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Sep 24, 2011

The Fatehpur Dangal

By Deepak Ansuia Prasad

The wrestling had already begun when I reached Fatehpur. Every year the village organizes a dangal to celebrate Haryala Teez festival. Today was also the birthday of Raja Mihir Bhoj a popular Gurjar Clan king, so it was a very festive occasion.

Fatehpur is right on the border of Delhi and Haryana and wrestlers from far and wide had come to compete today.

The gurus and coaches were all honored and given pagri headdresses. Lots of important people from the Gurjar community came out to watch the wrestling. There was even a young woman, Sunita Gurjar, who had recently scaled Mount Everest. Her achievement was recognized with a 51000/- cash prize.

There were some very good wrestling matches during the day. Jeetu Pahalwan had a great bout against a very skilled opponent. Jeetu attacked his opponent with a technique called "Dhak". The other wrestlers saved himself, but not for long, Jeetu caught him with another moved and pinned him.

Gullu Pahalwan had a tough match against a heavier opponent, but managed to pin the man and win the bout.

Nitin Pahalwan of Guru Jasram Akhara used a technique called "Sakhi" to try to pin his opponent, but the other wrestler bridged his way out of it. Nitin wasn’t deterred, though. He almost had the guy that time, so he tried the move again. This time, his opponent wasn’t able to fight out of it and Nitin secured the pin to win the match.

Akash Pahalwan wrestled Arun Pahalwan of Sukhbeer Akhara in Noida. The two were evenly matched and in the end, the referee called it a draw.

Likewise, a wrestler named Ravi from Guru Sanjay Akhara battled Bhupinder of Guru Jasram, but neither wrestler was able to get a fall, so the match was declared a draw.

Rajesh Bhati went up against a younger, heavier opponent. He wrestled well and defeated the bigger man.

It started to rain, but the organizers kept the competition going so Vikram Pahlwan could wrestle. Vikram battled his opponent with all his might, but was not able to secure a win.