Can you lift a ladder with your teeth? Pull a car with your hair? Survive being run over by a tractor? Such activities might sound like a form of torture — but in the Indian state of Punjab they are celebrated sports.
Contestants aged from six up to 70-years-old come together each year for the nation's "Rural Olympics," pitting men and boys against each other in both traditional sports and bizarre shows of strength and skill.
Officially titled the Kila Raipur Sports Festival, the four-day event was thought up by the philanthropist Inder Singh Grewal as a way for farmers to get together and test their endurance in both recognized disciplines and traditional rural sports, according to the event's website.
"In over six decades the festival has grown from a toddler to a prancing, energetic youthful organization," it says. "Those who have been watching this festival grow from year to year can vouch that they have seen hundreds of Olympians and internationals in action on the bald but even playfields of perhaps the biggest Rural Sports Stadium in the country."
The festival saw participants competing in classic athletic disciplines such as sprinting and long-distance running, javelin throwing and shot put, alongside traditional activities such as bhangra dancing and tractor racing, and the weird and wonderful feats of strength such as lifting heavy items using ears, teeth, and hair. Horses, dogs, mules, and also compete in their own races. Bullock racing used to be an event but the use of bulls for entertainment was banned by India's Supreme Court in 2014.
All photos by Ahmer Khan
All photos by Ahmer Khan.