(Last Updated on : 27/09/2014)
Mallakhamb is one of the most ancient sports of India, which is recognised by the Union Government. The word Mallakhamb is derived from two words 'Malla' and 'khamb' which means 'gymnast' and 'pole' respectively. Its technique is traditional and many sports techniques have been derived from this traditional sport
. Mallakhamb is such a sport that it ensures the exercise of whole body. The players of Mallakhamb can also excel in wrestling
, pole vault and other sports.
History of Mallakhamb
Mallakhamb was originated in the 12th century in the Maharashtra
state of India. Besides Maharashtra, this traditional sport was also practiced in ancient Hyderabad
. At the outset, Mallakhamb was not that famous, it gained popularity in 18th century when it was revived or invented by Balambhatdada Deodhar, the fitness instructor of Peshwa Baji Rao II
during the reign of the Peshwas.
Performance of Mallakhamb
This game is not as simple as it may seem. The performance of Mallakhamb is quite tough and it requires great concentration. Exercising on the pole requires a gymnast to perform various tasks like twisting, turning and stretching apart from balancing on the pole. Mallakhamb demands refinement, nimbleness, great amount of flexibility and also super reflexes.
Types of Mallakhamb
There are many variations of this sport but competitively mainly three types of Mallakhamb are performed.
Pole or fixed Mallakhamb
Mallakhamb in Competition
Over 25 states of India take part in the Mallakhamb events that are held at the national level. The national level tournament is organized in four separate groups according to age including under 12, under 14, under 17/18 (17 for women and 18 for men) and above 17/18. The Madhya Pradesh
government on 9 April 2013 decided to declare Malkhamb as the State Sport.
Popularity of Mallakhamb
It is a famous sport in Maharashtra and other states of India too. Its popularity has escalated so much that it has got its entry in TV reality shows
as well. Mallakhamb has been used in Indian talent shows like India's Got Talent and Dance India Dance. Also in the Bollywood movie, Kisna: The Warrior Poet, some sequences of this dance form was performed by actress Isha sharvani