The Taj Mahal attracts countless foreigners and I believe hardly anyone comes to India without making a trip to see it for himself.
The Taj was one of the stops on my American friend Tim Foley’s recent trip to India and after visiting it we decided to have some tea.
A wrestler friend of mine from Agra happened to notice me and asked me to come along with him to the akhada nearby. The akhada is near the Taj Mahal entrance next to river jamuna. There is one shmshan ghat (place of last rites of for hindus) also near the akhada. The ustad, or coach, there welcomed us there and introduced us to the wrestlers who had came there for practice. He told us all about the akhada. It is now almost in ruins, but still houses almost fifty pupils. There is a beautiful temple, water well, akhada house, old gym materials inside the akhada building.
One of the big wrestlers of the akhada challenged Tim to a match. Tim is a very good wrestler and eagerly accepted.
Many people gathered around to see them wrestler and they were amazed to watch Tim pin his opponent twice. It was all in good fun and both wrestlers shook hands and praised each other’s skills. Tim was happy and told me that it was like a dream come true.
We sat together for some time and talked about present wrestling culture. Afterwards we invited the coach of the akhada to come to Delhi and meet us whenever he likes.