I had earlier posted a time table of Kambala a traditional water buffalo race in muddy waters, held from December till March. It is the native sport of Tulu Nadu region of South India.
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.
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.
The photos here were taken at my home town Moodabidri which is held in a Kambala grounds of Kadlakere Nisargadhama. This large rain water fed lake was to witness over 180 pairs of Water Buffaloes. Despite the Bandh call given by the Government of Karnataka 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. Most of the light was from the overhead halogen lamps which lit the whole Kambala fields. I used my Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS USM on Canon EOS 5D mark II Camera supported by Benro C45T Carbon Fiber Monopod. My friend Mr. Parshwanath was on my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM fitted to Canon EOS 7D. So both could shoot simultaneously.
The races were held in Kene Halage, Hagga, ‘Adda Halage’, and Negilu categories. 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.