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In Pictures: Wrestling Indian style
In a cricket-obsessed nation, kushti - a traditional form of wrestling - still survives with many flexing their muscles.
Last updated: 30 Dec 2013 20:12
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Early mornings in many Indian cities and villages are still often marked by the loud grunts of thickset men grappling with each other in earth pits, punctuated with the thud of falling bodies.

Kushti - a traditional form of Indian wrestling - is alive and kicking, though it is not anywhere near as glamorous as the American WWE wrestling broadcast on TV.

Kushti wrestling has been a major feature of Indian sporting life for thousands of years, and it continues to attract men and women seeking to flex their muscle.

In a nation obsessed with cricket, every city and town boasts of a few akharas (wrestling schools) where wrestlers congregate daily to test their prowess.

It's a hard life and training sessions last for hours. Wrestling bouts are harder: there are no rounds, and matches are known to last for 20 to 30 minutes until one wrestler manages to pin his or her opponent by their shoulder to the ground.

A traditional wrestler also leads a life of abstience: sex, wine, tobacco and drugs are not permitted.

The tough sacrifices though have brought rich dividends. Though cricket stars hog the limelight, some wrestlers nurtured at the akharas have gone on to win medals at the international stage, including the Olympics.


/Arindam Mukherjee

Jawala Tiwari, one of the known names in Kushti, spars with his student in his akhara (wrestling school) in the eastern city of Kolkata.

/Arindam Mukherjee
Young kustigirs (wrestlers) listen to the trainer in an akhara in New Delhi.
/Arindam Mukherjee
Kids strengthen their leg muscles by hanging from a parallel bar in an akhara in Kolkata.
/Arindam Mukherjee
Man giving dips in an akhara in Burabazar in Kolkata, while another man waits with heavy wooden dumbbells called mugur.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A young boy practices chin-ups in an akhara near Burrabazzar in Kolkata.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A kustigir boy comes out from his resdential hut at an akhara in Old Delhi.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A kustigir grinds dry fruits which are to be taken with milk, a must-drink for a kustigir.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A kustigir preparing food for his group. All the work is done by young kustigirs in residential akharas.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A kustigir working on his forearms at an akhara in Kolkata.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A kustigir works with his dumbbells at an akhara in Old Delhi.
/Arindam Mukherjee
A kustigir using parallel bars before sparring in an akhara in Kolkata.
/Arindam Mukherjee
One kustigir carrying another in an akhara in Kolkata, an exercise done to strengthen the waist.
/Arindam Mukherjee
Two kustigirs have a massage with the soil of the practicing area. This soil is very soft and made from different herbs and Indian spices, and has immense medicinal value.
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images:
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captions:

Jawala Tiwari, one of the known names in Kushti, spars with his student in his akhara (wrestling school) in the eastern city of Kolkata.

;*;Young kustigirs (wrestlers) listen to the trainer in an akhara in New Delhi.;*;Kids strengthen their leg muscles by hanging from a parallel bar in an akhara in Kolkata.;*;Man giving dips in an akhara in Burabazar in Kolkata, while another man waits with heavy wooden dumbbells called mugur.;*;A young boy practices chin-ups in an akhara near Burrabazzar in Kolkata.;*;A kustigir boy comes out from his resdential hut at an akhara in Old Delhi.;*;A kustigir grinds dry fruits which are to be taken with milk, a must-drink for a kustigir.;*;A kustigir preparing food for his group. All the work is done by young kustigirs in residential akharas.;*;A kustigir working on his forearms at an akhara in Kolkata.;*;A kustigir works with his dumbbells at an akhara in Old Delhi.;*;A kustigir using parallel bars before sparring in an akhara in Kolkata.;*;One kustigir carrying another in an akhara in Kolkata, an exercise done to strengthen the waist.;*;Two kustigirs have a massage with the soil of the practicing area. This soil is very soft and made from different herbs and Indian spices, and has immense medicinal value. Daylife ID:
5e8a0d0b29b992d47f544bda4ce3eeb9
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee;*;Arindam Mukherjee
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Kushti: The Indian form of wrestlinghttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestlingen-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Mon, 25 Nov 2013 08:08:10 GMT http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/f689156584c29593712f43612e80b17d

