Pehalwan ji, wrestling no more?

Posted on January 15, 2009
Filed Under >Darwaish, Society, Sports
Total Views: 74668



There was a time when being a Pehalwan was a way of life, an art and a passion.

Thousands of people used to watch Rustum-i-Pakistan which was a very popular event in Lahore (just like a one day cricket game these days). You could easily find many Ukhara’s or Akhara’s (kinda small stadiums where traditional wrestlers exercise) in the city with Pehalwans doing their routine exercises but not anymore.

I have some wonderful childhood memories of having Khalis Lassi (sorry folks, I don’t know what Lassi is called in English but Khalis means Pure) near Pehalwani neighborhoods just behind Lahore Fort.

Going there once in a month with family for traditional Lahori Nashta+Lassi was just great. Not to mention some serious exercise was a must and we used to skip lunch after having that Nashta+Lassi. I don’t know if the quality and taste is still the same, I haven’t been there in ages which is sad.

Even today, if you ask any of your grandparents they would definitely tell you wonderful stories about the legendary Gama Pehalwan or Imam Bux (Bukhsh) Pehalwan or other world famous ambassadors of this beautiful sport (most recently the Bholu brothers: Aslam, Akram, Goga and Azam). People in their mid-twenties may still remember the grand event that took place many many years ago when a number of wrestlers (including Hulk Hogan, The Mask Man, The Under-Taker etc.) from all around the world came to Pakistan and we were entertained with traditional Pehalwani vs Hollywood wrestlers. I still remember Jhara Pehalwan vs Hollywood Hogan :o) which Jhara won of course.

[ATP adds: For a generation before that it was the great Japanese wrestler Anoki who came to Lahore to wrestle, I think, Akram Pehalwan... I believe Anoki won, big time!]

Sadly, the art of pehalwani has slowly been diminishing in Lahore. Though I have had a chance to see some healthy signs in Gujranwala (Gujranwala is called the ‘City of Pehalwans’). A serious effort is needed from people and the local government to revive this beautiful art/game in Lahore otherwise it’s not that far when we will only be finding Pehalwani in history books.

47 Comments on “Pehalwan ji, wrestling no more?”

  1. Erum Siddique says:
    August 19th, 2006 5:20 pm

    loved this post. Gama was world champion? coolness ;/

  2. sepoy says:
    August 19th, 2006 6:04 pm

    i wrote something on pehlawani a while back – art of pehlwani. glad to see that the lassis & akharas of lahore is remembered by others.

  3. August 19th, 2006 11:40 pm

    Sepoy, thank you for that fascinating link and the historical context to this. Gama, of course, was the stuff legends are made of. And I suspect that some of it was really just ‘legend’. But a worthwhile legend at that. Up to my grandparents generation, and into my parents, there was a certain Lahori nationalist pride in Gama that makes better sense after reading your post (readers, see link in Sepoy’s message above).

    In many ways the stardom of Hashim and Roshan Khan with squash was similar. Supermen from the colonized subcontinent triumphant as world champions, including literally their masters… as the Pehalwans would say “Dhaa liya aye!”

  4. Roshan Malik says:
    August 20th, 2006 1:37 am

    Though Jhara emerged as the last icon in Bholu family and unfortunately died ATearly age but my favourite was Nasir Bholu.

  5. Erum Siddique says:
    August 20th, 2006 7:40 am

    question: why would anyone in lahore be interested in pehalwani today? i dont know but it seems something really old fashioned in this modern age. something that should remain in history books. i find it hard to imagine people wrestling in akhara in today’s lahore.

    just a thought

  6. Imran says:
    August 22nd, 2006 1:54 pm

    well you can change every sport according to changing times but that doesn’t mean you totally ignore it.

    If rural areas around lahore, i am sure you will find a lot of people more than interested in pehalwani.

    I was just wondering you guys didn’t mention anything about other pehalwaans (haddi jorne wale pehalwaan ji) who used to fix broken bones. One delicate touch and even a seriously fractured bone used to get fixed. You know what I mean?

