Monday, April 20, 2015

Wrestling in India: 'Kushti' craze draws thousands to watch wrestlers' fight

The scene was terrific. Wrestling enthusiasts had come from far and wide to watch the bouts.

Wrestling or 'Kushti', as it is commonly known as, is a sport loved by everyone in rural India.

No wonder, the atmosphere was electric in this dusty town in Bhind district in Chambal region of Madhya Pradesh.

The spectators were sitting on the ramparts of the old, crumbling fort.

They were on the temple premises, on the ground, on the roofs of the houses, on the tree branches and everywhere around. Nearly 200 bouts were held during the wrestling competition, for winners in three categories.

Two finals turned out to be draws. In the third event, Jamil Pahalwan defeated his rival and was declared winner. The event was held at the 'Chhainkur Wale Hanuman Mandir Temple' in Gohad (Bhind), MP. But this was no exception.

'Kushti' remains one of the favourite sports of Indians. More than cities, it is in towns and rural areas where people gather in large numbers of watch the fights. The 'pehelwans' get respect and rewards. Unfortunately, 'kushti' has been neglected in India.

[Photo courtesy: DainikBhaskar]