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May 24, 2011

Photos of Akhara in Mumbai

Photos by Pierre

Akhara Photos From Delhi

Photos by Pierre

Kushti Article

Adityaraj Ghorapade, Lokmat Sangali- mob. 9421127645

Sagar of Delhi bags Katra-Chamba Kesari Dangal Title

Wrestler Sagar of Sat Paul Akhara in Delhi lifted 80th Annual Katra Chamba Keseari dangal after he defeated Pappu of Khanna in Punjab in the main bout played at Chamba two kilometers from holy town of Katra in district Reasi.
In the day-long dangal, president of J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association, Shiv Kumar Sharma was the chief guest, who gave Rs 4,000 cash prize to Sagar and Rs 2500 to wrestler Pappu. Sarpanch Chamba, Sham Singh presided. Assistant Sub-Inspector, Liaket Ali, Numbedars, Ratten Singh and Ram Rattan were guests of honour.
Dangal was organized by Village Welfare Committee Chamba under the aegis of J&K Indian Style Wrestling Association.
About 40 bouts were played in this dangal. The second main bout was won by Swarn Singh of Kot Bhawal beating Raju of Kapurthalla in Punjab to receive a cash prize of Rs 2500.
The third main bout remained undecided between Parveen of Jallander and Bobari of Jammu, resulting into both shared Rs 1500 cash prize. Fourth bout went to Murad Ali of Nagrota who trounced Billa of Jullinder.
Village Welfare Committee members and technical officials, who helped in smooth conduct of dangal were Sarpanch Sham Singh, Numberdar Ratten Singh, Shanker Dass, Jakker Hussian, Gain Chand, Ram Singh, Dalip Singh, Dillawar Singh, Pappu Lakri, Angrej Singh and Ved Parkash Singh.
Other Results: Kala of Nargada beat Shesha of BSF Jammu, Manjor of Jammu beat Krishan of Jullandher, Dheer of Amritsar beat Amir Khan of Jammu, Liakat Ali of Panthal beat Daleep Singh of Jammu, Kuldeep Singh of Ladha beat Raju of Jammu, Shesha of BSF beat Joga of Jalhander, Liaket Ali beat Bachan Singh of Jammu, Veera of Kapurthalla beat Shamsher of Jourian Jammu, Raj Kumar of Butan beat Sonu. Bouts between Mangha of Jullinder and Pappu of Jindrah and Veera of Kapurthalla and Laikat Ali of Panthal ended in a draw.

May 20, 2011

First “Rajasthan Kesari” Wrestling Competition Begins

On the occasion of Late Rajiv Gandhi’s (ex Prime Minister of India) 19th death anniversary, a 3 days (from 19th may to 21st may) wrestling competition would be organized by Akhil Bhartiya Rajiv Gandhi Smriti Dangal Samiti. The event was inaugurated by Mangi Lal Garasia (Sports & Youth Minister, Rajasthan) on 19th may around 6pm. The venue of the wrestling competition is Shri Chaturbhuj Hanuman Rashtriya Vyayamshala at Haridasji ki Magri, Malla Talai.
300 wrestlers from all over Rajasthan would be showing their valor & power. The objective of this wrestling competition is to give a strong platform to all wrestlers so that this royal & ancient sport of India doesn’t get extinguished. This is an effort to cheer up all wrestlers & to motivate them.
Guests of Opening Ceremony:
Other guests included, Sajjan Katara (M.L.A. of Girva), Ghanshyam Singh Krishnawat (President of Shri Hanuman Rashtriya Vyayam Shala), Jagdish Raj Srimali (national organization minister, Intak), Madhusudan Sharma (President of District Congress Committee Udaipur), Lalit Singh Jhala (District Games Officer, Udaipur), Choga Lal Bhoi (Director, Mewar Cable), Pyare Lal Sharma (Ex President Congress Samwadal, Udaipur), Lal Singh Jhala (President of Akhil Bhartiya Rajiv Gandhi Smriti Dangal Samiti) & Om Prakash Jain (Founder & secretary of Akhil Bhartiya Gandhi Smriti Dangal Samiti).
Lal Singh Jhala welcomed the guests and addressed all the participants. He said that Late Rajiv Gandhi was a very dynamic personality. He encouraged the participants to perform to their best level and be a part of national and international events. He said that sports facilities in Udaipur should be improved and like Jaipur international tournaments and cricket matches should be organized here as well. He requested Mangi Lal Garasiya and Dr. C.P. Joshi to help in the development of sports facility.

List of Wrestling Programs:

This wrestling competition would be divided among 5 major competitions which are as following:
Serial NumberName of CompetitionWeightTime limitNumber of rounds1st prize2nd prize3rd prize
1Virat Rajasthan Kesari70 kgs & above4 minutes(30 seconds rest)321000rs110000rs5000rs
2Mewar Kesari65 kgs & above4 minutes(30 seconds rest)35001rs3501rs2001rs
3Mewar Veer Abhimanyu60-65 kgs3 minutes(30 seconds rest)33501rs2001rs1501rs
4Mewar Veer Lav51-60kgs2 minutes(30 seconds rest)32001rs1501rs1001rs
5Mewar Veer Kush50 kgs2 minutes(30 seconds rest)32001rs1501rs1001rs
Sukta Singh of  Hanuman Garh won the first match against Balbir Singh of Bharatpur.
Closing Ceremony (21st may, 5:30pm at Shri Chaturbhuj Hanuman Rashtriya Vyayamshala at Haridasji ki Magri, Malla Talai).
Raghuveer Singh Meena (M.P. Udaipur) would be the honorable chief guest at the closing ceremony of this 3 day wrestling competition. Madhu Mehta (District Head Udaipur) along with Devaki Nandan Gurjar (Member of Congress Committee), Trilok Purbia (Ex M.L.A. Udaipur), Mahendra Singh Shekhawat (Vice Chairman, Municipality council), Ram Lal Meena (Secretary Engineer, Public Health department), Bharat Sharma-industrialist, Ganesh Lal Medhwal-Industrialist, Chatar Singh Rathore (Managing Director, Mewar High Tech Engineering) wil be present at the closing ceremony.

