Mallakhamb is a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs poses and feats while hanging from a vertical wooden pole or rope. It is a game which is played against gravity.

The apparently simple ‘khamb’ does not reveal the complexities of the exercises, which require the performer to turn, twist, stretch and balance on the pole. It is this consummate grace, agility, dexterity and suppleness of body, combined with quick reflexes, muscle coordination and sense of timing, that singles out this game as special.

Mallakhamb – the Name

Mallakhamb as the name suggests is a pole used by wrestlers for practicing their skills to learn different styles of Kusti wholesale nfl jerseys (Wrestling). The word “Mallakhamb” is composed of

  • “Malla”, a wrestler – a man of strength
  • “Khamb, a world! pole on which the wrestlers practice their skills.

Mallakhamb, therefore, can be translated in English as “Wrestler’s Pole”.


The origin LG of this ancient Indian sport can be traced to earlier part of the 12th century. A mention of wrestlers exercising on wooden poles is found in the Manas-Olhas – a classic by Chalukya in 1135 A.D.

For seven centuries, the art lay dormant, till it was revived by Balambhatta Dada Deodhar, the sports and fitness instructor to Peshwa Bajirao II, who reigned during the first half of the 19th century. He took great efforts to popularize this sport.  It was said that he had practiced the art of Mallakhamb in the temple of Goddess Saptashringi Devi in Nashik. His concentration was so intense and meditation so deep, that How Lord Hanuman himself came to him and taught him wholesale mlb jerseys the skill of Mallakhamb.

The story goes that the Nizam of Hyderabad sent two wrestlers to the Peshwa’s court in Maharashtra, from the kingdom of the Nizam of Hyderabad, Ali and Ghulab. They challenged the kingdom’s wrestlers to a match. No one dared to accept but the 18 year old Balambhatt Dada Deodhar. Needless to say, he won the wrestling match and popularized the sport in Maharashtra and around the country.

Types of Mallakhamb

Fixed Mallakhamb

It is a vertical pole fixed in the ground (Teak or sheesham – for toughness and soft surface) Castor oil is applied to its surface to reduce friction and minimize injuries. It is 10 to 12 feet high with a diameter of 5 to 6 inches at the bottom and tapers to 1.5 to 2 inches at the top.

Hanging Mallakhmab

It is a small version of the fixed Mallakhamb and is generally used for balancing exercises. The wooden pole is suspended with the help of a hook and chain. The degree of difficulty while performing this exercise is due to its swinging and revolving motion. cheap nba jerseys The full body has to be kept very close to this Mallakhamb. It is hanged at the height of 3.5 to 4 feet above the ground.

Rope Mallakhamb

A cotton rope which is 2.5 cm thick, replaces the wooden pole. The performers are expected to strike various yogic poses, without knotting the rope in any way.

Many believe that the famous Indian Rope Trick, legendary in the West, must have originated when some Europeans saw a Mallakhamb performance

Uniqueness of Mallakhamb

Mallakhamb exercises make the body light and strong. These are most beneficial for the stomach, back, arms and thighs. The sport strengthens the spinal chord most, which develops energy and increases longevity, and is the only exercise in which all big and small organs of the body are active.

Playing on the Mallakhamb helps to develop speed, reflexes, concentration and co-ordination and helps in practicing many other games,

  • Wrestling: ‘Shoulder vault’ improves the wrestlers throw. Most of the wrestlers use the Mallakhamb for shadow practicing.
  • Gymnastics:  Strengthens a gymnasts shoulder girdle for Roman Ring in addition develops flexibility, grace, swiftness and rhythm.
  • Athletics:  Increases the endurance, strength and stamina of the athlete.
  • Tennis and Badminton:  A ladder move on the Mallakhamb strengthens the muscle of the shoulder girdle and forearm. It also increases the flexibility of the wrist joint.
  • Cricket, Hockey and Football:  A side dive catch will train a cricketer, a Football or a Hockey goalkeeper to dive and save a ball/goal.
  • Swimming:  Dismounting from a Mallakhamb teaches diving skills to a diver.
  • Horse Riding: The horse mount grip on the Mallakhamb is exactly similar to cheap jerseys the literal horse mount.

The Maratha Light Infantry’s (MLI) first battalion of Indian Army, known as Jangi Paltan, traditionally practices Mallakhamb. Officers report that the sport keeps jawans fit and helps them and relate to the unit’s history and culture.

Mallakhamb Today

Today it has got a special identity similar to Gymnastics. Today pole Mallakhamb is practiced by men and boys and rope Mallakamb is practiced by women and girls.

Recently, a few more variations have been introduced:

  • Niradhar
  • Revolving Bottle
  • Fixed Bottle Mallakhamb
  • Baseless Mallakhamb
  • Inclined Mallakhamb
  • Suspended Mallakhamb
  • Chakri
  • Cycle
  • Flame
  • Weapon
  • Cane

As a Competitive Sport, 29 states participate in Mallakhamb competitions at the national level.

This sport is practiced in many European countries like Italy, Spain, Germany, Britain etc. There are many Mallakambh associations all over the world.



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