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Kambala, a popular buffalo racing contest of the coastal Karnataka region, is set to make a splash in Bengaluru this weekend. The folk sport will be held in the heart of the city at Palace Grounds on November 25 and 26.

What is Kambala?

  • Kambala is a buffalo race held in Coastal Karnataka districts (Dakshina Kannada and Udupi) during the winter months when farmers harvest their paddy crops.
  • It is dedicated to an incarnation of Hindu God Shiva – Lord Kadri Manjunatha.
  • It is usually held after the southwest monsoon, once the paddy is harvested.
  • The race is held on two parallel tracks filled with mud and water. Each pair of buffaloes will also have a jockey, or ‘Kambala runner’ to control and command the animals on the track.
  • Apart from winning the race, targets also include splashing water; in fact, some winners are even declared on the amount of water splashed; this is called ‘kolu’.
  • The Kambala was banned due to animal cruelty during this race in
  • However, in 2017, under (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, Kambala festival was re-legalised as it was a traditional sport.