The Kambala or the buffalo race is unique to Udupi & Mangalore districts of Karnataka, India. The origin of the Kambala celebration can be traced back to more than a thousand years. Historically farmers paid tribute to their gods for protecting their crops and celebrated to please the Gods for a good harvest.
The festival takes place among a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers and supporters. The atmosphere becomes taut with anticipation and excitement during the races. As each farmer frantically edges his buffaloes to race on the track and reach the finishing line at the earliest, the crowd cheers them. The farmer whose buffaloes cover the distance within the shortest time is declared the winner.
The festival has managed to grow in popularity through the centuries and evolved into a well-organised professional sport. People spend large sums of money on the winning buffaloes, and large crowd gathers to participate in the celebrations.