Mysuru, Oct 12: More than 500 wrestlers from the across South India are participating in the traditional wrestling competition as part of famous Mysuru Dasara festivities and the bouts have been attracting huge crowds of youth.
There were times when Nada Kusti (traditional wrestling) was a major entertainment here. The wrestling tradition was diligently patronised by the royal family and was always a crowd-pulling sport.
This year the authorities have taken steps to holding the traditional wrestling on a bigger scale as it has huge fan base in Karnataka and neighbouring states.
The wrestlers here argue that there is good scope to revive the wrestling tradition if measures were taken on priority.
A veteran wrestler said they had appealed to the authorities here on many occasions to revive the sport. “But the response from them has not been so overwhelming. The tradition could be kept intact for future generations if the authorities, mainly the police, allow us to hold bouts at least once a month,” he said and added that the upcoming wrestlers were in need of financial help to continue with the tradition.
According to the wrestlers of Jayachamaraja Wadiyar Garadi Sangha, Mysuru district once boasted of 244 ‘garadis’ (traditional wrestling gymnasiums). In Mysuru city alone, there were 72 garadis. Today, the number has degreased, they lamented.
The rusticity of Nada Kusti had inspired youngsters of the old Mysuru region to embrace the tradition with keen interest. But in the absence of patronage in the form of infrastructure (coaches for freestyle wrestling and necessary facilities) and financial backing, the tradition is on the wane.
Dasara festivities boost tradition wrestling