Kushti Wrestling: Of Red Soil And Spectacular Images

Ever since I discovered the world of Pakistani wrestlers and Pehalwan, I then stumbled upon the world of India’s Kushti Wrestling.  Here is a great read on this ancient Indian sport that was recently banned due to hazards* with the red soil.  [* I need to research further info on this.]

KOLHAPUR, INDIA – MARCH 22: Indian men practice the three thousand year old sport known as “Kushti”, a form of wrestling, in its traditional form at the fight club Shahupuri in Kolhapur, India. In this south-eastern Indian city Kushti has a long tradition. It used to be supported by local maharajas and is financed by the government. But its days are Last year, the Indian Fighters Federation in the capital of New Delhi stunned thousands of fighters when it announced prohibition of fighting on red soil and ordered fight clubs to buy mattresses for their arenas. Ending the traditional red clay wrestling was an idea sprouted from the aspiration to achieve more Olympic medals since the last and only medal India brought home in wrestling was a bronze in 1952. So far no one here in Kolhapur is buying the mattresses and instead they continue the rigorous schedule of waking up at 3:30am six times a week and practicing more than 6 hours every day. They live together in one small room above the arena and their only belongings are a blanket, a few items of clothes and some books about the art of Kushti. They have been compared to holy men because of their celibacy and dedication and they practice exercises like standing on one’s head for lengths of time to expel “filthy” thoughts. (Photo by Ami Vitale)

[SOURCE: Amy Vitale: Kushti Wrestling]

The photos I’ve posted here are from an amazing photographer named Ami Vitale.  She managed to perfectly capture the sublime beauty of these fighters in their natural element.

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3 thoughts on “Kushti Wrestling: Of Red Soil And Spectacular Images Leave a comment

  1. Iwork with Venezuelan stick fighters and alawys appreciate reading about others looking at other local comabtive arts.
    The pictures are beautiful.
    looking forward to reading more of your posts.
    Does the Hindunationalist group RSS ahve any link with the ashrams where you are?

  2. Michael, you can visit kolhapur or even banaras to experience the traditional kusti.

    BTW, there is nothing gay or erotic about kusti..

    it is just a way of looking at it..

  3. Michael, I seemed to have missed your post, and perhaps you might have also noticed that this is a “gay blog.” So, not only I might have alienated you (and I hope that I have not), I will prove to be NOT an authority on Kushti. I am more of an admirer of such fighters who tend to possess a physique I normally find beautiful.

    Ron, I don’t necessarily find Kushti “gay” or “erotic,” per say. I just find that certain bearish Kushti wrestlers are simply sublime to behold. They just happened to be involved in Kushti. That’s all.

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