Jawala Tiwari, one of the known names in Kushti, spars with his student in his akhara (club/group) in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/f689156584c29593712f43612e80b17dArindam Mukherjee

Jawala Tiwari, one of the known names in Kushti, spars with his student in his akhara (club/group) in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/d21dc46c500101f43a9d57c731a4bd43

Young kustigirs (wrestlers) listen to the trainer in an akhara in New Delhi.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/d21dc46c500101f43a9d57c731a4bd43Arindam Mukherjee

Young kustigirs (wrestlers) listen to the trainer in an akhara in New Delhi.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/2cbb173f1966959e9260d91a47eb4fa2

Kids strengthen their leg muscles by hanging from a parallel bar in an akhara in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/2cbb173f1966959e9260d91a47eb4fa2Arindam Mukherjee

Kids strengthen their leg muscles by hanging from a parallel bar in an akhara in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/a1fd804e7911c00e4a87cca14bbb88d7

Man giving dips in an akhara in Burabazar in Kolkata, while another man waits with heavy wooden dumbbells called mugur.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/a1fd804e7911c00e4a87cca14bbb88d7Arindam Mukherjee

Man giving dips in an akhara in Burabazar in Kolkata, while another man waits with heavy wooden dumbbells called mugur.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/4c45896ba813fe5a21313216d5fef0db

A young boy practices chin-ups in an akhara near Burrabazzar in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/4c45896ba813fe5a21313216d5fef0dbArindam Mukherjee

A young boy practices chin-ups in an akhara near Burrabazzar in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/db00ad9186be444bc1e9916563713d7f

A kustigir boy comes out from his resdential hut at an akhara in Old Delhi.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/db00ad9186be444bc1e9916563713d7fArindam Mukherjee

A kustigir boy comes out from his resdential hut at an akhara in Old Delhi.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/087bb02a20ee5c72bd89d995dd3af9ee

A kustigir grinds dry fruits which are to be taken with milk, a must-drink for a kustigir.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/087bb02a20ee5c72bd89d995dd3af9eeArindam Mukherjee

A kustigir grinds dry fruits which are to be taken with milk, a must-drink for a kustigir.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/995469c6862e5390655d2f2b2f43706c

A kustigir preparing food for his group. All the work is done by young kustigirs in residential akharas.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/995469c6862e5390655d2f2b2f43706cArindam Mukherjee

A kustigir preparing food for his group. All the work is done by young kustigirs in residential akharas.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/0c0233bc10a2a732870a72f306c1b562

A kustigir working on his forearms at an akhara in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/0c0233bc10a2a732870a72f306c1b562Arindam Mukherjee

A kustigir working on his forearms at an akhara in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/d717cd58e53af772725b05e6b54fea3c

A kustigir works with his dumbbells at an akhara in Old Delhi.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/d717cd58e53af772725b05e6b54fea3cArindam Mukherjee

A kustigir works with his dumbbells at an akhara in Old Delhi.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/ab41a04ff5826ac36025c809e9e0b544

A kustigir using parallel bars before sparring in an akhara in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/ab41a04ff5826ac36025c809e9e0b544Arindam Mukherjee

A kustigir using parallel bars before sparring in an akhara in Kolkata.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/e37d954bc1b98db7de62d69769eeb495

One kustigir carrying another in an akhara in Kolkata, an exercise done to strengthen the waist.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/e37d954bc1b98db7de62d69769eeb495Arindam Mukherjee

One kustigir carrying another in an akhara in Kolkata, an exercise done to strengthen the waist.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/8bd652390bd1d52bed5909bcf6409919

Two kustigirs have a massage with the soil of the practicing area. This soil is very soft and made from different herbs and Indian spices, and has immense medicinal value.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Kushti%3A_The_Indian_form_of_wrestling/slideshow/no-caption/8bd652390bd1d52bed5909bcf6409919Arindam Mukherjee

Two kustigirs have a massage with the soil of the practicing area. This soil is very soft and made from different herbs and Indian spices, and has immense medicinal value.



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