  7. Imran says:
    August 22nd, 2006 1:55 pm

    *If you go to rural areas of lahore

  8. Adnan Ijaz says:
    December 8th, 2006 1:58 pm

    Thanks Darwaish for your article! I can’t gree more that we must make an effort to revive this beautiful sport. Every country in the world has their own unique sports and and cultural events. Rustam’s Pakistan could be our cultural event that we are proud of. Not to mention that copying other sports that do not truely define who we are sort of kills what we are. You can always be great in a sport that you belong to and love. And, that is what makes Art.
    Adnan, USA.

  9. Saira Ejaz Durrani says:
    December 15th, 2006 5:36 pm

    unfortunately many of the pehalwaans in lahore started gunda gardi and badmaashi during late 80′s and 90′s. and there were also accusations of noora kushti which i think gave very bad name to this sport. i do not think the kind of traditional pehalwaani you are talking about can be revived in this modern age.

    nice post btw. you should write more about these things rather than boycotts and politics :)

  10. Salman Shahzad says:
    December 18th, 2006 3:41 pm

    i think it was akram pehalwan who died because of a flying kick by his nephew nasir bholu during a match? anyone knows who is rustum e pakistan these days? lassi, yes i remember that well. kia yaad kara dia!

  11. Glenn says:
    March 14th, 2007 12:53 am

    Are there any schools still training wrestlers today? How can we find them?

    Please email me at if you have any info.



  12. muna bahi says:
    May 17th, 2007 10:42 pm

    pehalwan ki dhooti bhi kesi ko pheeer doo tu pregnent hoo jati haa Female :P its true

  13. Vijay says:
    June 5th, 2007 12:52 am

    On this side of border,Kushti is still popular in Delhi and parts of U.P.and moreover in Maharashtra. In Delhi Weekly bouts are being held in specially earmarked park in front of Jama Masjid.
    So we are the same so far as Kushti is concerned.

  14. Irfan Bajwa says:
    June 27th, 2007 6:15 pm
  15. Irfan Bajwa says:
    June 27th, 2007 6:17 pm

    ‘The Lion of the Punjab’ – Gama in England, 1910

  16. mazhar butt says:
    August 6th, 2007 5:24 am

    The Great Gama

    You can see a rare picture of Gama fighting Zbyszko in the Akhara,,,,,click to :

    The following article was written by Nadeem S. Haroon for his website; however, the site no longer exists. A copy of the site was provided to me by Avo Siismets, and I decided to put the article here without permission. If you are/know Mr. Haroon, please let me know.

    India is often associated with beggars and fakirs. Not many in the West especially the United States, know that its people rank amongst the most athletic and warlike in the World.

    In India, wrestling is as old as written history. Indian wrestlers are huge men almost as big as the sumo giants of Japan. However, no man can become champion through brute force alone. There are a thousand (and one)”holds” in Indian wrestling, and the most skillful grapplers like Great Gama reign supreme.

    His real name was Ghulam Mohammed. A Muslim of Kashmiri wrestling stock. Gama defeated all comers in India with the exception of the extraordinary Ghulam Mohiuddin, with whom he had a two hour draw. His toughest opponent ever, was the 6’9″ 270lb, Rahim Bux Sultaniwala. His victories over foreign wrestlers include Stanislaus Zbyszko (Poland), Dr. Benjamin Roller (U.S.), Johann Lemm (Switzerland), Maurice Deriaz (France), Jesse Peterson (Sweden), etc.

    Although he challenged many others including Japanese judo champion Taro Miyake, no one dared to come forward. George Hackenschmidt and Frank Gotch also declined to face Gama or others of his troupe. According to Nat Fleischer of Ring Magazine he was the only grappler of modern times who could have been a master of both Gotch and Hackenschmidt. Gama was employed by the Maharajah of Datia after the death of Gama’s father, Aziz Pehelwan. Later he was patronized by the Maharajah of Patiala.

    After patition of India, Gama moved to the new state of Pakistan where he lived with his brother, Indian Champion Imam Bux and nephews: the famous Bholu Brothers. In 1963 he lost to the angel of death and is burined in Lahore – The City of Wrestlers and Warriors.