Malerkotla Wrestler Wins Title

Tribune News Service
Udhampur, May 19
Wrestler Abdul Gani from Malerkotla in Punjab won the 35th Gran Mord Kesari title 2011 by defeating wrestler Palla of Himachal Pradesh at Gran Mord in Reasi last evening. The dangal was organised jointly by the Gran Mord Dangal Committee and the Jammu and Kashmir Indian Style Wrestling Association.

Gani defeated Palla in the main bout lasting 19 minutes amid applause by a large number of lovers of this traditional form of wrestling. The winner, Abdul Gani, received Rs 6,500 while the runners up, Palla, received Rs 4,500. In all 55 bouts were played between wrestlers from Udhampur, Reasi, Jammu, Kathua, Rajouri, J&K police, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

The treasurer of the Indian Style Wrestling Association of India, Shiv Kumar Sharma, was the chief guest on the occasion. He gave away prizes to the wrestlers. The sarpanch of Gran Mord, Raj Kumar Sharma, presided over the function. Notably, such wrestling competitions have become quite popular among wrestlers of Jammu and Kashmir and the adjoining states due to the prize money involved in it.

In the second main bout, Sagar of Delhi defeated Pappu of Khanna, Punjab, in only four minutes. Sagar received Rs 4,000 while the runners-up got Rs 2,000. Kamaljot of Khanna, Punjab, who defeated Teg Ali of Malerkotla was awarded Rs 2,500 and the runners-up received Rs 1,500.

Sona of Amritsar defeated Mohammad Akram of Jammu in the fourth bout. He received Rs 2,000 reward while Akram received Rs 1,500. The fifth bout between Swaran Singh of Kot Bhalwal, Jammu, and Kallu of the Shiv Mandir Akhara, Jammu, ended in a draw.

May 19, 2011

Visit to Guru Premnath Akhara

Deepak Ansuia Prasad continues his exploration of akharas around Delhi with a visit to an unusual facility at Gur Mandi.

Dasharath Pahalwan, a friend of mine who is a wrestling coach and a physical education instructor recently invited me to visit Guru Premnath akhara in Gur Mandi, north Delhi.

Indian akharas are normally run by elders or gurus, adhering to the old customs and culture, requiring strict obedience to ancient rules. But Guru Premnath akhara is totally different. It is run by one young and experienced wrestler who is a reputed coach and referee, under the supervision of his father, Guru Premnath, who once in while will come and check the progress of the pupils.

Guru Premnath’s son Vikram Pahalwan was busy training the wrestlers when we reached the place. He welcomed us and started talking about the akhara. He said the akhara was first established in 1948 by Guru Baijnath, a disciple of Guru Hanuman. At that time settlers, slum dwellers and labourers used to live around here and the place was almost deserted. Guru Baijnath ran the akhara for a long time and then handed over the reins to Guru Premnath in 1976. He ran the akhara until about 5-6 years ago when Vikram Pahalwan took over.

The akhara is also known as Sonkar wrestling club, as the community around the akhara is known by that name. The community donates and helps in maintaining it.

Presently 13-14 national and international wrestlers along with a number of other pupils are being trained in the akhara, and many of the wrestlers are being sent to a wrestling camp for the upcoming junior national games to be held at Kanyakumar.

The akhara has a great history of producing renowned wrestlers like Sangeet, Laxmi Narayan of Orisa, Rajesh (Malwa) Pahlwan, Bitto and Mausam Khatri the great Olympic wrestler.

The wrestlers compete in all sort of wrestling competitions, national and international as well as dangals, the local wrestling matches. Recently one of the akhara’s wrestlers named Birju defeated the renowned wrestler Varun of Railway at a traditional wrestling competition at Jhansi, MP. Two girls of the akhara won in the national games and got medals, while a male wrestler won a medal in the Greco-Roman category.

The akhara is clean and well-maintained. It’s a two-story building with a dirt wrestling pit on the ground floor as well as a sauna and bathing facilities and a few rooms for the wrestlers. There are two big ropes hanging down from the top floor for climbing. It is amazing that without any commercial activities the akhara has sustained itself only with help from the guru and the Sonkar community. However, the mat could use a replacement, but mats are expensive and therefore help is needed the government or from a corporate donor.

All the wrestlers I talked to were happy with the facilities and the training provided by the akhara and were confident that they could win some medals in competition to make their coaches proud. All were from very poor families. “Why would a girl from a rich family practice wrestling?” asked Vikram Pahalwan.  “Wealthy people teach their children to stay away from harm.”

He said he went door to door to persuade people to send their daughters to learn wrestling. “It payed off and we have many girls learning wrestling here.” Vikram Pahalwan said that Haryana has done a great job helping medal winners secure government jobs and wished all the states would do the same. He told me the story of a wrestler who fractured his leg recently. There was nobody to support him because his parents were very poor and the medical expenses were so high. He had to collect donations in order to get him treated and is doing some daily chores like cleaning and maintaining the akhara to earn some income. “These children really need support,” he said.

Traditional dirt pit wrestling is still a breeding ground for wrestlers in India. It’s where new wrestlers are trained and after that they learn the international format. Traditional wrestling also offers wrestler the opportunity to earn some money in local wrestling competitions Vikram says.  

Vikram Pahalwan and his assistant, Bobby Sonkar, are both very dedicated to wrestling and hope that their students are able to turn their hard work into medals.