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Akhāṛās: Warrior Ascetics
(5,162 words)

The Hindi term akhāṛā means “wrestling arena,” from which akhāṛiyā derives, meaning “master fighter,” “skilled manoevrer,” or “strategist.” There is a network of akhāṛās throughout India, particularly in the North, where men train in wrestling and other methods of fighting. Akhāṛās specialize in various techniques of fitness and combat, which…

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Clark, Matthew, “Akhāṛās: Warrior Ascetics”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2018

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