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Dec 14, 2008
National champion Amrut runs an akhara in a stadium outside of Kolhapur. The training pit is outdoors, so when it rains, practice is suspended until it stops.
Sep 27, 2008
Sep 6, 2008
Before practice begins, one wrestler digs the pit with a shovel to loosen the soil. It is then flattened using a heavy stone weight with a rope tied to it, which one wrestler drags around the pit. Often a younger, lighter wrestler will sit on the weight while it is being pulled to offer more resistance.
Aug 30, 2008
Aug 21, 2008
Aug 18, 2008
Aug 16, 2008
After cleaning up the wrestlers prepare meals. One of the tasks is grinding up almonds. After the almonds have been reduced to a paste, they are put into a cloth or a strainer and milk or water is squeezed through - producing a protein-filled drink designed to build muscles.
Most akharas have outdoor washing facilities. Some have shower heads, but others have a water tank where water is scooped out in buckets to wash.
Pushups and swinging huge wooden clubs are other exercises wrestlers do to build strength.
Aug 15, 2008
Wrestlers perform squats to build up strength in their legs.
There are no weight classes in traditional kushti, so most wrestlers aim to get as big as they can. Smaller wrestlers often train with much bigger guys.
To get a better grip, wrestlers pour dirt from the pit on each other.
Aug 14, 2008
This akhara has both a traditional clay/dirt pit and a mat as well. Wrestlers split their time training on the mat and in the pit.