Kushti as the traditional wrestling is known in Pakistan is a cultural phenomena in old part of the cities and smaller towns. They wake up early in the morning, oil their bodies and wrestle in the Akhara (Earth pits). It does not include much weight lifting beside some dumbbells, just relying on making the boys plough the pit, pushups, jumping jacks and other indigenous exercises. With the summer sun rising the men will cover themselves with the dirt as it claim to cool them off and drink their favourite all-natural-energy drink Sardi made from the smashed almonds mixed in milk.
Visited Shahian Pehlwan Akhara near Taxali Gate in Lahore at the backdrop of the historic Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque on 20th January 2013. It is perhaps symbolic that the famous akhara that many from Pakistan’s greatest wrestling family stomped their feet on, is now nothing more than a shrine of sorts. Buried here are some of the most legendary names in the world of wrestling, figures who attained almost a mythical status even as their sport, kushti or mud wrestling slowly faded away from public memory.