About Kambala

About Kambala

  • Kambala is the traditional buffalo slush track race Buffalo Race held annually in coastal Karnataka.
  • The Kambala season lasts from November to March.
  • About 150 kambalas are held in Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and neighbouring Kasaragod (Kerala) districts in the season between November and March. This area is called Tulunadu (Land of Tulu Language).
  • A pair of buffaloes is tied to the plough and one person anchors it.
  • There are two parallel muddy tracks, on which two competing pairs of buffaloes run. Fastest team wins.



  • According to one belief, Kambala is a festival that originated in the farming community of Karnataka around 800 years back.
  • The festival is dedicated to Kadri’s Lord Manjunatha, an incarnation of Lord Shiva.
  • It is believed to be celebrated to please the Gods for a good harvest.
  • It is a form of recreational sport for the farming community and also another belief is that it is considered as the Sport of the royal (landlord) Family.


What is the controversy?

  • This age-old tradition of buffalo race is a cause of concern for animal lovers and animal activists.
  • Animal rights activists have opposed the sport saying that tying the noses of the buffaloes with a rope and using a whip amounts to cruelty.
  • The celebration of Kambala was stopped in Karnataka based on an order of Supreme Court that was actually meant for the game of jallikkatu, a bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu.
  • The order did not mention Kambala.
Section : History & Culture