Art & Photography

Photography: The energy that we can feel – ‘Kambala’

Kambala (ಕಂಬಳ) is an annual Buffalo Race (he-buffalo) held traditionally under the local land lords and households in coastal Karnataka, India. The Kambala season generally starts in November and lasts until March.

Kambala is traditionally a simple sport which provides much needed entertainment to the rural people. The track used for Kambala is a paddy field filled with slush and mud. The contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes, each pair raced in wet rice fields, controlled by a whip-lashing farmer. In olden days, the winning pair of buffaloes was rewarded with coconuts and a bunch of plantains and nowadays, gold coins, silver coins are given; in some competitions, cash award is also in vogue. Some organising committees award eight gram gold coin as first prize. However, Kambala today has become an organised rural sport, with elobarate planning and timetable for Kambala at different places.The “Kambala Committee” is formed and it usually arranges Kambala in several categories like Kane HalageHagga HiriyaHagga KiriyaHalage,Adda Halage etc. People place massive bets on the buffaloes to win and one can witness more than 20,000 spectators in a well-organised Kambala, egging on and cheering the buffaloes to complete the race. The buffaloes developed for the race are carefully fed and some owners of the buffaloes have even built separate swimming pool for competing buffaloes.

Nowadays as per the laws of the court certain restrictions are made so that the buffaloes are not suppose to be tortured in the race time. 

Many new technologies are also introduced in the Kambala to judge the winners. It includes cameras to review the result and hence maintaining the accuracy in the result of the race and also the laser detection technology for finding out the winners of the race.
           
Photographers from entire Karnataka and from outside Karnataka visit the race and capture the beauty of energy of the race, splashes and freezes the beautiful moments in Kambala and won many national and international awards for those images. 
          
We can really feel the energy in the race with these photo series.
 
View all the images full screen and feel the real energy in it !!! 
Kambala Puttur Kambala Kambala photo

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About the author

Pratheek Punchathody

Pratheek Punchathody

A Passionate Photographer.

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