Chh. Rajeshree Shahu Khasbag Maidan is one of the biggest wrestling Stadium in India. And one of the oldest historical place in the Kolhapur city. The Khasbag Maidan was built by Chh. Shree Rajarshi Shahu Maharaj who was extremely fond of wrestling.
The Khasbag Maidan is over a hundred years old.
Before Khasbag Maidan
As a wrestler himself Chh. Rajeshree Shahu Maharaj was like a foster to Wrestling in Kolhapur.
With his initiative number of taleems were built-in Kolhapur. Resulting press-ups, squats and sound of shaddu’s at every street in Kolhapur.
The wrestlers from these taleems were talented enough to give a tough fight with northern players.
Soon wrestling matches were started to held in Kolhapur. And kolhapuri kusti started getting famous all around.
Every time a child won a Kusti in a local match, his parents would swell with pride.
When was Khasbag maidan built
After returning from Rome, Inspired by Roman Olympic ground, Mahajara then decided to build a wrestling stadium for Kolhapur.As decided The Rajeshree Shahu Khasbag maidan was built in 1912.
In presence of thousands of people, the matches were started to held at Khasbag Maidan.Maharaj started ticket system from the first match. The collected money from tickets was then used for players diet.
Soon Wrestlers and wrestling game both reached new heights because of Maharaja’s hard work.
Even today Thousands of people enjoys the Kusti every time the game is on.From children to olds every wrestling lover pays his visit for the stunning game.
Soon Kolhapur got very famous for its Kusti. It even got a name Kustipandhari.In 2012, it was the venue for the ’46th Hind Kesari wrestling championship. It was held to mark the Century of Khasbag wrestling arena.
It is basically an open wrestling stadium. It is predominantly famous for conducting wrestling matches in an open area for several decades. Many reputed national wrestlers have been part of wrestling matches at this place, in the past. The place is located in one of the busiest areas of Kolhapur city.
The Khasbag maidan is located in Mangalwar Peth, Kolhapur. Behind Keshavrao Bhonsle auditorium. The stadium has 5 entrances and a seating arrangement for about 30,000 people around a Wrestling Ring also called “Houd”.
Special seating is available for the members of the royal family of Kolhapur on the east side of the wrestling ring.
The main play area is at the centre surrounded with seating area in a leaned upward. So everyone can enjoy the game. The ground looks like a circular concave bowl.
The playground is big enough, easily Four – Five wrestling pairs used to play at the same time.
On the east side, there is a stage for honourable guests.
Kusti at Khasbag Maidan
The matches take place in the presence of honorable guests. Special seating is available for the members of the royal family of Kolhapur on the east side of the wrestling ring.
Right in the middle, around the playground where other honorable guests and VIP members seats.
Traditional music instruments like Tutari, Halagi, Ghumnya takes the game to whole other level.Wrestlers with strong physique starts challenging each other by playing shaddu.
Players gets covered in red the mud. And the real game starts.
The game gets more excited with players power and good techniques. kalaganj, Dhobi Pachad, Ghissa, Eknahi are the techniques shivers the whole audience.
Along with players the whole audience forgets everything and enjoys the game..In the end the player who survives through all, with his great performance in that red mud. Wins the game.
He celebrates his victory by standing on one leg hands in the air. That image impacts on minds of the entire audience for a long time…
The winner then gets awarded by the honorable guests.
And the game ends.
Khasbag Maidan is located in Gangalwar Peth Kolhapur. Just on the walking distance to the east from Mahalaxmi Temple.
3 Km from Central bus stand, Kolhapur
2 Km from Rankala Lake Kolhapur.
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