• A-AA+
  • NotificationWeb

    Title should not be more than 100 characters.


    0

WeatherBannerWeb

Asset-Herausgeber

kushti

Kolhapur has a long history of kushti (wrestling) and has produced many noted wrestlers. The sport flourished during the reign of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj (ruled 1894–1922), who is remembered for being a progressive ruler who brought about many social reforms. During this period, Shahu Maharaj built akharas all over Kolhapur and organized wrestling tournaments, inviting legendary wrestlers from across India. Since then, Kolhapur’s wrestling culture is dominated by Gangaves Akhada, Shahupuri Akhada, Moti Bagh Akhada and New Moti Bagh Akhada. In each of these Akhada-s, many wrestlers undertake Taleem or training. Hence, the akhada is colloquially also known as Taleem.


Kolhapur has a long history of kushti (wrestling) and has produced many noted wrestlers. The sport flourished during the reign of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj (ruled 1894–1922), who is remembered for being a progressive ruler who brought about many social reforms. During this period, Shahu Maharaj built akharas all over Kolhapur and organized wrestling tournaments, inviting legendary wrestlers from across India. Since then, Kolhapur’s wrestling culture is dominated by Gangaves Akhada, Shahupuri Akhada, Moti Bagh Akhada and New Moti Bagh Akhada. In each of these Akhada-s, many wrestlers undertake Taleem or training. Hence, the akhada is colloquially also known as Taleem.
Families aspire to send their children to the Taleem-s from an early age. Daily life at a taleem is based on egalitarianism, strict discipline, a healthy diet, high morals and ethical living. When a Pehelwan or a wrestler completes his tenure at the taleem, it brings high social status for the entire family. Many families in Kolhapur have a history in wrestling and they want to continue the tradition, irrespective of the high cost and sacrifices made. Though the fees paid to gurus are nominal, monthly expenditure on food and dietary supplements cost anything between 10 to 25 thousand rupees depending on the age and size of the wrestler. The agrarian economy acts as a lifeline for the sustenance of wrestling in this region. Most Pehelwan-s belong to farmer families and their income depends on a good agricultural harvest. During a severe drought in the Marathwada region, many Pehelwan left training and returned home because their farmer parents were unable to support them. Even tournaments can get cancelled during years of bad harvest.
However, kusti has seen a shift in fortune in the last decade. Renewed interest in the sport was triggered after Sushil Kumar won bronze and silver medals in consecutive Olympics (2008, 2012), and Yogeshwar Dutt won a bronze medal (2012 Olympics). 
The rise in popularity of the sport has also brought new zeal in pursuing a career in wrestling. In the government sector, wrestlers can also get jobs through the sports quota. Many wrestlers go on to become coaches working with government bodies, or they independently run their Akhada-s in the service of the sport.

Districts/Region

Maharashtra, India.

Cultural Significance

Kolhapur has a long history of kushti (wrestling) and has produced many noted wrestlers. The sport flourished during the reign of Chatrapati Shahu Maharaj (ruled 1894–1922), is remembered for being a progressive ruler who brought about many social reforms.


Images