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8 Quirkiest Festivals in India


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Kila Raipur Rural Olympics
8 Quirkiest Festivals in India

Bullock cart race at the Kila Raipur Rural Olympics.

The Kila Raipur Rural Olympics is a rural sports festival that's grown over six decades, to become a sports bonanza that attracts competitors from around the globe. Held for three days during February each year, over 4,000 sports men and woman participate in the festival. They're watched by around 1 million spectators.

Bullocks, camels, dogs, mules, and other animals competing in highly professional events must be seen to be believed! The adrenaline-pumping bullock cart race is the main attraction, with sponsored prize money worth lakhs of rupees. Other events that are big on entertainment include a dog race, horse dance, camel race, tractor race, and a tug-of-war. But the chance to see some really off-beat activities is the hugest drawcard -- such as people lifting bicycles with their teeth, pulling cars with their teeth or ears, or riding a bicycle ringed with a burning tyre, and other daredevil stunts. The Rural Olympics really is a test of endurance, skill and strength!

The fun doesn't end at the end of the day. Each evening there's a cultural feast featuring top notch folk singers, Bhangra, and Gidha players. The program continues well past midnight on all three day of the festival.

How to Get There: The Kila Raipur Rural Olympics is held 15 kilometers south of Ludhiana, in the Punjab. Kila Raipur is well connected by rail, road, and even air. Ludhiana is three hours train journey, or 40 minutes flight, from Delhi. Delhi by Foot usually runs tours there.

Where to Stay: There's a good range of hotels in Ludhiana. The classy Aveda Hotel receives excellent reviews, as does the ambient Keys Hotel. If budget is a concern, Hotel Samrat is clean and offers good value for money.

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