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

Sep 2, 2010

Kushti Retains Old-World Charm

The Hindu: S. Sandeep Kumar

Lodh Kshatriya Samaj holds contests annually
200 contestants from twin cities take part
Hyderabad: It had all the makings of a colosseum. As one walked into the pitch dark corridor of Mohandas Mutt Mini stadium near Jali Hanuman temple in Dhoolpet, one could feel the ground vibrating and the air resonated of whistles, claps and cheering. Welcome to the Lala Kesari Wrestling Championship.
But for those two wrestlers, who were dressed in vibrant suits, circling around the ring, the noise from the crowd would have been drowned. They moved with agility and were flexible to the core.
If an opponent made a move, the other one made sure to deflect his attack. The place was energised and the crowd's cheering was testimony to that.
It was a display of sheer strength. Wrestlers slapped their muscles as a sign of aggression before starting a fight. On the other hand, people waited with bated breathes as the wrestlers took their place in the ring.
All they had to do was to pin their opponent to the ground and score points. But it's easier said than done. Whenever two wrestlers got into the ring, their fights seemed full of surprises.
The coaches were seen standing at their respective ends of the ring, shouting and cautioning their students to be careful of their opponents move.
The Lodh Kshatriya Samaj has been organising the competitions for decades now and the experience of watching it from the stands is something different than watching it on TV. Conducted in eleven different categories based on the participants' weight, nearly 200 contestants from traditional akkadas of twin cities fight for the Lala Kesari Championship and Balaji Singh Pehalwan title.
Over 25 contestants fight in each category and 10 specialists from GHMC sports wing and Andhra Pradesh Sports Academy act as referees for each match, says Lodh Kshatriya Samaj committee member Ravinder Singh.
Every year, the competitions commence on Raksha Bandhan day and are held for three to four days.
Three winners are selected from each category and are presented with gold, silver and bronze medals.
But the Lala Kesari title championship is exclusive for the 76 to 90 kilograms category and the winner would be presented with Hanumanji's silver gada and a shield, he informs.
“Wrestling is a good physical activity and keeps one fit. The objective behind conducting these contests is to continue the traditional kushti and evoke interest among youngsters,” says Mr. Singh.

No comments: