Coastal Karnataka’s traditional buffalo race Kambala is all set to unfold in Bengaluru for the first time at the Palace Grounds on November 25 and 26. The organisers Bengaluru Kambala Committee on Wednesday, November 22, said that the event aims to showcase not only the adrenaline-pumping race, but also the vibrant culture of coastal Karnataka.
Committee chairperson Prakash Shetty expressed their commitment to bringing the essence of 'Tulunadu' to Bengaluru, saying, "We bring to you the culture, cuisines, and heritage of coastal Karnataka.” He added that the coastal community views the event as an opportunity to put their rich culture on display, attracting not only locals but also those from outside Tulunadu. Entry to the event will be free. Organisers have arranged for a diverse array of 150 stalls offering delicacies and handicrafts from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada.
Around 175 pairs of buffaloes, participants in the event will leave from the coastal region to Bengaluru on Thursday, November 23. “Former minister and Holenarasipura MLA HD Revanna has generously sponsored their food and accommodation to ensure their well-being during the event,” Prakash said.
The main stage of the event has been dedicated to the late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, while the event itself is named after former Mysuru Maharaja Krishna Raja Wadiyar. Anticipating a significant turnout of around six lakh people, the event is estimated to cost from Rs 7.5 to 8 crore. Prizes for the winners include 16 grams of gold and Rs 1 lakh for those coming first, eight grams of gold and Rs 50,000 for the first runner-up, and four grams of gold and Rs 25,000 for the second runner-up.
"It's not money for which the participants are coming. It’s about pride. It's about showcasing to the world the rich culture of coastal Karnataka," said Puttur Congress MLA Ashok Kumar Rai. He added that six Muslim groups and four Christian groups too will participate in the event.
Brij Bhushan, the BJP Member of Parliament who faces allegations of sexual harassment by six women wrestlers, was initially invited to the event. However, following a TNM report, the organisers dropped his name from the guests list.