Mangalore: Historic Kadri Kambala to no longer enthrall city dwellers
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.