Mangalore: Historic Kadri Kambala to no longer enthrall city dwellers

Mangalore: Historic Kadri Kambala to no longer enthrall city dwellers

Brijesh Garodi
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangalore

Mangalore, Nov 24: Kambala, meaning buffalo race, is perhaps the most popular rural sport of Tulunadu. In the earlier days, Kambalas were organized for the purpose of entertainment and but in course of time it became a matter of prestige. The winning pair of buffaloes were earlier awarded small offerings like coconuts and bananas but now it is gold awards and certificates.

Rural areas in the district still follow the rituals and practice of Kambala and thousands of people still gather to watch it.

One such Kambala that is famous is the only one being organized in the city - the Kadri Kambala at Devara Kambala. This Kambala has a history of hundreds of years. Along with the race of buffaloes, various traditional sports like ‘Thappangai’, ‘Tug-of-war’, and slush race are also carried out here. It is a form entertainment for thousands while for the locals of Kadri, it is a much awaited feast.

But this Kadri Kambala has now become a history. One will only be able to watch the beauty of the Kadri Kambala in photos and videos.

It is shocking to hear that the Kambala will not be held from this year; in fact, there will be no Kambala in the city henceforth.

The reason for this is the land where the Kambala was held. There was a legal dispute between two esteemed families of Mangalore, with regard to this two acres of land. This Land Reform issue was later settled in the tribunal court and thus, the judgment was passed decreeing handing over of nearly 50 cents of the land to the landlord. The present land owner has filled a part of the land with mud, sounding the death knell of the historical Kambala of Mangalore.

Speaking to Daijiworld, the organizer of Kadri Kambala, Navaneeth Shetty Kadri, says that the total distance of slush field needed for the Kambala is 120 meters and as the land has been filled with mud, the land remaining is just 100 meters and it is not possible to conduct a Kambala at the venue.

“We are planning to conduct other traditional sports at the venue, but it is not confirmed as of now. We have decided to use this land for agricultural demonstrations and training for students who are interested in learning. Earlier, there was a Kambala in each and every village. A landlord who owns acres of agricultural land used to organize Kambala in his fields as part of entertainment,” he said.

“Undivided DK District had more than 500 Kambalas in the olden days which decreased with time.  Mangalore city itself had a number of Kambalas in places like Barebail, Alake, Kulur, Jappinamogaru, Panambur, Surathkal, and Hosabettu but Kadri Kambala was the only Kambala in the city which had maintained its history for such a long time,” he added.

Sharing his opinion, a well-known personality in the field of Kambala, Gurupura Kedubarigutthu Guruvappa Poojary says, "My buffaloes have been taking part in the Kadri Kambala from nearly 47 years. Kadri Kambala is a traditional Kambala and the specialty is that it was being organized in the city. In earlier days, prestige of participation was the biggest award in the Kadri Kambala and those days we used to get one lemon as a token of victory, but nowadays gold has been given to the winners followed by the same old prestige, name, and fame. Kadri Kambala shouldn’t have been stopped as it is related to the historical Kadri Temple and is named as Devara Kambala. The organizers should have made some necessary adjustments in the slush track and seen to it that the Kambala is carried out, at least in keeping with tradition."

“Nearly 10 to 15 years back, Kadri Kambala had been stopped for 2 to 3 years due to some reasons and after the family members of the concerned ‘Gutthu’ faced problems, they had to restart it,” he added.

Speaking to Daijiworld, Thiruvailgutthu Praveen Chandra Alva, who owns pairs of Kambala buffaloes, says that his buffaloes have been taking part in the Kadri Kambala over the past 5 to 6 years. "Kadri Kambala is a golden opportunity for the people of the city to watch the traditional sports of our land as even paddy fields are not to be seen in the city limits. It’s indeed shocking to hear that there will be no Kadri Kambala from this year. It would be better if both the owners of this Kambala land came to a mutual understanding amongst themselves and arrived at a compromise to save and continue this historical Devara Kambala for the further generations."

Malady Ajith Kumar Rai, whose sister owns part of the property, strongly opposed his connection to the issue. “It was a land dispute between them and my sister and I have nothing to do with this,” he said.


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Comment on this article

  • diganth, kulda

    Sun, Dec 15 2013

    What we need to realise,is that a part of mangalorean tulu culture and historical richness has been lost forever and future generations will only live in the shadows of their ancestral culture,but wont be able to watch it come to life.Something should be done to preserve and revive The rich tulu culture and we need to understand its contribution to all our lives....

