By Rebecca Drew
IF YOU thought a day at the horse races was exciting, then you’ll be thrilled to see these bulls running hell for leather while dragging their fearless riders through spraying mud.
Thrilling shots capturing an exhilarating annual bull festival in India show the culture of the Subcontinent at its most action-packed.
The hair-raising series of pictures show competitors at the Kambala festival as they speed through muddy paddocks where eager spectators have congregated to cheer the race-goers on. In other shots, competitors are seen getting drenched by waves of mucky spray as they run with their bulls which are ornately decorated.
Another image shows one farmer dowse himself in buckets of water to cool off after a difficult race whilst another shows a group of locals seemingly struggling with a bull on the loose.
The images were taken by news photographer, Mohan Karichedu Hemadri (45) from Udupi, India. Mohan took the pictures using a Nikon D3
camera, a brand he relies on for snapping incredible action shots. The festival takes place in Coastal Karnataka, India.
“Tracking the chasing buffalos is highly challenging and taking the pictures without disturbing the them is highly challenging,” said Mohan.
“Chasing the animals with the camera is just thrilling and capturing the emotions of the buffalo and co-runner is just amazing.
“Capturing these rural folklore sports is just thrilling.
“The galloping speed of the buffalos with sparkling mud water really creates an amazing ambience.”
The Kambala is a festival that dates back several hundred years and takes place between November and March to mark the local harvest season.
There are different beliefs as to how the festival originates, but one suggests that it began in Karnataka’s farming community to thank Hindu Gods for a great harvest.
Each team consists of a farmer who is responsible for guiding two buffalos through the ploughed tracks, the farmer who does this in the fastest time is crowned winner.
“Seeing the still photographs and experiencing the live is completely different,” added Mohan.
“The man who runs behind the buffalo has to be very athletic and fit to keep up.”
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