Qila Raipur sports festival is India’s biggest rural sports festival. It is also known as India’s Rural Olympics. Philanthropist Inder Singh Grewal started first in 1933. Inder hoped for an annual informal event where all farmers from the area could meet and get together. The idea was to test their endurance and celebrate their talents. This lead to the creation of the Kila Raipur Sports Festival, India’s rural Olympics. It takes place in Ludhiana every year.
Today, it is a lively and vibrant youth organization where people worldwide see the strength and display of Punjab’s cultural wealth. The festival is held during the first week of February and is an internationally renowned event.
Over 4,000 men and women participate in sporting events every year. There are traditional as well as internally recognized sports events. It takes place for three days and is viewed by millions of people. All major news channels cover the event, and it is a popular tourist attraction amongst sports enthusiasts.
Participants are welcome from all over the world. International nations send professional kabaddi or Tug of War teams. Kila Raipur is a place for everyone, from teenaged boys and girls to older men, and everyone is allowed to participate and show their skills.
Many animals such as bullocks, camels, dogs, buffaloes and horses are involved in various competitions.
Important sports held at the festival:
Bull racing was a fan favourite at the event until the supreme court banned the sport in 2014 after animal cruelty complaints.
As the event started with farmers getting together and showcasing their strength, manual strength is a massive part of Punjab’s culture. Individual strength necessary for ploughing the fields, taking care of the animals turned into a way of life. Strength and endurance are tested repeatedly at the Kila Raipur festival in the form of events like wrestling, running, weightlifting and traditional forms of martial arts. Kabaddi, horse riding, conventional Punjabi warfare are also available for viewers to enjoy.
Trinjen is a popular entertainment source for young women. It is a home-organized event where girls gather to sing and dance to cultural Punjabi folk tunes. The songs range from happiness to sorrow and cover all of life’s important moments. There is also the spinning of wheels which symbolizes the wheel of life.
There are 100,400 and 1,600-meter races, cycling races, wheelchair races, truck tire lifting competitions, pulling a tractor.
Kila Raipur is different from other sporting events because it is a celebration of sports as it is of Punjabi culture and the importance of farmers to the Indian economy and population. Humans and animals both participate in this festival for lucrative prizes and showcase their enthusiasm and love for sports and strength.