On Feb. 12, 2010, India celebrated Mahashivaratri, a Hindu festival marking the wedding day of Shiva with Parvati. On this the auspicious occasion, a Vishal Inami Dangal (huge traditional wrestling competition for cash prizes) was organized.
The dangal, was a tribute to Guru Munni and Chandagi Ram ji, both renowned wrestlers and Guru Jis, or coaches, who made enormous contributions to Indian wrestling.
The dangal was organized by the pradhan, or chief, of Ram Johari Temple, Palam and a renowned wrestler as well Sh. Rajinder Pahlwan at Ram Johari Temple, Near Sector -1. petrol pump dwarka, New Delhi.
Special guests were Sh. Mahabal Mishra, member of parliament, Ch. Pratap Narayan, pradhan Surat Singh, Hira Mishra, Moti Lal Bairwa and Vikram Singh Negi and, of course all the Guruji’s coaches, Khalifa, renowned wrestlers and other respectable leaders from the community.
Wrestler from all over Delhi and adjoining states were invited to compete. The first, second and third prize was Rs. 21000/-, 11000/- and 5100/-, and so on. The prizes started from Rs. 10/-, for the youngest of the seeds, and there were competition for other prizes like Rs. Rs. 500/- 1100/-, 2100/-, 3100/- etc.
There was a huge crowd of wrestling fans gathered to watch the spectacular event. In the packed temple ground, spectators were shouting like kids on a rollercoaster ride, while the wrestlers were trying to pin their opponents.
It was a full-on entertainment for the onlookers. The excitement reached its peak during the last wrestling bout for the prize 21000/-.
The two well-trained wrestlers, Vikram Pehlwan of Sh. Guru Jasram Akhada, at Okhla Tank, New Delhi, and Parvesh, who wore red trunks (janghia), stole the show by their sheer power, tactics and fighting spirit.
The duration of their bout were extended many times by the dangal organizing committee on the requests of the referee, coaches and even the spectators,
Vikram kept his fighting spirit till the end even after he fell outside the pit onto the hard surface outside the ring and injured himself.
The bout was declared undecided eventually. The prize was distributed to both of them in equal parts. And the organizing committee went further to honor them with Rs. 2000/- each on the top of the prize for their fighting spirit and the way they entertained the crowd.
It was a memorable day for the visitors. It is unbelievable, without any help either from the government or corporate sponsors, that such incredible events take place in almost every corner of India.
Ordinary citizens and wrestling fans like Mr Vikram Singh Negi, an engineer by profession who contributed Rs. 21000/- for the final bout, exemplify the love of Indians for the sport. These are the people who keep the age-old tradition of Indian wrestling alive.