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First Look: Rural Olympics

February 19, 2005

The people of Punjab are known for their courageous and unfailing spirit.

The Kila Raipur Sports Festival held near Ludhiana in Punjab is an example of this spirit.

Known as 'Rural Olympics', the sports festival was started in 1933 by farmers in adjoining areas.

Villagers take part in traditional competitions like bullock cart races, tent pegging and kabbadi and show their unusual skills during the three-day meet.

This time, Subash Chandra Sharma was the darling of the audience for his amazing stunts. Sample this. In one of the stunts, lying on a bed of nails, Sharma placed a heavy stone on his chest. He then asked his fellow participants to break the stone with a heavy iron hammer.

The festival gets huge response from locals, and over the years it has grown in its popularity.

Photographs: PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

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