Kambala is an age-old tradition to thank god and nature, celebrated in the southwestern Indian State of Karnataka. It is also popular as the Buffalo race event in different parts of the world.
What is Kambala Festival?
What is Kambala Festival?

The visual delights of ‘Kantara: The Legend’, gave us an insight into the affluence and variance of Karnataka culture. After Kola, here one another such tradition Kambala or popularly known as the Buffalo Race Event is observed from November to the month of March every year.

What is Kambala Festival?

In the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka, the annual festival of Kambala is observed. The festival includes the customary buffalo race, a well-liked and distinctive sport in the state's farming community.

A sport is Kambala. The buffaloes are steered by a farmer who whips them around the slushy paddy field that serves as the Kambala racetrack. Mangalore and Udupi are two well-known regions where the villages participate in Kambala celebrations. 

Traditional Kambala, on the other hand, lacked competition and had the pair go head-to-head. The competition in contemporary Kambala typically involves two pairs of buffaloes. And coconuts and bananas were given to the winning pair of buffaloes. Gold and silver coins are now awarded to successful owners. A cash prize or an eight-gram gold coin may be given by some organizing committees to the winner.

Why is Kambala Festival celebrated?

There are various accounts of the origins of Kambala; some claim that this tradition was started by the kings more than a thousand years ago as a royal pastime, while others assert that the farmer community was responsible. The traditional Kambala festival is regarded as a way for the gods to receive thanks for a successful harvest or rain. Some people even claim that their animals' immunity to disease is due to higher powers.

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11 Interesting Facts Related to Kambala Festival

  1. Kambala is an annual festival season that starts in November and lasts till March celebrated in Dakshina Kannada.
  2. Kambala is derived from 'Kampa-kala', where the word 'Kampa' means slushy or muddy, and Kala refers to the field.
  3. The origin of the Kambala celebration can be traced back to more than a thousand years.
  4. In the early days of the festival, it was known as Karaga celebrations.
  5. It was dedicated to an incarnation of the Hindu God Shiva, known as Lord Kadri Manjunatha.
  6. According to records, the festival was started by the Hoysala Kings to see if the buffaloes could be trained and used in war.
  7. Farms and locals conduct these races as a gesture of thankfulness and gratitude towards the god for the good health of the buffaloes.
  8. The race event was and still is a form of entertainment or recreational sport for the farming community.
  9. The festival takes place in various categories, namely Negilu, Hagga, Adda Halage, and Kene Halage.
  10. Mangalore is one of those places where Kambala is celebrated at a mass level.
  11. Though, the Supreme Court of India imposed a ban on Kambala after several petitions were filed against animal cruelty during the race, later in 2017 it was re-legalized as being a traditional form of sport.

Check other important days and dates in December 2022


In which state buffalo race is organised?


When did Kambala start?

The first-ever documented Kambala was held on February 2, 1970, in Bajagoli near Karkala in the Udupi district

Where is the Kambala festival celebrated?

The Buffalo Race Festival is annual festival celebrated in the Dakshina Kannada district of Karnataka.

Why is Kambala Festival celebrated?

The annual festival is celebrated to please the Gods for a good harvest.
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