Kushti, Indian-style clay pit wrestling, has long been a favoured everyday pastime and sporting activity to keep fit and healthy. It would be foolish to underestimate the concept of pastime when it comes to kushti, because there are some serious components that are part of this practice, popular in village communities and many urban spaces too in India. There are communities where becoming a successful wrestler not only brings prestige to the family its true for the village community as well. In fact, kushti is a competitive, money-churning sport and has even enjoyed the patronage of kings, nobles and rich and powerful people.
Life in an akhara, or wrestling school, follows a strict routine. Potential pehelwans can even travel from faraway places to join an akhara of repute to further hone their skills. It is pretty much run like a boarding school, where every activity is regimented. Keeping fit and healthy is the key to developing your skills at the akahara.
Why you will love it
- Discovering the amazing world of Indian-style mud wrestling
- Trying a hand at kushti
- Witnessing a Dangal- (mud-wrestling competition) first hand
- Returning home with a new sports skill
What you will experience
Akharas or wrestling schools are the perfect place to experience the many aspects of kushti. You will have lots of fun learning all about the life of a kushti pehelwan in one of these traditional akharas. A lot of attention is also given to the quality of the clay pit where the wrestling is conducted. Throughout the day, efforts are maintained to keep it smooth and sanitised.
Being a mud pit wrestler requires discipline. Exercise and wrestling are part of the daily routine. A fit body and regular exercise routine to maintain the flexibility of different parts of the anatomy are critical to an excellent performance. Also, the more one does this the better skilled you will be to become a successful wrestler. The intake of food, a good night’s rest and a disciplined mind are all considered important components to this end. Though the food served is rich and nutritious (eggs, almonds, milk and mutton and lashings of ghee) it goes a long way in building one’s stamina and gets sweated out during a gruelling day. You might even want to try your hand at a bit of mud-wrestling with the guidance of the pehelwan! You will thrill to the amazing moves of the wrestlers in a traditional dangal (wrestling match).