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Kushti: Everything you need to know about the traditional Indian wrestling

LockerRoom Team
11 December 2022

Kushti is a traditional Indian form of wrestling that has been practiced for centuries. The word "kushti" comes from the Hindi word "kushti," which means "wrestling" or "grappling."

What are the rules of Kushti?

In kushti, two wrestlers, known as "pehelwans," engage in a physical contest in which they try to throw each other to the ground or force each other to submit. The wrestlers wear only a loincloth, known as a "langot," and oil their bodies in order to make it difficult for their opponents to get a grip on them. The contest takes place on a clay or dirt surface, known as a "akhaara," and is supervised by a referee.

The goal of a kushti match is to establish superiority over the opponent, using a variety of grappling techniques and holds. These techniques include throwing the opponent to the ground, pinning the opponent down, and forcing the opponent to submit by applying pressure to the joints or choking the opponent. The match ends when one wrestler is declared the winner by the referee, or when one wrestler concedes defeat by tapping out or yelling "maal maal" (meaning "I am defeated").

The Popularity of Kushti

Kushti is a popular sport in India, with many wrestlers training for years to perfect their skills. In order to become a successful kushti wrestler, one must undergo intense physical training, including weightlifting, running, and other forms of exercise. Additionally, wrestlers must learn the various techniques and strategies of the sport, in order to be able to outmaneuver their opponents.

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Kushti is also considered to be a spiritual practice, as it is believed to have originated in ancient India as a way for yogis and ascetics to test their physical and mental strength. Today, many kushti wrestlers continue to incorporate spiritual and meditative practices into their training, in order to improve their mental focus and discipline.

What is Kushti Dangal or Dangal Kushti?

Kushti dangal is a traditional Indian wrestling tournament, also known as a "pehlwani" or "kusti" dangal. The word "dangal" means "wrestling match" or "contest" in Hindi, and refers to the competitive aspect of kushti wrestling.

Kushti dangals are held throughout India, with wrestlers from different regions and training camps coming together to compete for prizes and prestige. The tournaments are typically held in a large open-air arena, known as a "akhaara," which is covered with a layer of clay or dirt.

In a kushti dangal, wrestlers compete in a series of matches, with the goal of establishing superiority over their opponents. The matches are typically divided into weight classes, with wrestlers competing against opponents of similar size and strength. The matches are supervised by a referee, who ensures that the wrestlers follow the rules and regulations of the sport.

Kushti dangals are an important part of Indian culture and are often attended by large crowds of spectators. The tournaments are an opportunity for wrestlers to showcase their skills and compete for prizes and recognition. Additionally, kushti dangals are also an important source of revenue for wrestlers and their training camps, as they provide an opportunity for wrestlers to earn money through their victories.

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The tournaments provide an opportunity for wrestlers to showcase their skills and compete for prizes and recognition, and are an important source of revenue for wrestlers and their training camps.


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