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And they ran! Kambala.

Kambala is a traditional rural buffalo race held in a slushy mud field. Buffalo owners from all over undivided South Canara participate with their well groomed and fed buffaloes, specially looked after the entire year for just this season. This year I took time out to attend one such Kambala held near my village in Mulki on Christmas Day.

[The previous post was regarding the protest march that took place in Mangalore against the Honorable SC order. You can read about it here. Well, things began to look hopeful after that, with lots of petitions etc., and finally the ban was revoked. However certain riders were released so as to ensure the buffaloes are not subjected to cruelty, and I did observe ample care and steps taken to follow the same.]
Mulki Seeme Arasu Kambala (Arasa = King) has been held since a very long time (no one exactly knows when; the history spans hundreds of years according to an old man there), in a field just off the highway, NH-17. I reach quite early. The atmospher…

Buffaloes in the city!

Kambala is a traditional annual rural event of undivided Tulunadu. It is generally conducted in the months of December-January. On this day, well-groomed, well-fed and well-nourished he-buffaloes run a race in a slushy field, along with a keeper. Around 50 Kambalas are held every year across South Canara, and the preparations for the same last almost throughout the year.
The Kambala buffaloes are carefully looked after by the farmers who own them, almost like their own children. It is rumoured some of them even have air-conditioned sheds for the star buffaloes. On the Kambala day, the buffaloes are decorated colorfully, and the entire village assembles to watch the show. Some of them also have religious affiliations; a famous Kambala held every year in Mangalore is Kadri Kambala (also referred to as Devara Kambala, Devaru=God), affilitaed to the Sri Manjunatha Temple, Kadri.
Of late though, animal rights activists have raised their voices regarding the supposed animal cruelty that happe…

Fountainhas, the Jewel of Panaji!

Fountainhas is a quaint little part of the capital city of Goa, Panaji. When you cross the Old Patto Bridge over the Ourem Creek and enter this part of town, you suddenly feel as though you've time-travelled into Goa's Portuguese past. 

Magical Mysore

The city of Mysore (Mysuru will still take some time to sink in, or it probably never will, just like Mumbai never did), is a heritage city, perfect for a weekend getaway. It has places to visit/things to do that will cater to different tastes. It can be a fantastic base point for daytrips to various points of interest around such as Shivanasamudra waterfalls, Somnathpur, Talakadu, Melkote, Bylakuppe to name a few.

A Day at the Zoo!

Mysore zoo, to be precise, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, is one spot almost everyone in Karnataka would have visited as a kid. However, to some of us, this place continues to beckon well past childhood. It is one of the oldest zoos in the country, established in 1892 by His Highness, Sri Chamarajendra Wadiyar.

Chauti (Ganesh Chaturti)

Chauti time is always a lot of fun. It's been one of my favorite festivals celebrated.  Come Chauti, the whole city wears a festive look. This year, I took time out to visit the Central Market, to catch the early morning rush.

Rishikesh - A Spiritual Haven

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a charming place that will surely make you go back again. Considered the birthplace of Yoga, there are numerous ashrams here to get away from the daily routine and unwind, and one such beautifully located ashram is Parmarth Niketan. Apart from teaching yoga, the ashram activities include cleaning the Ganga, spreading awareness about the Ganga, education of the poor, and more recently, the wonderful rehabilitation activities being undertaken after last year's tragedy.
I had the opportunity to attend the evening Ganga Aarti here, which is a stark contrast from the noisy chaotic one at Har-ki-Pauri at Hardwar. (No, I'm not trying to compare the two, 'cos each one has it's own flavor) Nevertheless, the discipline, the civic sense etc. among the residents of the ashram did leave me astounded.
The water (of the Ganges) here is quite clean, against the general notion on how polluted the river is. 

A Walk through Mussoorie

A spare day in Dehradun last year was the perfect chance to visit Mussoorie, one of the places I'd always wanted to go to. Though this was an extremely rushed visit (we had just about 6 hours to spend in this pretty place that deserved many more days), tried to make most of the time.
The drive from Dehradun uphill was a very pleasant one, through the valley. Our cabbie was an old man, with an experience of driving through the length and breadth of the country. Listening to his various tales was wonderful, as was driving up those beautiful winding roads typical of any hill station.

Chinar Tales.