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PIX: Mallakhamb gets a world championship

February 18, 2019 12:31 IST

Hitesh Harsinghani/Rediff.com captures glimpses from the Mallakhamb World Championship 2019 in Mumbai.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

The Mallakhamb World Championship 2019 was organised at the Shree Samartha Vyayam Mandir in Mumbai's famed Shivaji Park area last weekend.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

15 countries participated. About 2,000 people attended the sporting spectacle.

 

Who knew there were Mallakhamb practitioners in Germany, the Czech republic, Italy, England, the US, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brazil?

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

Uday Deshpande, one of Mallakhamb's top coaches, winner of the Shiv Chhatrapati Lifetime Achievement Award -- Maharashtra's highest sports honour -- is the director and secretary general of the Vishwa Mallakhamb Federation.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

Mallakhamb is a traditional sport which originated on the Indian subcontinent. In it, a gymnast performs aerial yoga postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or hanging rope.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

Mallakhamb can be traced to the 12th century.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

The name Mallakhamba derives from the terms malla meaning wrestler, and khamb which means pole. Literally meaning 'wrestling pole', the term refers to a traditional training implement used by wrestlers.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

The first competitive national Mallakhamb competition was organised at the national gymnastics championships at the Paharganj stadium, Delhi, in 1958.

Mallakhamb World Championship 2019. Photograph: Hitesh Harsinghani

The first national Mallakhamb championships was held in Gwalior, in 1962 as part of the national gymnastics championships.

Hitesh Harisinghani / Rediff.com
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