  17. Khalid says:
    August 12th, 2007 6:22 am

    Gama Pehalwan was totally unique. He fought over 5000 fights, winning each except one which was a draw. He was five foot eight inches tall and drew against Khuda Dad Bux who stood seven feet three inches. The first round lasted for three hours and was halted by the Raja of Bikaner. Gama fought europeans, americans and russians. He had no children but he trained his nephews, who despite their claims were no were close to him. They were not as fit, only using their reputation to collect extortion money from the shops around their ‘dojo”.
    All this pales against the excercises that he orignated, referred erronouslly as “hindustani excercises”. In this day of arthritis they are a sure shot way of keeping supple, fit and strong even in the old age. They rely on a persons own body weight rather than extra weights. Injury is unheard of doing these and these are suitable for both men and women.
    It is a shame that even his own family have forgotten these.

  18. programmingdrone says:
    August 19th, 2007 9:53 pm

    In the past, there were big sponsors of wrestling, such as the rich rajas and nawabs, who paid the pehlawans, took care of their diet and exercise, and organized the wrestling bouts.

    Nowadays, there are no sponsors as Kushti is considered old and out of fashion.

    Activities such as cricket, and video games have taken its place.

    Reminds me of the last of the samurais in Japan. That breed also died out when their sponsors left them.

    Thus the only way to revive Kushti/Pehlawani would be to sponsor pehlawans and popularize the sport once again. Another way would be for the Pakistani pahlawans to learn GrecoRoman or free style wrestling and participate in the Olympics.

  19. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    September 14th, 2007 11:24 am

    Pehalwani in Pakistan has disappeared alas !! was wonderful sport that Pakistanis could not preserve like The Tramway and many other antiques, instead continue Patang bazi which is indeed a murdereous sport cost 30 to 40 lives (officially) every Basant, it seems this attitude is reflected in nearly every walk of life, the sense of priority, am I exaggerating ? We have sacrified enormous talents in other sports, but still clinging with the damned CRECKET. throw it out of Pakistan please.!!!

  20. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    September 14th, 2007 11:28 am

    Very very sorry it is indeed CRICKET and not crecket, anyway does’nt change anything !!! chiaooooooo

  21. Faraz says:
    October 12th, 2007 10:07 pm

    By the way , that dude in the black and white photo looks so much like a giant baby in a big white diaper!

  22. saqlain khan says:
    January 8th, 2008 6:08 am

    main taqatwar banaey key liye kis qisum ki food khao takha duniya ka fastest bowler bun jao aur moota be na hoo plz bataoo

  23. February 6th, 2008 9:47 am

    may bhee multan say hon mery bachpan bhee inhe galyounmay gazra hay

  24. wwe great says:
    February 22nd, 2008 5:34 am

    To no wonder everyone might have known about WWE.To know more about wwf wrestling,wrestling matches,wrestling legends,body fitness, wrestling legend

  25. Deepak says:
    April 30th, 2008 10:27 am

    can somebody provide picture of the great Rahim baksh sultani wala. The one and the only one who made the great gama pahelwan struggle for victory, and even the gama pahelwan praised the great rahim baksh sulatniwala

  26. arhan says:
    June 6th, 2008 4:29 am

    I like kushti any one can tell me about wrestling institutes in pak.

  27. abid (younger bro. of jhara) says:
    July 22nd, 2008 7:33 am

    The nations who forget their traditions they don’t survive in this world. my family have 3 world champions.

    1.The Great GAMA Pehalwan:
    He defeated Zibisco in England Wimbley & The British Queen rewarded him with World Champ. belt.

    2.Ghulam pehalwan:
    The first subcontinental world champ.Mr.Nehru
    took him to England to wrestle for The World Championship title.

    3. The Great Imam Buksh(Rustam-e-Hind):
    He wrestled with many great wrestlers of the world and won all of them.He also defeated the great German
    wrestler, Crimer.

    4.Bholu Pehalwan:
    He defeated Henry Perry,World Champ. and won the title.

    5.JHARA Pehalwan (The great wrestler)
    He defeated Antonio Anoki,Japanese World champ when he was only 19.Antonio’s fight with M.Ali,the boxer was a draw.Jhara also defeated World Champ. St. Johns.Jhara was an undisputed champ in his lifetime.

