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India's Rural Olympics: Participants pull cars with the ears, lift bicycles with their teeth

Photos from Punjab's annual four-day display of strength, stamina and weirdness.

India’s Rural Olympics, or the Kila Raipur Sports Festival to give the event its official name, has been taking place on the outskirts of Ludhiana, every year since 1933. The games were started by a local philanthropist named Inder Singh Grewal, to give the farmers of Kila Raipur village the opportunity to demonstrate their strength and stamina.

The four-day competition, held this from February 4, features events that you aren't likely to see in regular sports tournaments. Participants pull vehicles with their ears, balance bicycles on their teeth and race tractors, among other endeavours. Others demonstrate their strength by allowing farm machines to run over them. There are also more conventional contests like horseback acrobatics, kabbadi and tugs of war.

There's a whole set of events for horses and dogs.

Here are scenes from this year's spectacle.

A demonstration of a Sikh martial art known as gatka.
A demonstration of a Sikh martial art known as gatka.
Locals display their fire-blowing skills.
Locals display their fire-blowing skills.
A participant prepares to pull a car with his ears.
A participant prepares to pull a car with his ears.
A man lifts a plough with his mouth.
A man lifts a plough with his mouth.
A man balances a ladder on his teeth.
A man balances a ladder on his teeth.
A competitor balances a bicycle on his mouth.
A competitor balances a bicycle on his mouth.
A greyhound race gets underway.
A greyhound race gets underway.
A cart race looks positively tame compared to some of the other events at the Rural Olympics.
A cart race looks positively tame compared to some of the other events at the Rural Olympics.
A competitor in the horse cart race.
A competitor in the horse cart race.
A performance of gatka, a martial art that is considered to be a spiritual exercise, in addition to a physical one.
A performance of gatka, a martial art that is considered to be a spiritual exercise, in addition to a physical one.
Limbering up for a kabbadi game.
Limbering up for a kabbadi game.
Heavy muscle for the tug of war contest.
Heavy muscle for the tug of war contest.
A man displays his toughness by letting a tractor run over him.
A man displays his toughness by letting a tractor run over him.
The audience at the rather rudimentary stadium in Killa Raipur.
The audience at the rather rudimentary stadium in Killa Raipur.
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