Inside the Akhara
"The oldest living city in the world".
This picture was shot inside the akhara's little room which is located nearby Scindia ghat along river Ganga in Vanarasi (Benaras).
I met this wrestler who knew that I took many pictures there, he asked me to take a few shots while he was practicing some exercise.
Wrestling takes place in akharas (gymnasia).
The members of an akhara are affiliated to the institution through their allegiance to a guru.
Every akhara is managed by a guru and a cohort of his age mates, guru-bhais, who are known by the junior members as dadas.
Wrestling in modern India is a synthesis of two different traditions: the Persian form of the art brought into South Asia by the Moguls, and an indigenous Hindu form that dates back at least to the eleventh century A.D.
For more informations about the way of life of the Hindu pahalwan, "The Wrestler’s Body : Identity and Ideology in North India" by Joseph S. Alter.
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