Moodabidri Kambala 2012

Mudbath
Mudbath

My home town Moodabidri hosted its 10th annual buffalo race also called Kambala at Kadalakere Nisargadhama on Saturday January 21. The Kambala or the buffalo race is unique to Udupi & Mangalore districts.

Mudbath
Mudbath

Historically Kambala was the event when farmers paid tribute to their gods for protecting their crops. There used to be lot of celebration and games as part of this festive atmosphere. Some say Kambala also marked the beginning of sowing operations for the second round of crops. Traditionally, there were two types of Kambalas, Pookere Kambala and Bale Kambala. Pookere Kambala is the only variety which survives now.

Mudbath
Mudbath

Kambala is traditionally a simple sport. The Kambala track used for muddy field filled with slush. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, controlled by a racer.

Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012

Kambala today has become an organized, professional sports. People place massive amounts of bets on the winning buffaloes and one can witness more than 20,000 spectators in a well organized Kambala, egging and cheering the buffaloes to complete the race. As of now, more than 45 races are held annually in Coastal Karnataka. Nearly 18 Kambalas are held under the banner of Kambala Samithi and the rest are held under the auspices of temples, political patronage and aristocratic Bunt households. Kambala still remains a hugely popular sport in Coastal Karnataka.

Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012

Being the 10th year this large rain water fed track was to witness record number of 200 pairs of Water Buffaloes. On that Saturday huge crowd had gathered to witness this folk sports. I was able to reach the venue only in the late evening and for 2 hours I took the pictures you see here. Nearing Sunset is best time in my opinion for shooting Kambala. Later most of the light will be from the overhead halogen lamps which light up the whole Kambala venue.

Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012

I used my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM fitted to Canon EOS 1D Mark IV. This one lens & body combo is so perfectly matched for the low light situation and fast action sports. All the photos here are taken at f/2.8, shutter speed at 1/500th of second. ISO was kept on Auto and varied with light condition.

Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012

Kambala races take place in several different categories.

  • Negilu: The runner will hold the plough ( it is not actual plough which is heavy and bulky, it is just a representation of which is tied to pair of buffalo. This type is mostly for the Junior buffaloes or entry level buffaloes. But there is again a junior , senior rounds in this race.
  • Hagga : A rope is directly tied to the buffalo pair. And this is for Senior buffaloes as the speed is more here and the participating buffaloes are well experienced. This also has a Junior, senior levels.
  • Adda halage : A cross wooden plank is tied to the pair and the runner stands on it while racing. This is just for the senior category.
  • Kane halage: A round wooden block where the runner stands on it on his single leg. There will be two holes in the block out of which the water forces out while running. The height of the water forcing out is measured to choose the winner. The more the speed is more the water height is. And this is only for senior most category.
Kene Halage
Kene Halage

Kene Halage and Adda Halage are 2 forms of the race which has very few contestants participating and is a vanishing from most Kambala races. Fortunately on this race we had 5-6 participants from both category. All the extreme water splashed photos you see here are from that category of race.

There is no fixed rule for size of the track which mostly depends on the availability of the space on the locality. Normally it is between 120 meters to 145 meters long and 8-12 meters wide. There is a thick layer of mud and then water on it. The thumb rule is water is filled in the track so that it completely contains about a feet deep mud. The tracks are called by name so it is easy for communication. In the middle of the track there are two strips of white cloth tied across the track which are used as height measurements for Kane halage races. One gauge is at 9.375 meters which is the highest and the other one is at 8.125 meters. This year 8.125 meter mark was breached after a long time, You can see this in the last but one photo here.

Kene Halage
Kene Halage

Kambala is conducted in several parts of two districts Udupi and Mangalore from November to March. It is conducted always on a weekend so that it is possible for most spectators as well as participants all the Kambalas. The race starts usually Saturday morning and goes on all night and finishes Sunday afternoon. The final winners will be rewarded by the officials during the Kambala closing ceremony conducted in Sunday afternoon. It is watched by, on an average 20,000 spectators in a day.

Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Kene Halage
Kene Halage
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012
Moodabidri Kambala 2012

It is a hit among the tourists and lot of people from different part of city, country travel to see this race. My good friend dynamic realist artist Abbey Walmsley from England was there for this Kambala to photograph along with her friend Stefen. You can see her taking photograph in this photo crouching near the edge of Kambala Track.

Photographing Kambala
Photographing Kambala

It is not always all that fun to take photographs of Kambala. If you are careful you may be gored or trampled by charging Buffaloes. I was able to catch one such situation where excited pair photographers met charging pair of Buffaloes near the finishing track. Trying to get that head on shot you might be risking your life. Then you have a risk of mud bath with splashing dirt soaking both you and your camera gear. My advice is better to be safe than sorry.

Kambala is Hazrdous to Photographer's Health
Kambala is Hazrdous to Photographer's Health
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.
EXIF info - Aperture : ƒ/2.8 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 21 January, 2012 | Focal length : 120mm | ISO : 4000 | Location : 13° 4′ 40.516680227828″ N 74° 58′ 53.515560165975″ E | Shutter speed : 1/400s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.

17 thoughts on “Moodabidri Kambala 2012

  1. Brilliant clicks, Krishna! Especially the first ones! I have always wanted to watch a Kambala. Could you please let me know if any are happening in near future?
    Thanks.

  2. Dear TheBurntMap.
    I hope you can fulfill your wish to burn hole in Mangalore map soon. Thanks for burning my bandwidth 🙂
    Here are the Kambala’s still left for you to visit.
    March 10: Jappinamogaru in Mangalore
    March 18: Uppinangady
    March 24: Bangady
    March 31: Talapady

    Regards
    Krishna Mohan

  3. Good work, but my request is not only publish kane halage race, it is attracts only those peoples who dont know kambala very well:-)

  4. Kandabiti bhayankara foto maaray,last photo valled untt…. hoari bersi bittitt photographerige photo tegadkke 🙂 ahahahahaha

  5. Dear Mohan, Great! appreciate if you post some shots with different angle of Kadalekere lake itself. Thanks – Abdul

  6. 24-11-2012
    Surathkal Kambala
    01-12-2012
    Bangadi Kolli, Belthangady
    08-12-2012
    Baradi Beedu : Surya-Chandra Jodukare Kambala
    15-12-2012
    Hokkadigoli, Belthangady : Veera Vikrama Jodukare Kambala
    22-12-2012
    Mulki : Seeme Arasu Kambala
    29-12-2012
    Venur Permude : Surya-Chandra Jodukare Kambala
    05-01-2013
    Adve Nandikur : Koti-Chennayya Jodukare Kambala
    12-01-2013
    Miyar : Bajegoli Lava -Kusha Jodukare Kambala
    19-01-2013
    Aikala Bava, Kinnigoli : Kanthabaare Boodabhare Jodukare Kambala
    26-01-2013
    Moodabidri : Koti-Chennayya Jodukare Kambala
    02-02-2013
    Katapadi : Beedu Moodu Padu Jodukare Kambala
    09-02-2013
    Thiruvail Guththu Kambala
    16-02-2013
    Pajir Kelaputtige: Lava – Kusha Jodukare Kambala
    23-02-2013
    Eddu Hosmar, Karkala : Jaya – Vijaya Jodukare Kambala
    03-03-2013
    Puttur : Koti-Chennayya Jodukare Kambala
    10-03-2013
    Jappina Mogaru : Jaya Vijaya Jodukare Kambala
    17-03-2013
    Uppinangady : Vijaya-Vikrama Jodukare Kambala
    23-03-2013
    Talapady Panjala : Surya-Chandra Jodukere Kambala
    31-03-2013
    Barkur : Althar Kshetrapatla – Nagaraja Jodukare Kmabala

  7. Bonjour, je suis français. Je vais réaliser un exposé sur les Kambalas. J’ai découvert ce ce sport à la télévision, et je trouve ça original et je ne savais pas que ce sport existait.
    J’avais une question. Pourquoi les coureurs ont une tenue de ce type là? C’est en rapport avec la religion? Ou alors une coutume ?
    Merci de me répondre

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