    6.Azam Pehalwan:
    He defeated Antrakhez from Holland who won the olympic & Karate world championship thrice.

  28. Aadil Aijaz says:
    July 22nd, 2008 11:46 am

    Very interesting post!!!

  29. Usman Butt says:
    July 28th, 2008 5:12 am

    I am proud of Rahim Bakhsh Sultaniwala because he was also of kashmiri heritage like me and was also from my city Gujranwala, Elders in my town tell that he was almost 7 feet tall and has one of the finest bodies they had ever seen.He was the only wrestler who gave the Great Gama tough time and Gama could not defeat him. our city is city of wrestlers and Rahim Baksh Sultaniwala is the king of all wrestlers from Gujranwala to this day.

  30. December 14th, 2008 11:13 pm

    Good Work,

    The Photos and the theory was quite good, iam an indian but all the stories about the Great Gama pahelwan, Akram pahelwan, Jhara pahelwan etc,. respectively I use to hear from my father same exactly as the way mentioned above, they were just rock solids and disciplined. This is what a “Desi” is what all about what the other nations came and experienced.

  31. Anwar says:
    January 15th, 2009 4:11 pm

    Great post – do not remember which year but once upon a time on PTV I saw Akram losing and complaining of dislocated shoulder during the very first few minutes of the first round with Anoki, I knew it was a waste of time… These guys were not used to scientific wrestling and relied heavily of weight (I remember Bhoulu jumping on his opponent as large watter balloon..) Well that was fun and funny….
    Anoki and Mohamad Ali’s fight was a joke – Anoki remianed on the mat and kicked in the air while the “butterfly” kept punching the same air – both parties made good money and lived happily thereafter for few months….
    Enjoyed the post…

  32. Zia says:
    January 16th, 2009 12:40 am

    So Nice! you waked up ages back memories. In our childhood we used to see such wrestling but now days’ fast life has snatched all such traditions as well as our childhood memories.

    I remember papa used to take us to such ‘okharas’ twice a month or more, and we all siblings used to start getting ready very excitedly. May Allah bring us those days back!

  33. Faraz S. says:
    January 16th, 2009 1:12 am

    Many of the commenters here appear to be very knowledgeable on this topic, how about aggregating their knowledge on wikipedia.

    The existing articles about these great wrestlers can be improved, new images can be added, and new articles for some of the missing wrestlers can be added. For example, I can’t find anything on Rahim Baksh SultaniWala on wikipedia other than a short reference of his encounters with the Great Gama (

  34. January 16th, 2009 1:23 am

    Lassi would be buttermilk. In India, pahalwans are much in demand during elections! Perhaps they should explore this new career option in Pakistan too.

  35. January 16th, 2009 1:45 am

    Also, you might want to check out these 2 links (on wrestling in India and wrestling in general), both in Mint.

  36. Wajiha says:
    January 16th, 2009 2:44 pm

    I often share stuff from ATP and other sites via google reader and facebook or personal experiences via blogs with friends some of whom are foreigners, so i try to find an english approximation or at least an explanation for the traditional things mentioned … couldn’t find one for lassi after reading darwaish’s post … ‘buttermilk’ doesn’t do justice … but at least we can explain what it is thanks to wikipedia:

    Lassi aficionados might feel the urge to expand it :)

  37. PMA says:
    January 16th, 2009 5:23 pm

    “Another way would be for the Pakistani pahlawans to learn Greco Roman or free style wrestling and participate in the Olympics.”

    Isn’t the style of wrestling we are speaking of here the ‘Greco-Roman’ style (with some variation) to begin with? The art arrived in the region via Persia and has a definite set of rules like all other sports. ‘Pahalwan’ is a Persian world meaning ‘strong man’ and ‘Rustam’ was the legendary wrestler in ancient Persia. On the other hand ‘free-style’ wrestling is invention of much later modern times.

