(Last Updated on : 22/02/2010)
Kambala or Buffalo Race is a well-known sport in Karnataka. Though it is difficult to trace the history of this sport yet it is popularly believed that the sport has its origin in the farming community of Karnataka. Following the age-old traditions today Kambala is played as recreational sport by the farmers. The buffalo race is played before the harvesting season commences. It is a way showing gratitude the gods who protect their crops from destruction. To celebrate this moment they organize for different kinds of outdoor sports. Kambala is also seen as the beginning of the sowing season for the next round of crops. Besides these the sport is also organized during religious festivals, such as, Kodamantaya and Jumaadi Bhuta Kolas.
Wondering how the game is played. To begin with Kambala is a very simple to play. A track for running is used this track usually is set within the paddy field. Two buffaloes are tied to a cart and the contest takes place between two pair of buffaloes. These animals are controlled by the farmer who carries a whip with him. In the ancient ages the winning pair of buffaloes was rewarded with fruits such as coconut and other simple gifts. Later, however, these plain gifts were replaced by money.
Betting has also become commonly associated with the game. During the sport as much as 20,000 spectators can turn up. Even today people go to watch Kambala in Karnataka with much enthusiasm. This sport is more popular in the coastal Karnataka.