Contributions Welcome

This blog belongs to everyone interested in preserving and promoting traditional Indian wrestling. Please feel free to contribute photos, videos, links to news articles or your own blog posts. E-mail contributions to

Oct 30, 2013

Sabba, Rubal share Baan Malpur dangal title


JAMMU: Wrestlers, Sabba of Amritsar and Bharat Kesari, Rubal Jit Singh of Alamgir Akhara, again in Punjab, shared the 40th Baan Malpur Kesari Vishal Dangal title after the main bout fought between them remained undecided at village Baan Malpur, here. Dangal was organised by Baan Malpur Dangal Committee in association with J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association.
Both these wrestlers shared Rs 1 lakh cash prize. The prize money was handed over by Chief Guest, former Minister, Mula Ram, who was accompanied by Sarpanch, Babishan Singh. President, J and K Indian Style Wrestling Association, Shiv Kumar Sharma presided while Treasurer, Prithvi Raj Sharma was Guest of Honour.
In all, 115 bouts took place in this day-long Dangal among the participating wrestlers from Doda, Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Reasi, J and K Police and neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi.
The second main bout went to Benia of J and K Police, who defeated Sunil of Haryana and claimed cash prize of Rs 31,000. Runners-up, Sunil presented Rs 20,000 prize money. Third bout went to Vikas of Khanna in Punjab after he trounced Kamal of Jallandhar to secure a cash prize of Rs 18,000. Wrestler Kamal got Rs. 13,000. In fourth bout, Bagga of Amritsar downed Sukha of Rajasthan while Prince of Amritsar won the fifth bout beating Kaka of RS Pura.
Members of Organising Committee and those technical officials who helped in smooth conduct of this Dangal were Sarpanch Balbir Singh, Naib Sarpanch Joginder Singh, Angrej Singh, Banka Ram, Sham Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Panch Bansi Lal, Om Parkash Sharma, Mulk Raj Sharma, Mohammad Fareed, Mulk Raj, Naresh Kumar, Raj Hussian, Baaj Singh, Balkar Singh, Manjoor, Om Parkash Verma, Virender Kumar Sharma and Murli Dhar (Munna).
Other Results: Goldy of Alamgir beat Inderjeet of Attari Border; Prem Verma of Jhiri beat Kala of Amritsar; Gurgeet of Amritsar defeated Sethi of RS Pura; Maan Hussian of RS Pura outplayed Bacchi of Amritsar; Jagi of Jallendhar trounced Kalu of Bishnah; Mohd. Nisar of Doda trashed Shinda of Amritsar; Mohd. Sardiq of Domana downed Bagga of Attari Border; Ravi of Domana blanked Pritam Singh of Kalakote; Javed Khan of Nargada defeated Niklesh of RS Pura; Deepu of RS Pura beat Yash of Ludhiana and Rahul of RS Pura outplayed Davinder Singh of Domana.

Wrestling with the rural economy

The Hindu
Kushti is located at the intersection of sports, politics and culture and is deeply embedded in the agrarian economy. If farming tanks, so does Maharashtra’s greatest spectator sport.

You’d think it was the turnout for Sachin Tendulkar’s final test. Anyone might — seeing close to two lakh people showing up five hours before start of play, despite a nagging drizzle. But this is “below normal” for Kundal town, which hosts a prime event in Maharashtra’s greatest spectator sport every year. And it ain’t cricket — it’s wrestling. Few sports are more deeply embedded in the State’s rural economy, especially in farming in western Maharashtra. So much so that last year’s water crisis saw even the Kundal event called off.

“Imagine organising water for three lakh people during the drought,” says an event organiser.

Kushti is located at the intersection of sports, politics, culture and economy in the rural regions of this State. Wrestling exists in urban areas, but the wrestlers are from the villages. And mostly from poor farming families, as The Hindu’s visit to many academies across the region found.


Maharashtra’s ongoing agrarian crisis has hurt the sport for some years now. Last year’s drought, and the water crisis early this year, made it worse. “The sookha devastated us,” says Appasaheb Kadam, one of the sport’s greats in this State, at the taleem or wrestling academy he runs in Kolhapur town. “Most local tournaments were cancelled.” In the rest, prize money shrank. “Many students dropped out, hurting their families’ investment in them.” And this season, excessive rains may have triggered a similar process.

A tractor can be the first prize at smaller tournaments here. Sure, a private company can put up a purse, say Balasaheb Lad and Aruna Lad, organisers of the Kundal mega-event in Sangli district. “But Rs.15 lakh out of every Rs.25 lakh comes from the ordinary shetkari (farmer). If they’re doing badly, wrestling does badly.”