  38. PMA says:
    January 16th, 2009 5:42 pm

    Usman Butt: Rahim Buksh Sultaniwala (Rima Pahalwan) father of Aslam (Acha Pahalwan) Sher-e-Pakistan was a relatively tall man but not a ‘seven foot’ tall. My guess is that he was close to six. Acha won his title by defeating Haji Afzal of Lahore on a Pakistan Day ‘Dangle’ held in Iqbal (Manto) Park in Lahore and was broadcast live on Radio Pakistan.

  39. Owais Mughal says:
    January 16th, 2009 5:45 pm

    PMA saheb, good to see you back on these pages

  40. bonobashi says:
    January 17th, 2009 5:43 am


  41. bonobashi says:
    January 17th, 2009 5:57 am

    So sorry, people, for this ‘afterthought’.

    Just found an entry in Wikipedia – it’s called Pehlwani.

    Seems to need editing; it contains references only to recent developments in India. It’s also not very good about other styles of wrestling, or about specific techniques and methods. Would someone knowledgeable about developments in Pakistan, and about specifics, please step in?

  42. PMA says:
    January 17th, 2009 11:58 am

    bonobashi: The Persian word ‘pah-la-wan’ is from stem word ‘pah-low’ meaning brave, strong, and lion heart. From ancient Persia (the art and) the word entered into various South Asian languages. In Urdu, like in Persian, it is pronounced as ‘pah-la-wan’ (there is a pause at ‘h’) and in Punjabi as ‘phal-wan’. Darwaish, the author of this post has chosen to spell it as ‘pehal-wan’. But that is OK. We have enjoyed the post all the same. Roman, Greek and Persian antiquity have often depicted wrestlers and wrestling scenes. Modern Olympics have standardised the rules to make the sport more international otherwise it has many variations in styles and rules. For instance in Pakistan wrestling is done on a pad of soft soil where one is allowed to sprinkle soil on opponents body to make it less slippery. Olympic style is different in that aspect. And one last word. Wikipedia, even though useful, is not a totally reliable source of information.

  43. Taimur says:
    January 17th, 2009 1:51 pm

    Very informative article and excellent and useful discussion.

    I agree that Wikipedia is actually not a very good source of information on many things and we should really not be citing it as a ‘source’

  44. atif says:
    January 19th, 2009 9:19 am

    darwaish bhai sahib :) ha ha haa.. I think this pehlwani culture existed somewhere in androon lahore.. inside bhatti lahore bhatti.. (ha ha) I grew up in lahore, never really had the nashta scene and pehlwani was not even available to watch.

  45. Sean says:
    August 17th, 2009 2:46 am

    What is Badmashi? What is Noora Kushti?
    Glen – there are training places – e-mail to me and I will tell you what I know. (
    There is a cousin of the Bholus living in England, who tries very hard to collect and maintain all the Phaelwan information.

    I am in USA, and I do wish someone would start Kushti here.


  46. shamsher ali says:
    December 4th, 2009 12:20 pm

    Have been reading about so many strongman wrestlers of yesteryears who were lucky to be patronized by princely states and achieved world wide fame and recognition in there eras, so hats off to all those patronizers who helped these great indian wrestlers.But every wrestler was not lucky enough to be spotted,those wrestlers from areas which were away from these princely states were famous in only there small regions as they didn’t get exposure or the luck was not on there side to be spotted for bigger arenas of wrestling.

