Archive for the Pehlwans from Benaras Category

Feeling Strength

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2013 by designldg

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“You feel your strength in the experience of pain.”
(Jim Morrison – American singer-songwriter and poet, 1943-1971)

Like many men in Varanasi (Benaras) this pehlwan (Indian wrestler) comes to an akhara every morning at dawn or before sunset in order to perform his daily physical training routine.
For this training they use heavy club-lifting like “gadas”which are a way of testing strength and balance.
The mace is associated to the Indian god of strength, Hanuman, who is almost never depicted without one.

This is a new picture from a series of 16 published in the new issue of Mascular Magazine (from page 136 to page 145 ),
www.mascular.co.uk/Magazine/Issue4.Winter2013/Mascular4
(When opening this magazine be aware that there are a few pictures with “explicit content” there)

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

Pandering Satan

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 16, 2013 by designldg

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“Reveal your feelings to him,
Tenderly …
Then let Satan break him”
(Abu Nuwas (Abū Nuwās al-Ḥasan ibn Hānī al-Ḥakamī) – Classical Arabic poet, 756-814)

This is a picture of Vinod and his cousin Manish shot in the akhara located at Scindia ghat along the Ganges in Varanasi (Benaras).
The two young men are pehlwani and they often train there before sunset.
Sometimes they also pose for the pictures of the Red Halo collections.

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

A Physical State

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“When an idea exclusively occupies the mind, it is transformed into an actual physical or mental state.”
(Swami Vivekananda – Indian Spiritual leader, 1863-1902)

This picture was shot inside the akhara facing the Ganges at Raj Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras) where this pehlwan follows a daily training at dawn.
The reflection in the mirror was providing a backlighting which I always enjoy to work with…

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

Physical Wisdom

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.
We give it orders which make no sense.”
(Henry Miller – American Author and Writer, 1891-1980)

An inward moment with a pehlwan who was following his daily training inside the akhara facing the Ganges at Raj Ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

Replenishing Strength

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 4, 2013 by designldg

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“Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished.”
(Buddha – Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, 563-483 B.C.)

A few days ago I went to an akhara early in the morning, it was a little windy like it is during those pre-monsoon days and the light was peculiar.
Somehow it was perfect for taking pictures of pehlwani training…

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© All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

Inward Calm

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2011 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Inward calm cannot be maintained unless physical strength is constantly and intelligently replenished.”
(Buddha – Hindu Prince Gautama Siddharta, founder of Buddhism, 563-483 B.C.)

This picture was shot at the little akhara (gymnasia) located nearby Scindia ghat along the Ganges in Vanarasi (Benaras).
Like many people in the Eternal city this pehlwan (wrestler) comes here every morning at dawn or before sunset in order to perform his daily physical training routine.
Since the Mughal Era it became a way of living deeply connected to culture of Northern India, this art of wrestling is a synthesis of native malla-yuddha and Persian Varzesh-e Pahlavani.
Through time Western training methods and nomenclature from Iran and Europe were introduced into Pehlwani.
Wrestling competitions, known as dangals, held in villages can have their own rules variations.

Bright Angel

Posted in Pehlwans from Benaras with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2010 by designldg

© All rights reserved.

All photographs are copyrighted and all rights reserved.
Please do not use any photographs without permission (even for private use).
The use of any work without consent of the artist is PROHIBITED and will lead automatically to consequences.

“Artistic temperament sometimes seems a battleground, a dark angel of destruction and a bright angel of creativity wrestling.”
(Madeleine L’Engle – American writer, 1918-2007)

This picture was shot at the little akhara (gymnasia) located nearby Scindia ghat along the Ganges in Vanarasi (Benaras).
Like many people in the Eternal city this pehlwan (wrestler) comes here every morning at dawn or before sunset in order to perform his daily physical training routine.
Since the Mughal Era it became a way of living deeply connected to culture of Northern India, this art of wrestling is a synthesis of native malla-yuddha and Persian Varzesh-e Pahlavani.
Through time Western training methods and nomenclature from Iran and Europe were introduced into Pehlwani.
Wrestling competitions, known as dangals, held in villages can have their own rules variations.