Study Material | Test Series
Drishti IAS
call1800-121-6260 / 011-47532596
Drishti The Vision Foundation
(A unit of VDK Eduventures Pvt. Ltd.)
Kambala Bill sent to President with minor modifications
May 11, 2017

In news:

Home ministry has suggested to the State to modify the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Karnataka Amendment) Bill, 2017, and resend it for legalising kambala, the traditional buffalo slush race. But this suggestion will clip the State government’s powers to include more sports or races involving animals by notifications in future.


  • The Karnataka Legislative Assembly passed the Bill on February 13, 2017. 
  • Governor had referred the Bill to the President for his assent. 
  • Later, Union Home Ministry suggested to the government to modify or omit the phrase “subject to such other conditions as may be prescribed” in sub-section 2 of section 3, in the Bill. 
  • The phrase opens the window for inclusion of more such sports involving animals through government notifications in the future, as the Centre was keen to prevent such powers to the State government.

What is this sport All about:

  • Kambala is an annual buffalo race which is a tradition in the Karnataka's Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts' farming community. This area is called Tulunadu (Land of Tulu Language). 
  • A pair of buffaloes are tied to the plough and one person anchors it, beating the buffaloes with a stick to run faster. There are two parallel muddy tracks, on which two competing pairs of buffaloes run. Fastest team wins.
  • The festival begins with an inaugural ceremony and a parade of the participating farmers along with their prized buffaloes. 
  • The racing tracks are normally about 120 to 160 metres in length and 8 to 12 metres in width. Tracks are ploughed into a muddy field that is made slushy with water. 
  • Buffalo race will continue overnight also at different levels and a grand finale will be held to determine the winner of the Kambala of particular area.
  • Where: Coastal region of Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts and bordering area of Kerala).
  • Season: This annual event starts in November and lasts till March every year. This age-old festival is organized on a large scale and a huge crowd gathers to participate in the celebrations.
  • Belief: 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.
  • Areas: Mangalore is one of the places where Kambala is celebrated in a big manner.
  • Apart from the kings, thekambala festival was also patronised by the famous households/landlords in Mangalore.Other main areas of Kambala sport are: Manjeshwara, Bajagoli, BaradiBeedu, Bolantur, KolattaMajalu, Puttur, Uppinagadi, Kakyapadavu etc.

Controversy surrounding Kambala

This age-old tradition of buffalo race is a cause of concern for animal lovers and animal activists. The celebration of Kambala was stopped in Karnataka based on an order of Supreme Court, dated 7th May, 2014. This order was actually meant for the violent game of jallikkatu, a bull taming sport in Tamil Nadu. The order did not mention Kambala.

Helpline Number : 87501 87501
To Subscribe Newsletter and Get Updates.