Haryana sees a revival of Malkham

Malkham was brought to Haryana in 1963 by Swami Devvrat Acharya. In the land of its origin, Maharashtra, malkhamba (as it is called there) enjoys a superior status and is taught in what Haryana teachers call “high-fi” schools. In Haryana, however, it is still associated with conventional gurukuls that select malkham players on the basis of flexibility, stamina and strength tests.

Over the years, Devvrat, now 72, has trained several students who are now teaching youngsters at gurukuls in Kurukshetra, Jhajjar, Indrapuram and Faridabad. You can spot students at these gurukuls, from Class V to XII, exercising on wooden poles. In fact, twisting and twirl ing their lithe bodies around the poles, young boys in khapland seem to have now found a new way to flaunt their machismo.

Malkham is a traditional Indian sport in which a gymnast performs feats requiring immense flexibility and balance on a wooden pole. The pole is 10-12-foot high and the base diameter is about 5-6 inches, tapering to a top which measures around 1.5-2 inches in diameter. These exercises can also be performed on a rope hanging from the ceiling.

Read full report in Times Of India
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