Ticket to a better life

Kushti is a route out of poverty, a striving for status, for the rural poor. “Nearly 90 per cent of them are from poor farming families,” says Kadam in Kolhapur. “The rest are the children of landless labourers, carpenters, and so on. None are from the educated classes. Wrestling is also a passion. Barely five per cent of pehelwans make it to higher levels.”

That passion shows in the scores of very young boys sharing two or three small rooms in his taleem, cooking their own meals in groups. Many go running at 4 a.m., before training in the taleem commences at 5 a.m. and goes on till 8.30 a.m. The younger ones attend school between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Training resumes half an hour later, and lasts till 8.30 p.m. Extreme discipline is a given. “Budding cricketers train maybe four months in a year. Ten years of training isn’t enough in wrestling.”

At the taleems, farmers and labourers plead with the gurus to train their sons as pehelwans. It’s barely 6 a.m., and 83-year-old Ganpatrao Andhalkar is busy teaching eight-year-olds, among others, at his academy in Kolhapur. The former Asiad gold medallist and Olympian keeps a watchful eye on the practice bouts of older students, while explaining the craft to the young ones. Occasionally, he bellows an instruction or reprimand to wrestlers. Often, he gets off his perch with the youngest and stands right over the fighters, pointing out moves and faults.

“Wrestling is deeply rooted in the farm economy. But today that economy is fragile,” says Andhalkar. “The fees at the taleems are nominal — Rs.100-200 monthly, perhaps.” Andhalkar himself pulls in more from being a “chief guest” at functions across the State, than he earns from fees. The poorest students, he charges nothing. “Yet they’ve still got to bear huge diet expenses themselves.”

Scant government support

Despite the many champions they’ve produced — and despite top political leaders heading their federations — the gurus of kushti have received little support from government. It’s a complaint across western Maharashtra that Punjab and Haryana treat their wrestlers a lot better.

Their diet costs a lot, says the colourful Kaka Pawar — former Asiad, Commonwealth and national medallist — at his taleem in Pune. The older boys need 400 grams of badams, four litres of pure milk, 500 gm of ghee, several eggs, fruit and vegetables every day. Apart from mutton three times a week. “It works out to Rs.700 a day, maybe Rs.500 for the younger ones.”

That’s a heavy investment for a poor farm family, “but sometimes the village community helps out.” In a couple of years, the younger ones might earn Rs.2,000 a bout, the older ones Rs.5,000. This rises as the pehelwan improves. Lakhs gather at the jatras (fairs or festivals) where many bouts are held. Sometimes, audiences too contribute a purse to budding wrestlers. And there are a few tournaments where the best can earn between Rs.20,000 and Rs.50,000, says Appasaheb Kadam.

With many tournaments cancelled earlier this year, young champions like Sachin Jamdar and Yogesh Bombale lost out badly on fees. And, in the case of the talented Santosh Sutar, saw him “drop out from the taleem in Kolhapur. I had to return here to Atpadi in Sangli district where my family is.”

Wrestling on mats is transforming the sport. “Indian wrestlers are born of mitti, not mats,” says the legendary Andhalkar. Preparing the mitti (mud-clay) for wrestling, in hundreds of villages, is a complex job involving lots of labour. Mixed into it are amounts of curd, limewater, ghee and haldi. The last for curative purposes as wrestlers often suffer injuries. (In a few cases, small amounts of minced meat go into the mitti mix.)

Parallel with hockey

The standard-size mat measuring 40 feet by 40 feet costs around Rs.7 lakh. This is far beyond the reach of tiny village taleems that cannot afford even smaller sizes. If everyone switched to mats, most local tournaments might fold, argue traditionalists. Some predict it would “do to Indian wrestling what astro-turf has done to Indian hockey. Local communities could not afford it and India and Pakistan lost their dominance over that sport.” Mat wrestling makes for speed and bouts are over in a couple of minutes. A bout on mitti can go on for 25 minutes. “The difference is dramatic, cultural, economic and as a sport,” says Andhalkar.

Meanwhile, in Atpadi, where all wrestling events were cancelled last season, teacher Namdeo Srirang Badare is pessimistic. “The perpetual water-crisis sees more people quitting agriculture every season. If agriculture dies, wrestling also dies.”

