India – Kushti

Kushti – Traditional Wrestling in India

In India, traditional wrestling Kushti takes place in a clay or dirt pit. The soil is moistured and tended before each practice. It is not just a sport – it is an ancient subculture where wrestlers live and train together and follow strict rules on everything from what they can eat to what they can do in their spare time. Drinking, smoking and even sex are off limits. The focus is on living a pure life, building strength and honing their wrestling skills. Wrestlers belong to gyms called akharas, where wrestlers live under strict rules. Wrestlers’ diets consist of milk, almonds, ghee, eggs and chapattis and each wrestler has a job to do in preparing meals. The sport is on the decline, but there are still many akharas left and some dedicated people who are working to keep this ancient part of Indian culture alive.