Published on: December 19, 2022



Why in news? The first kambala (buffalo race in slushy paddy fields) of the season was set in motion at Kakkepadavu in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Karnataka district


  • The last Kambala of the season has been scheduled at Panapila in Moodbidri on April 2023

About Kambala

  • It is an annual buffalo race held in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka.
  • Traditionally, it is sponsored by local Tuluva landlords and households in the coastal districts
  • Places: Dakshina Kannada and Udupi of Karnataka and Kasaragod of Kerala, a region collectively known as Tulu Nadu.
  • It has become an organised rural sport, with elaborate planning and scheduling to accommodate competitions at different places.
  • Organizer: “Kambala samithis” including smaller remote villages such as Vandaru and Gulvadi
  • Kambala season : November and lasts until March.


  • The Kambala racetrack is a slushy paddy field, and the buffaloes are driven by a whip-lashing farmer.
  • Traditional Kambala was non-competitive, and the pair was run one by one.
  • In modern Kambala, the contest generally takes place between two pairs of buffaloes.
  • In villages such as Vandaro and Choradi, there is also a ritualistic aspect, as farmers race their buffaloes to give thanks for protecting them from diseases.

Kori Kambla

  • It is a distinct agriculture-based celebration in Tulunadu.
  • This refers to a kind of collective ploughing and planting on a fixed day for the enelu cultivation.
  • A general race of buffaloes is known as kori

Kadri Kambala( Arasu Kambala)

  • It used to be held at Kadri, Mangalore
  • Also called Devera Kambla as it is associated with Sri Manjunatha Temple in that city.
  • This event was patronised by the Alupa kings of Mangalore, 300 years ago.

History  Kambala

  • The kambla influenced by Natha pantha,
  • Earlier days, the Kambla starts previous day evening with tradition dance of Koraga communities mostly by men.

Legal Challenges

  • Kambala had also stirred controversy in the past with the charge of ill-treatment of animals.
  • In 2014, based on lawsuits filed by animal welfare organizations, the Supreme Court of India ordered a ban on Kambala.
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Ordinance, 2017 re-legalized the Kambala festival in Karnataka.
  • Then-President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, promulgated the new law 2017.
  • Litigation continued but was resolved by the passage of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2018, which then-President Ram Nath Kovind approved on
  • The Supreme Court has also issued several guidelines to ensure that kambala buffaloes are not harmed, tortured or ill-treated during the races.