Oct 28, 2013

दंगल में बड़ी कुश्ती बराबर पर छूटी

प्रभात मेवला ने कृष्ण दिल्ली को दी पटखनी
बागपत : बली गांव में आयोजित एक दिवसीय दंगल में सभी बड़ी कुश्ती बराबरी पर छूटी। 21 हजार इनामी कुश्ती में मेवला के प्रभात ने कृष्ण दिल्ली को पटखनी देकर अपने क्षेत्र का नाम रोशन किया। दंगल में सबसे पहले एक लाख रुपये की इनामी कुश्ती में हितेश बहादुर गढ़ और दिल्ली गुरू हनुमान अखाड़ा के नवीन पहलवान के बीच हुई तो बराबरी पर छूटी। 51 हजार की कुश्ती प्रवेश सोनीपत और नरेश पहलवान रेलवे दिल्ली अखाड़ा के बीच हुई, वो भी बराबरी पर रहीं। इसके बाद 21 हजार इनामी कुश्ती बारू छत्रसाल स्टेडियम और विकास काठा के बीच हुई, जो बराबरी पर रही। इसी इनामी दंगल में प्रभात मेवला और कृष्ण दिल्ली के बीच हुई, जिसमें कड़ा मुकाबला में प्रभात ने अपने प्रतिद्वंदी कृष्ण दिल्ली को पराजित कर अपने क्षेत्र का नाम रोशन किया। दंगल में करीब पचास से अधिक कुश्ती लड़ी गई, जो अधिकांश बराबरी पर रही। संतराम पहलवान की स्मृति में आयोजित दंगल में रेफरी की भूमिका सुरती खलीफा मवींकला ने निभाई। दंगल में बीच बीच में रणसिंघा बजता रहा, जिससे पहलवानों में जोश का संचार होता रहा। अनेक लोग दर्शक के रूप में मौजूद रहे।

मोबाइल पर ताजा खबरें, फोटो, वीडियो व लाइव स्कोर देखने के लिए जाएं पर

Oct 26, 2013


Amol Barate cannot take his mind off wrestling

Sakal Times

City lad Amol Barate in a candid interview after his breathtaking triumph in Bhivani

Pune: Wrestler Amol Barate brought laurels to the city after winning the prestigious Hind Kesari title on Tuesday.
Barate is on cloud nine, and why shouldn't he be. “I'm happy that I won the title and made my city proud. The whole credit goes to my brother,” said Barate.

Barate beat Sonu of Air Force by 6-2 in ‘Mat Wrestling’ at Bhivani, Haryana, and was crowned with the title, Hind Kesari.

Vijay Barate, who was like a father figure for Amol, encouraged the 29-year-old to take up wrestling. “To continue our family tradition, Vijay pushed me to take up wrestling professionally,” informed Barate, whose father, grandfather and cousins are all are in the same profession.

Barate has been wrestling since he was 15 years old and now wrestling is in his veins.
“This game has given me everything. It has made me a strong person. I cannot imagine my life without wrestling,” said Barate.

The Hind Kesari title means everything for the city wrestler as he thinks winning this title has put Pune on the national map of wrestling.

Diet is important
According to Barate, a proper food regime is a pedigree for a successful career in this game. “A proper nutritious diet for wrestler will do wonders for him/her. It will not only keep the wrestler fit but also give him/her the mental stamina,” said Barate.

Barate's diet consists of five glasses of juice, dozens of eggs and proper meals in a day. He makes sure to practice for six hours everyday - three hours in the morning, which includes running, climbing up Parvati hills and yoga and in the evening, he does professional training of the game.

For Barate, Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar is the one who got India on the global map of wrestling.

True fighter
Wrestling is always on Barate's mind. His love for the game is immense and he would do anything to promote wrestling. Barate suffered a shoulder injury two years ago. “That was a bad patch of my life. After the injury, I took a year's gap. Later, I rigorously practiced. And here I'm with the Hind Kesari title.”

About Hind Kesari
Affiliated to the All India Amateur Wrestling Federation (AIAWF), Hind Kesari, an Indian-style wrestling championship, was established in 1958. The first Hind Kesari winner was Ramchandra Babu. For the first time ever in 2011, woman competitors were allowed in the event.
Some of the previous winners: Rohit Patel, Rajiv Tomar, Maruti Mane, Nana Yadav, Ramchandra Babu.

Know the wrestler
Amol Barate
DOB: 26-10-1984
Hometown: Pune
Sport: Wrestling
Achievements: Hind Kesari (2013), Maharashtra Kesari (two gold), National Wrestling (one gold, one silver)
Role model: His family and Sushil Kumar
Urges the government to: Come up with more mat wrestling courts and spread the essence of this game
Ultimate aim: To win more and more medals for the country.

