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Rural Olympics (Khed Mela)

The Rural Olympics as it is commonly known as, comes from the age-old tradition of the Punjab. Earlier referred to as the Kila Raipur Festival (Kila Raipur Khed Mela ), this event takes place in a village

19km away from Ludhiana in February each year and boasts not only of interesting games, but also the astonishing will power of the participants.In 2014 it was held from 31st Jan to 2nd Feb. In 2015 it was held from 29th Jan to 1st Feb.

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History

The event was first organised by Inder Singh Grewal in the year 1933. From a recreational congregation to evaluate Punjab’s farmers’ strength and endurance, the Rural Olympics have grown to an enthusiastic array of various sporting events inviting participation from all of India, and even outside.

In over six decades the festival has grown from a toddler to a prancing, energetic youthful organisation. This pioneer rural sports festival has become an annual international event, which is normally held in the first weekend of February. A dynamic team of organisers – Grewal Sports Association – has taken yet again another pioneering step of giving rural women a break in sports.

Today this festival of the rustics attracts more than 4,000 sportsmen and women, both of recognised and traditional sports. The three-day festival is witnessed by more than a million people. Besides, several million others watch it on television, read about it in newspapers and magazines.

Event Highlights

Largest RURAL gathering in Punjab.

  • Attracts wide media attention including international media.
  • Majority of visitors from cash rich farm community.
  • The biggest RURAL sports event in the country.

The aim of the games, always has been to encourage a culture of a healthy body and mind.The games played are listed under 3 general categories: Rural games, Modern sports and Performing sports.Rural games consist of games like kabaddi, wrestling and weight lifting.Modern Sports includes the games better recognized generally like athletics, hockey, football, volleyball, cycling and handball.

The performing sports, for many the most interesting look into the Punjabi tradition consist of acrobatics, laying under a moving tractor, cracking stones by placing them on ones chest, bullock cart racing and a horse dance competition. Another stunner on the list of competitions is holding up a bicycle with one's teeth.

Controversy surrounded this, usually festive, event in 2012 when the bull cart race was banned following the accusation that the animals were treated cruelly during the race. This, even though the dog race carried on as usual. Bulls are not the only animals taking part in these games -- dogs, camels and mules also feature in the event.

This posed a problem for the organizers, as the bullock cart race is the most popular competition of the event, and has recently drawn participants from as far as Japan, who had earlier seen the race on television. The bullock cart race also offers a sizeable prize from the three-and-a-half million Rupees of the event budget, allocated for prize money.

The organizers asked the Government for more of an active participation to help reach a long term solution to sustain the old world charm the festival has, without animals being harmed in the process.Whether seen as animal cruelty or an innovative way for the inhabitants of the area to show off their skills, Kila Raipur is an event not to be missed.

Kila Raipur has Competion of following games in Rural Olympics :

  • Horse Dance
  • Camel Dance
  • Pegging
  • Athletics
  • Hockey
  • Kabaddi
  • Tug of War
  • Bullock Cart Race
  • Mule Cart Race
  • Dog Race
  • Cycle Race
  • Archery
  • Events for Disabled
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting
  • Air Pistol 10M
  • Aero Modeling Show
  • Para Gliding Show
  • Loading, Offloading of trolley of paddy
  • Lifting of Sack (in pairs)
  • Tractor Race
  • Tent Pegging
  • Gatka (Martial Arts)
  • Nihangs Riding Skills
  • Feats of Strength by Ruralites
  • Gidha, Bhangra & Folk Dances
  • Bazigars Feats
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