    One such pahelwan was Ch. Rati Ram Malik or nick named Rattia Mhaal (in haryanvi Mhaal means pahelwan of pahelwans pronunced as Ma; hl) of village Nangal Kheri or Gadi (siva gadi) near the city of Panipat.He belonged to the JAT community.
    Born in 1900 or 1901. This man was 6.4 inches in height and was a true mascular specimen of the strength of the alaskan grizzly bears.He was stout and muscular with big heavy and broad bones and didnt had the usual heavy protruding belly of heavyweight wrestlers . His exercise routine included sometimes 10,000 dands and 10,000 baithaks when he was in full flow,besides these to gain strength in doing his baithaks he carried two men on his shoulders,he used to lift a concrete roller called GIRDI in haryanvi, which is used for agricultural purposes ,it weighs around 400 to 500 kgs and is still present in his native village.Only after watching this GIRDI can ONE imagine the monstrous strength of RATIA MHAAL.
    Guys this is no fabled 5000 year old story this is reality i myself have come across a wrestler who does 3000 dands and 3000 thousand baithaks and he told me how four of them of nearly same strength tried to lift that Roller but they could just move one part of it the other part still on the ground and in the process one of them injured his wrists .Now i would like to tell you that two of the same wrestlers had once lifted my own TATA SAFARI FROM A DITCH FROM THE FRONT PART,THE ENGINE PART WHICH IS THE HEAVIEST PART so these guys are no pushovers and these guys say they coulnt move the roller which Rati Ram Pahelwan picked with ease and threw it over his shoulder to practise his strength and repaeted it many times .The wrestlers themselves say that theirs fathers and older folk who as small kids saw Rati Ram Pahelwan lift that roller in even his older days say that how powerfull he was, so it became a benchmark for them and nobody has been able to lift it with help from others leave alone singlehandedly.
    Difficulty for lifting this roller increases as it is round and has no place to grip it so only option is to use sheer bear strength to hug it and lift it on the shoulders which Ratia Mhaal had and it is a testimony to his massive strength which is justified in the form of that roller.He used to eat 1 kg of ghee once at a time, 15 kgs of milk along with loads of dry fruits.He ate a vegetarian diet. And in preparation of a wrestling bout he ate ( 1 or ek mun) or 40 kgs of ghee in fifteen days

    Old folk tell how Ratia pahelwan once pulled a full grown male buffalo from a village well single handedly tied with a rope , and once while he was having his food in the fields a full grown donkey started honking near him he tried to shoo him away but the ass didn’t pay heed so he caught hold of the ass with one of its legs and threw it away like a pillow. People said he caught a full grown powerfull male buffalo tied with a rope to its neck and the buffalo was made to run it wouldn’t move against the strength of Ratia Mhaal such was his enormous strength. Once at the time of Ratia Mhaals older days in his 70′s a man tried to check his famous strength, he purpose fully filled his bullock cart with sugar cane which everybody claimed was nearly 700 to 800 kgs and got it stuck in a drain and asked for Ratia Mhaals help. Ratia Mhaal took his shoulders under the bullock cart and asked the driver to move the cart forwards with the bullocks help but instead of making the cart go forward the man tried to take the cart backwards with the bullock’s help but little did he imagine about Ratia Mhaals enormous strength that the whole bullock cart along with load and the bullock went rolling forwards from the ditch .Hence we can imagine how strong he would have been in his heydays it is unbelievable.

    It is said that he threw his opponents in matter of seconds ,all these sayings of his enormous super human strength are proved only after one watches the GIRDI or Roller which he lifted for his strength training and repeated it many times,it still lies in the village Nangal Kheri, todays wrestlers and power lifters try to lift it but even 4or 5 of them can only lift one part,the other part remians on the ground few of them have got there wrists broken trying to lift it. Had this super human called RATIA MAAL got the required exposure he would have pinned all the wrestlers during the 1920s to 1950 the time of his prime. With no disrespect to some famous pahelwans of that era it was there good fortune that Ratia Pahelwan remained famous only the region from sonipat to karnal and was not patronised by a princely state. Once this famous wrestler was spotted by a British Officer while he was on a hunting expedition he took Ratia Mhaal who was a 20 year old then and told him to join British Army and train as pahelwan and that he would give him all the support to train as he saw his emormous strength . But his mother brought him back saying he was there only son and if something happened to him who would look after their vast lands. Only if he had taken this opportunity for a bigger stage he would have got the fame he deserved .

    Older folk in the village nangal kheri say they didn’t knew much about Gama Pahelwan and other big wrestling names as there were no means to get such news in that era as it was a backward area then and moreover there was nobody to guide Rati Ram as his elder brother had an untimely death who was equally strong and wanted to make his younger brother Rati Ram a wrestler whose mere mention would make wrestlers lose the sleep as he had seen the monstrous strength of his younger sibling, Ratia Mhaal was 18 when his elder brother died, people say his brother challenged Rati Ram in his training days to till one acre of land with plough pulled by Rati Ram and one acre of land ploughed by a pair of oxens and Ratia Mhaal did it before the oxens could plough one acre such was his super human strength .