महाराष्ट्राचे नवे आशास्थान

लहानपणापासून कुस्तीची आवड आणि घरच्यांचाही पाठिंबा. त्यानंतर राष्ट्रीय स्तरावर कामगिरी उंचावत असताना अचानक हाताच्या दुखापतीने उचल खाल्ली. हातावरील उपचार आणि शस्त्रक्रियेत तीन वर्षे गेली तरी त्याची जिद्द कायम होती. ‘हिंद केसरी’ किताबावर नाव कोरलेला पुण्याचा मल्ल अमोल बराटेची ही कथा. अफाट जिद्दीच्या बळावर त्याने राष्ट्रीय स्तरावर उल्लेखनीय यश मिळवले. अमोलमुळे महाराष्ट्राच्या मल्लाला तब्बल आठ वर्षानी ‘हिंद केसरी’ स्पर्धा जिंकता आली. ‘मॅट’वर खेळल्या गेलेल्या हिंद केसरी कुस्तीच्या जेतेपदाचा पहिला मानकरी अमोलच ठरला. सध्या कुस्तीप्रेमींसाठी दिवसेंदिवस आनंदाच्या बातम्या येत आहेत. २०२० ऑलिंपिकसाठी कुस्तीचा समावेश कायम राहिल्यामुळे कुस्तीप्रेमी उत्साहात आहेत. त्यात गेल्या महिन्यात भारताच्या दोन कुस्तीपटूंनी जागतिक कुस्ती स्पध्रेत दोन पदके जिंकली. त्यामुळे भारताचा पुरुष संघाचा पुढील वर्षी होणा-या कुस्ती वर्ल्डकपमध्ये फ्रीस्टाइल संघात प्रथमच प्रवेश झाला आहे. या स्पध्रेत ग्रीको-रोमन प्रकारात मुंबईच्या संदीप यादवने ऐतिहासिक कांस्यपदक मिळवले. या सर्व घडामोडींमध्ये महाराष्ट्रातील कुस्तीप्रेमींसाठी मंगळवारी आणखी एक आनंदाची बातमी आली. पुण्याचा अमोल बराटे हा मानाच्या हिंद केसरी किताबाचा मानकरी ठरला. अमोलची जिद्द वाखाणण्याजोगी आहे. हाताला झालेल्या दुखापतीमुळे तो तीन वष्रे कुस्तीपासून दूर होता. त्याचा हातावर शस्त्रक्रिया करण्यात आली. त्याच हाताची समस्या इतकी गंभीर होती की, तो पुन्हा कुस्ती खेळेल किंवा नाही, याबाबत साशंकता होती. मात्र त्यातूनही जिद्दीने सावरत अमोल हिंद केसरीसाठी सज्ज झाला. त्यातच आंतरराष्ट्रीय निकषांनुसार, हिंद केसरी प्रथमच मॅटवर खेळली गेल्याने अमोलसमोर मोठे आव्हानच होते. मात्र पहिल्या फेरीपासून त्याने खेळ उंचावत आणि सातत्य राखत आव्हान यशस्वीपणे पार केले. आता पुढील वर्षी होणारी राष्ट्रकुल स्पर्धा आणि त्यानंतरच्या रिओ ऑलिंपिकमध्ये पदक जिंकण्याचे स्वप्न त्याने बाळगले आहे. हाताच्या गंभीर दुखापतीतून सावरलो, याचा अभिमान वाटतो, असे अमोलने सांगितले. ‘हिंद केसरी’ला गवसणी घातली तरी ‘महाराष्ट्र केसरी’ ही आणखी एक मानाची स्पर्धा त्याला जिंकता आली नसली तरी त्या स्पर्धेतील ९६ किलो गटात सलग दोन वेळा त्याने सुवर्ण कामगिरी केली आहे. अशी कामगिरी करणारा तो राज्यातील पहिला मल्ल आहे. कुस्तीला हरयाणा, दिल्ली राज्यांमध्ये प्रोत्साहन दिले जाते. महाराष्ट्रात तितके प्रोत्साहन मिळत नाही, अशी ओरड होते. मात्र खाशाबा जाधवांचा वारसा चालवून भारताला ऑलिंपिकमध्ये घेऊन जाणारे मल्ल महाराष्ट्रात उदयास येत आहेत, हे बरातेचे यश पाहिल्यावर दिसून येते. ‘हिंद केसरी’ पटकावणारे मल्ल आमच्याकडेही आहेत, हे अमोलने दाखवून दिले. संदीप यादवसह अमोल बराटे, अमोल बुचडे आदी युवा मल्लामुंळे महाराष्ट्राच्या कुस्तीला चांगले भविष्य आहे, हे नक्की.


