Bengaluru is set to witness its inaugural ‘Kambala’ event, a traditional slush track buffalo race, at the Palace Grounds on November 25 and 26, as announced by Puttur MLA and Bengaluru Kambala committee convenor, Ashok Kumar Rai.
The Bengaluru Kambala, organized by the Bengaluru Kambala Samithi in collaboration with Zilla Kambala Samithi, is a significant cultural event that showcases the tradition of buffalo racing. The Kambala season, which spans from November to March, holds deep roots in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi, where local residents annually celebrate this unique sporting event.
According to Ashok Kumar Rai, the convenor of the Bengaluru Kambala committee, 100 to 130 pairs of buffaloes from districts like Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Kasargod, and others will participate in the event. The buffaloes, set to depart from Mangaluru on November 23, will be transported in lorries, accompanied by veterinary doctors and ambulances in each district. The journey includes scheduled breaks in Hassan, ensuring the well-being of the buffaloes with food and water sourced exclusively from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.
This historic Kambala in Bengaluru is not just about buffalo racing; it promises to be a star-studded affair. Renowned celebrities, including Aishwarya Rai, Rajnikanth, and others, are expected to grace the event alongside Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and ministers. The estimated cost of the event is Rs 6 crore, featuring 2,000 VVIP seating arrangements, a gallery for 10,000 viewers, 150 food stalls offering Tulunadu delicacies, and cultural events showcasing the heritage of Dakshina Kannada.
The race will unfold on a meticulously prepared 145-meter-long track, though the track names are yet to be revealed. Despite requests from VIPs and ministers to name tracks after them, Kambala buffalo owners have stood firm in their decision. The event will feature commentary in Kannada and Tulu, and all participating buffaloes will be honored with medals.
In addition to the cultural spectacle, the MLA expressed the community’s demand for a Kambala Bhavana in Pilikula and one acre of land for constructing the Tulu Bhavana in Bengaluru, plans to be submitted to the government. Rai emphasized that the organization of Kambala would strictly adhere to Supreme Court guidelines, with the goal of showcasing and preserving their culture on a global platform.
As Bengaluru braces for its first-ever Kambala, the city anticipates not only a thrilling buffalo race but also an immersive cultural experience that celebrates the rich traditions of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.