Indian Kushti Wrestlers live a Spartan existence.

Image Credit: Photograph by © Alain Schroeder. All rights reserved.
Kushti is the traditional form of Indian wrestling.
Practised in Akhara, the wrestlers, under the supervision of a guru, dedicate their bodies and minds to Kushti on average for 6 to 36 months.
It is a way of life and a spartan existence that requires rigorous discipline.
Kushti is also known as pehlwani. The freestyle matches last about half an hour, and a wrestler typically wins by simultaneously pinning an opponent’s shoulders and hips to the ground.
Experienced wrestlers set the example and transmit their skills in the pit and in the community to the younger boys (7-8 years old) and new recruits, whereby promoting camaraderie, solidarity and fraternity.
See more great Images via Kushti | Smithsonian Photo Contest | Smithsonian

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