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Rural Sport Meets In India

Sports are forms of physical activity among social groups that may or may not be organized.  Organized periodical Sports events are called Sports meet.  Most of these are organized in cities. Olympics, Asian Games, International Athletic meets, etc are the most famous ones that are followed by a wide audience across the world.  Then there are numerous Rural Sport Meets in India that does not get wide coverage in the national media.

Rural Sport Meets in India organized is organized at National and Regional levels.  These games involve a test of physical strength and human endurance.  Check out this list of a few of them…

  • Kila Raipur Sports Festival

This festival is also known as rural Olympics. It is was initiated in the year  1933.  The venue for these games is  Kila Raipur near Ludhiana.

This event is annually held in the month of  February.  During this event, activities displaying strength such as athletics, rope pulling, Horseback acrobatics, motorbike stunts, weight lifting, tractor pulling with teeth, hair or skin are organized and winners are rewarded,

Bullock cart racing, a regular feature before, has not been organized in recent years due to the Supreme court ban on these races.

Participants in this very popular Rural sports meet in Punjab include teenagers, youngsters, middle-aged ones and even pensioners

  • Kambala Buffalo Race – Karnataka

Our Rural Sport Meets in India list has another famous meet that is held in Southwestern region of Karnataka.  The partners in this sport are men and their beasts of burden.

buffalo race india photo
Splicing the water by Karunakar Rayker Rayker under CC BY 2.0

This Rural Sports called Kambala Buffalo Race is organized by Tuluva landlords.  This is a well-organized event with around 45 Buffalo races conducted in all remote villages in the area.  Two Buffalos race on a slushy paddy field driven by a farmer egging them from behind.  Winning pair gets rewarded with gold and silver coins sponsored by the Landlords.

  • Vallam Kali or Boat races of Kerala
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Boat races are very popular in the State of Kerala, famous for its backwaters.

Nehru Trophy Boat Race is an important date in Tourism calendar of Kerala.  It is the time when the long Snake Boat are brought out and raced on the Punnamada Lake near Alappuzha. The competition is held during Onam when the whole state is celebrating. More than 50 Paddlers work in sync cheered by others on the boat to reach the goal and collect the prize first.

It is a regular event since 1952.  This popular race is named after  Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the then prime minister of India who was fascinated by the sport when he visited Kerala.

  • Kohima village Youth Sports meet

Here is one more of the many Rural Sports Meets in India.  This one is held in the North Eastern city of Kohima.  It is a five-day event with games that represent the customs and traditions of the area.

Participants come from villages called Lhisemia, Tsutuonuomia, Dapfhtsumia, and Pfuchtsumia.  Categories include 24 athletic events, two games, naga style wrestling, football, and volleyball.

  • National Mallakhamb championships

Mallakhamb is a traditional sport of India.  It is similar to Gymnastics in many ways.

Malla means wrestler and Khamb means a Pole(sometimes a rope is used).  So it is the feats and poses that the wrestler performs on a Pole. There are three types of Mallkhamb practiced in India – Pole or fixed, Hanging and Rope.

mallakhamb photo
Sitting on a rope by Michael Coghlan under CC BY-SA 2.0

Most National and state level Mallakhamb championships are organized by the Mallakhamb Federation of India. Some of the competitions that are organized by them are  Zilla Parishad Championships, Senior and Junior level National Mallakhamb competition for boys and girls, All India Inter University Championships, State Level Competitions.   All the states of India participate in these national level competitions that have been conducted for many years now.

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Rural Game Meets though popular in the area they are conducted, do not get publicity nation-wide.  There is a need to bring them into the forefront by national media so that these sportsmen get recognition and also motivation to continue playing.

Featured Photo: The Teamwork by amitrakar under CC BY-SA 2.0


I am a Freelance content writer with an Educational background in Commerce. Amazed at the Vastness, Variety, Vivacity, Vividness, and Vibrance of an ancient country like India, I wish to explore its numerous qualities through Indiavivid.

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