Kila Raipur Sports Festival
In February every year, the Kila Raipur Sports Festival takes place showcasing bullock, dog, mules, camel and other animal races.
Around a million people attend the annual sporting event which has now become an important part of India’s Punjab culture. Spectators travel from all over the world to the village of Kila Raipur to attend the games which attracts more than 4,000 sportsmen and women every February. Games include being run over by farm machinery, bullock chariot racing, horseback acrobatics and other weird demonstrations of strength.
Patiala Heritage Festival
Started in 2003, the festival takes place in Patiala in the Qila Mubarak Complex, which lasts for ten days. The festival includes the Crafts Mela, Indian classical music (vocal and instrumental) and dance concerts.
The Darbar Hall in the Qila Mubarak houses an impressive collection of Chandeliers, historic arms and beautifully painted portraits of royalty of Patiala and Britain.
The Sheesh Mahal Art Gallery displays a vast collection of rare miniature paintings of Patiala, Kapurthala, Kangra and Rajasthan. Other artifacts on show include Punjabi Folk art, Tibetan and orient cult objects, fine ivory and jade work and exquisite chandeliers and glass furniture of the Patiala state, including the Patiala throne and sofas made of Bohemian glass. The piece de resistance is a mammoth crystal double-storied fountain.
The Medal Gallery in the Sheesh Mahal contains probably the largest single and most valuable collections of medals and decorations in the world. The 3200 medals and decorations strong collection was acquired by Maharaja Bhupinder Singh and dedicated to the people of Punjab by his son Maharaja Yadavindra Singh. The prominent among the medals on display are the Victoria Crosses from Britain, Legion de Honor from France, the Iron Cross from Germany for gallantry and Most Noble Order of the Garter amongst the highest civilian honours in the world. The oldest in vintage is from Portugal and dates to the 12th century. Apart from the historic and vintage value, the real value in terms of precious stone and metal is itself beyond comprehension.
Sheesh Mahal’s Natural History Gallery displays stuffed animals and birds curated by a celebrated English taxidermist in the early twentieth century.