Mallakhamb An art to cherish

As the very name suggests, Mallakhamb is an art that is normally used by wrestlers to showcase their prowess in this sport. This is a pole that is used by them to practice their abilities in their game called KUSTI. These days the trend has changed and there is a special identity for each art. This sport requires a lot of speed, concentration and flexibility. This is the only sport that is played against the pull of gravitation.


History of this sport goes back to the time when the wrestlers used to exercise on wooden poles. This art dates back to the 12th century in the Manasholas which was written by Chalukya in the year 1153. This then got revived sometime in the 19th century by the physical instructor Balambhatta Dada who used to coach Bajirao Peshwa Ii. There were lot of efforts that were made to make this sport very popular. The modern Mallakhamb is very similar like the ancient kind. Earlier Mallakhamb was related to Kusti but today it is more related to gymnastics. Today Mallakhamb involves having a supple body, an alert mind and flexible muscles. The competitive levels are rising and the art of mastering this sport is increasing by the day. There is also a general need to have safety instruments for this sport to avoid any kind of calamity or accident.

Mallakhamb is of three types when played on a competitive basis. There is the Fixed Mallakhamb, Hanging Mallakhamb and the Rope Mallakhamb.

The fixed Mallakhamb is one that has a vertical pole fixed on the ground. The wood is generally teak or sesame. Sometimes it is made of rose wood. This wood is used as it is very tough and soft. Then after application of castor oil, the friction is reduced and thus the injuries are minimized. The pole is generally around 10 to 12 feet above the ground level. The diameter of this pole is around 6 inches at the base and around 2 inches at the top.

Fixed Mallakhamb

Then you have the Anging and Mallakhamb which is another version of the Fixed Mallakhamb. This is normally used for balancing exercises. The pole is normally suspended with a chain and a hook. The player normally uses this and swings and revolves around the pole and the body is kept very close and the body generally hangs from a height of around 4 feet from the ground.

Then the third form is the rope Mallakhamb which is a modernized version of this sport. The main difference lies in the structure and it is a version of today’s modern problems of transportation and space. There are many yogic positions that are performed in this form of sport and as the player gracefully swirls around in the pole it is a treat watching him perform various knots and enthrall the entire audience.

Rope Mallakhamb Rope Mallakhamb

Then you also have the unsupported type of Mallakhamb that is inclined to the middle of the centre of gravity and people in this use traditional weapons like ancient torches, swords etc.

Mallakhamb is indeed a unique sport because the body is literally stretched, twisted and turned and also balanced on the pole. The spectators remain completely mesmerized by the swiftness and the dexterity of the player and the entire co-ordination and concentration of the players and speed is a work of skill and art. The training of Mallakhamb also helps in other sports like judo, wrestling, tennis, horse riding, and athletics.

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