Hardoi Kanpur Dangal

हरदोई कानपुर दंगल
By Deepak Ansuia Prasad

दिल्ली से बहार दंगल देखने जाना मेरे लिए हमेशा खुशनुमा रहता है, सफ़र चाहे कितना भी थकान लिए हुए हो , मंजिल पे पहुँच कर दंगल देखने की तथा देश और दुनिया को एक और नया कल्चर , राग रंग, रहन सहन दिखने की उमंगों से मन भर जाता है , कानपुर पहुंच कर कुछ ऐसे ही महसूस हुआ! दंगल के आयोजक श्री कनोजिया से मुलाकात की तो बातचीत में उन्होंने बताया की दंगल की प्रेरणा उन्हें उन्नाव के दीवानजी से मिली , रेलवे से रिटायरमेंट के बाद वो अपने खेल, मनोरंजन इत्यादि को बढ़ावा देना चाहते हैं , दंगल इसी सिलसिले में एक कड़ी हैं. मैंने दंगल में बुलाने के लिए उन्हें धन्यवाद दिया ! दंगल बेहतरीन हुआ, महिलाओ से पुरषों की कुश्तिया मुख्य आकर्षण का केंद्र थी, लगभग सभी महिलाओं ने अपने प्रतिद्वंदियों को कुश्ती में हय्राया। इंदु चोधरी , दिव्या सैन, सोनिया, सुदेश आदि महिला पहलवानों ने दंगल में शानदार कुश्तिया दिखाई , और दर्शकों को रोमांचित कर दिया। वहीँ पहली कुश्ती भिवानी के आनंद और झाँसी के बालाजी , दूसरी कुश्ती झाँसी के शैतान सिंह और बनारस के अच्छे लाल के साथ हुई, दोनों कुश्तियां बराबर रही. दंगल के खासियत रही अखाड़े में एक ही कुश्ती को कराना जिससे दर्शकों ने आराम से और बड़े चाव से कुश्तियां देखि, उत्तर प्रदेश पुलिस के जवानों ने सुरक्षा व्यवस्था बनाए रखी और उनके आला अफसर भी दंगल में पहुंचे। क्षत्रे के विधायक व् संसद सदस्य की प्रत्याशी भी दंगल देखने पहुंची , दंगल कमिटी ने उनका सम्मान किया और उन्होंने पहलवानों की हौसला अफजाई की.



Visiting a local wrestling competition in the countryside is a great opportunity to meet different people and learn about culture and traditions. When I arrived at Kanpur and then Hardoi, I met the chairman of the dangal committee, Mr. Kanojia, who welcomed us and told me about how they started the tradition holding a dangal there. He told me that after retiring from Indian Railways he decided to organize a yearly dangal to entertain the people of the area and develop and promote sporting activities among the youth. With the help of Daroga ji of Unnav he organized the first such event some 6 years ago and has continued ever since.
Traditional wrestling in India has long been a male domain. But recently India’s women wrestler have been making a name for themselves in freestyle wrestling. Occasionally there will be some women’s bouts at dangals, but this event had something different: a series of matches in which female wrestlers took on male opponents.
The idea was to demonstrate the skill level of the women wrestlers. And the crowd was left with no doubt that they were all top level competitors as they watched most of the female pahalwans defeat the men who came out to challenge them.
Divya Sain, who has defeated many male wrestlers in the past, made quick work of her opponent. She pinned him in less than a minute.
Indu Chowdhry fought a long match against a tough male opponent. She put her freestyle skills to work, using an ankle lace to turn him over, but he defended well. Finally she was able to secure a quarter nelson and flip him onto his back to secure the fall.
Anju took control of her male opponent Golu early in their match before turning Golu on his back and pinning him.
In the men’s competition, the first prize match was between Anand of Bhiwani, Haryana and Balaji of Jhansi, Uttar Pardesh. The match ended in a draw. The second match of Shaitan singh vs Achhe Lal of Banares also ended in a draw.
The dangal was unique because the wrestling arena was on a raised platform, and spectators sat peacefully so everyone could see the action. Security arrangements were provided by Uttar Pradesh Police. The most senior officer oversaw the security arrangements himself and watched the dangal as well. The Area MLA and MP aspirant also came to grace the occasion. She inaugurated bouts and blessed and motivated the wrestlers.