(Last Updated on : 24/09/2013)
Ambika Charan Guha, also known as Ambu Goho or Ambu Babu was a famous Indian wrestler who had introduced the concept of 'akhada' culture in the Eastern Indian state
of West Bengal
Early Life of Ambika Charan Guha
Ambika Charan Guha was born in the year 1843 in the area of Hogolkuria in Kolkata
, into a family which was engaged in wrestling. Historical records claim that Shiv Charan Goho, the grandfather of Ambika Charan patronised the game of wrestling
in West Bengal. Abhay Charan Goho was his father. Currently, Hogolkuria is situated near Masjidbari Street near Hatibagan. It is said that Ambika Charan suffered from a critical injury when he was about eight or nine years of age. Thereafter, he commenced with his education in his house at the advice of his physician. Kalicharan Chaubey of Mathura
had trained Ambika Charan in wrestling and he also imbibed lessons in the field of horse riding at his home.
Achievements of Ambika Charan Guha
When Ambika Charan Guha was 16, he established the very first akhada in West Bengal in 1857. He is believed to have travelled to various regions of India in order to learn numerable weight lifting and wrestling tricks. Due to his prowess in wrestling, he defeated many of his contemporary wrestlers and gradually came to be known as Raja Babu or Ambu Babu. He was a true motivation of several budding wrestlers of the country and trained many of them. Ambika Charan used to impart wrestling lessons to Swami Vivekananda
during his early youth, in his own akhada. Some of the reputed personalities who were the students of Ambika Charan were Swami Vivekananda, Jatindranath Mukherjee
, Khetra Charan Guha, Phanindra Krishna Gupta, Swami Brahmananda and Jatindra Charan Goho.
Legacy of Ambika Charan Guha
Khetra Charan Goho, who was known as 'Khetu Babu' was the son of Ambika Charan Guha and he had turned into a powerful wrestler. His nephew, Jatindra Charan Guha also became a recognised wrestler who became the first Asian who won the World Light Heavyweight Championship in Unites States in the year 1921. The culture of akhada flourished in the state of West Bengal and gained prominence with the advent of numerable members of Bengali Hindu
elite in the Akhada. Later, this Akhada became the common forum of discussion for several nationalist activities.
Ambika Charan Guha died in the year 1900.