India’s Rural Olympics, formally known as the Kila Raipur Sports Festival, is held annually each winter in Kila Raipur on the outskirts of Ludhiana, Punjab. The festival has been running since 1933. The four-day festival is a celebration of, well, rural Indian culture. Competitions are held for major Punjabi rural sports and games including horse racing, being run over by farm machinery, horseback acrobatics, and other strange demonstrations of strength.
The main attraction of the festival — the bullock cart races — was not organized this year. Though the sports association had sought permission to organize these races earlier, they said that they would abide by the Supreme Court ruling that bans such races across the country.
Competitors ranged from teenagers to pensioners. The festival saw participants competing in unusual categories like holding bicycles in their teeth, pulling vehicles with their hair and more. Horses and dogs also competed in their own events.
Ahmer Khan is a freelance documentary photographer based in Kashmir.