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Living Cultures of Tulunadu

Pandu | The Champion Buffaloe of Kambala | Living Cultures of Tulunadu





Kambala is a traditional slush track buffalo race that takes place in different parts of Tulunad from the month of November till March. Kambalas are integrally connected to agricultural activities, worship of Bhuta and Naga, and the worship of land and nature.










Kambala as a ritualistic and competitive event in Tulunadu, involves a detailed preparation of the racing buffaloes prior to the actual race. Ploughing of buffaloes holds a significant role in these preparations. This is a glimpse into one such acts.






(Ploughing Kambala buffaloes) | Living Cultures of Tulunadu

Pilivesha of Tulunadu | Udupi | Ashok Raj Kadabettu | Living Cultures of Tulunadu





Pilivesha (Tiger Dance) is a performative tradition practised in the districts of Dakshina Kannada & Udupi. There are ritualistic and competitive Pilivesha troupes that perform during Navaratri in Mangalore and Krishna Janmashtami at Udupi. Ashok Raj Kadabettu is repute Pili troupe leader in Udupi.








Dakke Bali is a form of Naga worship which takes place once in two years at Brahmastana, Padubidri of Udupi district. Dakke Bali involves an overnight performance ritual dedicated to the Naga deity. As a part of the series of Dakke Bali that takes place in Brahmastana at Padubidri, one Dakke Bali performance ritual is held in Murudi Brahmastana.





Dakke Bali at Murudi Brahmastana, Padubidiri | Nagaradhane | Living Cultures of Tulunadu

Our Centres


Centre for Intercultural Studies and Dialogue (CISD)

Centre for Intercultural Studies and Dialogue (CISD), MAHE is a platform for learning and research on communication across cultures. It aims at understanding the intricacies and nuances of plurilingual and multicultural societies by focusing on the cultural interactions and negotiations at various levels.  It examines the critical points of intersections in cross-cultural communication through its varied activities involving students of diverse background.

The centre offers well-curated cultural training and experience programs for the international population who visit Manipal. The summer school ‘Explore India- a Cultural Encounter’ offered by the centre usually in the month of September familiarises the participants to the Indian ways of thinking and living at a microcosmic level. The summer school invites international participants to explore the intriguing and fascinating domestic diversity of the region through lecture-cum-demonstrations, workshops, and visits to sites of relevance. The centre also offers curated workshops on intercultural competence and sensitivity to the Indian students with a focus on equipping them with the skillsets required to operate in a multicultural environment.

The ongoing project ‘Discerning India- Living Cultures of Tulunadu’ is conceived with the aim to explore the rich source of indigenous knowledge. It attempts to showcase the richness of the regional culture in terms of its outlook to life, society, and environment to the curious observers. An understanding of the belief systems, the art forms, the philosophies and living ways of the people may make us look at the region with insights that escaped us in our mundane engagement with living. 


Activities of the Centre

·         Research projects on cross-cultural studies

·         Summer and winter schools for international students

·         Intercultural training workshops

·         Seminars and Discourses 



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