    People say had there village been close to any of the princely states and like royal patrons Indor, Kolhapur, Rampur Patiyala who famously gave a big filip to wrestling, the story of world champion would have been different.There are no records of Ratia Maals wrestling bouts because of illetracy and remoteness but according to older folks once in a wresting dangal(competiton) in a nearby annual fair a famous wrestler from Uttar Pradesh who was 6.9 feet in height(as they say he was more than a palm taller than Ratia Mhaal) and who famously had super strength to tear people apart he challenged all jats from delhi to kurukshetra that he would smash two jat wrestlers to the ground at a time at this point Ratia Mhaal accepted his challenge and within seconds Ratia Mhaal hurled this 6.9feet big giant on the ground and caught him from his feet and hurled him towards a tree bark like a doll at this moment the big giant from uttar pradesh was terrified and was trembling with fear he fell at Ratia Mhaal’s feet and begged for his life and vowed never to use such egoist language in his life again. Old folk now say that he was famous wrestler from U.P but dissappered quickly from the mela as he didn’t want subcontinent people to know that with his reputation and strength how he was destroyed by man named Rati Ram from nangal kheri who later on was called Ratia Mhaal after many such astonishing victories .People saw Ratia Mhaals real strength that day that how he threw such a big and heavy man like a gudia (doll).

    The people in these areas claim that this fair, handsome and powerfull pahelwan called RATIA MHAAL was three times as powerfull as the GAMA pahelwan and that RATIA MAAL would have defeated the great Gama with ease such was the enormous strength and technique of this POWERFULL HULK called RATIA MAAL.OlD folk say he ran terror in opponents eyes and shiver around there spines when he caught opponents by their waists and hurled them over as even the heavist of wrestlers can be no more than 200kgs whearas Ratia Mhaal hugged that girdi or roller of over 400kgs to practice his strength.
    His ankles(or gatte as we call in our language) were around six inches wide (LATERAL MALEOLUS AND MEDIAL MALEOLUS) these are the two protruding bones sideways just before the leg bone is attached to the feet and knees were equally broad .I got this measurement from an old man who
    said he was in awe of Ratia Mhaal and he measured it out of curiosity when this wrestler died at the age of 85.That man
    joined all his eight fingers and showed they were this wide (and that man had thick fingers) he gave a 3.5 inch width for his wrists.Mind you i am talking about the width of the ankles and wrists measured sideways and not girth.

    He said Rati Ram Pahelwan’s pyre needed four times the wood of a normal well built man as he had massively wide and heavy bones but even at 85 years of age he still had a stout and strong muscular body without any signs of fat though not as muscular as the one he had been at the time of prime of his youth as he himself saw the strong man at the time of his funeral,he said people were worried that despite four times wood needed for his pyre (than an ordinary well built man) it won’t burn his heavy bones and in the morning their apprehension was vindicated as they found big unburnt bones when they went to collect his ashes . It is unfortunate that this powerful hulk remained hidden from the pages of Indian wrestling history because of the remoteness of the area.
    COME AND VISIT village NANGAL KHERI adjacent to National Fertiliser Lmtd. near the famous town PANIPAT,Hrayana and have a look at the concreate roller (GIRDI) and one can imagine the super human strength of Raatia Mhaal.

    Plans are in pipeline with govt of haryana for a piece of land to make a state of art wrestling training gymn ,hopefully the govt does something out of the ordinary to start this project in memory of such great wrestlers these lands have produced over the years.These wrestlers were patronized by princely states who looked after there dietery needs but with independence in both the countries this sytem got dissolved and the govt.s didnt pay heed to our sporting and wrestling legacy as a result we lagged behind the foreign counterparts as no longer an ordinary person can take care of his dietery needs if he hailed from poor background.It is high time we as citizens start the culture of wrestling in these very lands of both present day India and Pakistan where such powerfull and great wrestlers were produced .

  47. jatta says:
    May 25th, 2011 6:23 pm

    JAAT rUles……………………….

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