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INDIA TRADITIONAL WRESTLING

© EPA/RAMINDER PAL SINGH

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Wrestlers pay obeisance and take blessings from Lord Hanumaan before starting their daily practice session at 'Akhara Krishan Pehalwaan' in Amritsar city, India, 15 July 2008. Indian form of wrestling which is known as 'Kushti' is an ancient form of warriorship where training is imparted in an 'Akhara', which is more like a temple-gymnasium dedicated to the Hindu God, Lord Hanumaan. Each 'Akhara' has a Guru or the Master whose wisdom guides the training of the wrestlers. In traditional Indian wrestling or 'Kushti', the wrestling match is played in the square dark red clay ground. The young wrestlers usually train two times a day; in the early morning and in the evening, six days a week. Indian wrestlers subscribe not only to a set of wrestling exercises but to a more elaborate way of life, i.e. diet, spirituality, ethics, etc. In the modern times, the gyms are preferred over 'Akharas' and a sculpted body is preferred over skilled fingers of a traditional wrestler. The trend of joining the 'Akharas' has diminished over the years.

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Taken on July 15, 2008