Where Bullock Carts Rumble

Where Bullock Carts Rumble

KILA RAIPUR, India—Gentlemen, start your bulls.

India's "Rural Olympics" feature some standard track-and-field competitions, but the marquee event comes when pairs of bulls race down a 300-meter track, yoked by a metal frame that simulates a cart. The jockeys, seated in back, shriek and squeal to get the animals to speed up. The crowd goes wild.

The annual sporting festival was recently held over four days in this village in northern Punjab state. There are plenty of other feats of skill and endurance for the 50,000-strong crowd. Men pull vehicles with their teeth and ears (not simultaneously) and straddle two running horses. There is a contest for fastest loading and unloading of sacks of dirt into a truck. And there is a hammer-throw competition—including a separate category for senior citizens.

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