    DisAgree Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • alwin, surathkal

    Tue, Nov 26 2013

    Why there is no other place in Kadri where you can race Buffaloes ? If policatical party instead of spending during vote times and other things, must spend on these things to keep up the old tradition.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • prasad , mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    We shud start a "save kadri kambla" project and highlight it in media, make dharna and submit a memorandum to the dc, making, mp, cm and save this last piece of heritage, like how the people saved the trees on valencia road. Down down builders . Down down land mafia.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • jyothi, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Namma Navaneetha Shetru na dane suddi ejji? olerge?

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gopal Sherigar, Udupi/Mumbai

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    I have a suggestion to make. Since our Government is trumpeting to save tulunada culture let them step in and get this land freed from the owner and donate to Kadri Temple which in the long run conduct this traditional sport thereby preserving our culture.

    DisAgree [3] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj Shetty, UAE

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    This kamabla has historical reference this race was founded and started first by Tulunadu historical hero , feudal Lord Devu poonja, this should preserve at least to remember his glory

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Clodi Suares, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    very sad News :(
    It is one of the traditional sport of Tulunaadu.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • shankar, mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Why not the Govt. aquire/buy and allot this land for retaining the glorious Kadri Kambla?

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Af, mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    looks like part of the land is occupied by some party, but the main place where kambla is held is there, and i hope the historic kadri kambla will be held as per time schedule

    DisAgree [2] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Prashanth Poojary, karkala

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Dear Maladi Ajith Kumar Rai Sir,
    On being elected as the President of Bunts Sangha now you can give a solid gift to our tulunad by solving this Land dispute you can arrange to continue this historic Kambla again.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Naresh Shetty, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    kambala is the rural sports in karavali..especially kadri kabala is very near to mangalore city...

    DisAgree [2] Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • Amin Bhoja, Patte / Riyadh

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Kambala is a rural sports and it is our culture what we preserve and we follow in this generation and too to the coming generation.We should not think it is me mine or to self is to think we ours and to all .

    DisAgree [1] Agree [2] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vinod, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Buffaloes dont run in the Olympics... Was that a joke? Could not understand.
    Anyway Kadri kambla is a tradition from ever..
    But today hardly anybody wants to preserve the culture and traditions of our Kudla..
    All sell their land to builders.. The brokers double or triple the land rates so that no local can ever buy it.. So its all gone to the elite rich from abroad to buy the flat and keep it vacant...
    Fake hiking of land rates everywhere..
    Sad even the grand old Kadri Kambla plot could not stand the rest of time...

    DisAgree [3] Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Instead of Buffaloes why don't we encourage young people to run and win Olympic medals...

    DisAgree [11] Agree [6] Reply Report Abuse


    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Really very sad to know about the discontinuance of buffalo race which was very interesting to watch plus Tug of war and other slush races which was really entertaining and also thrilling. I used to go to watch kambala here regularly. It is really sad that we Mangalore people have lost the opportunity of seeing the Kambala because of the land dispute. Something should be done to make an amicable settlement to continue the kambala which is termed as Devara Kambala.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Buffaloes do not run in OLYMPICS...

    DisAgree [31] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • M Rao, Mangalore

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    This is the problem with elited lot. They don't understand the importance of local sports/traditions.

    Many of the elite enjoy Greece/Italy & rest of Europe traditions more than Indian Traditions.


    DisAgree [7] Agree [33] Reply Report Abuse

  • Gopal Shetty, Miyapadavu,K.SA

    Mon, Nov 25 2013

    Very sad news.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ganesh, mangalore

    Sun, Nov 24 2013

    very very sad news. I really enjoyed watching greenery.

    there is no more green in Mangalore,

    all land mafia, and poor family not able to get labour for work.

    Govt. must buy this land, and make a big park for public so coming generation can remember this historic place.

    DisAgree [6] Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vivi, Bajpe

    Sun, Nov 24 2013

    Sad to see such a historical event stopped because of dispute..Kadri Kambla is a historic event..

    DisAgree [3] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Ashish, mangalore

    Sun, Nov 24 2013

    very sad. Have been enjoying since childhood. The kadri park area is left in shambles. Govt should think of making it a heritage site for such occasions

    DisAgree [4] Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Vasant Raj, Mangalore / Abudhabi

    Sun, Nov 24 2013


    DisAgree [8] Agree [23] Reply Report Abuse

  • JNB, Bejai

    Sun, Nov 24 2013

    Why there is no other place in Kadri where you can race Buffaloes ?

    DisAgree [17] Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Deepak Dsouza, kadri

    Sun, Nov 24 2013

    Very sad news....

    DisAgree [5] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

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