Photo: A participant performs during the Qila Raipur sports festival on the outskirts of Ludhiana. The festival, also known as the 'Rural Olympics', is held annually in the northern city and the competition attracts athletes from all over India. (Reuters/Munish Sharma)
India might not host the Summer Olympics anytime soon but every year, the state of Ludhiana in Punjab hosts the Rural Olympics also known as Qila Raipur Sports Festival. The brainchild of Inder Singh Grewal of Grewal Sports Association, the Rural Olympics started way back in 1930 to bring together villagers and locals. It was his idea to introduce recreational activities that could keep them fit and healthy.
The venue for the festival is often a local sports stadium in the village of Qila Raipur. Held in February every year, the Rural Olympics are a symbol of India's glorious past that encapsulates the competitive spirit that has been developed over centuries and continues in great passion and spirit.
Events in Rural Olympics
Events For those interested in Athletic events and Indian extreme sports, there is an abundance of events that one can attend. The athletic and sports events comprise track races such as 100m, 200m, 400m, shot put, kabaddi and hockey. However, the entire concept of a rural Olympic event would be a waste if not for the other eccentric events that are held.
Unconventional events are few and far between and one always needs a break from mainstream sports that take up much of a sports fan's time. For those interested in showcasing their strength, will to bear the pain, and the capability of balancing, some events involve a tractor running over an individual, holding a plough in the mouth, pulling a car by the hair, loading and unloading a tractor, dog/greyhound races, mule races, tug of war, horse races and