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Akhāṛās: Wrestlers
(4,783 words)

There are many different ways to understand how wrestling (pahalvānī, mallayuddha) within a gymnasium (akhāṛā) fits into the large framework of cultural practices in southern Asia. To appreciate the richness and significance of this way of life, it is useful to comparatively reference the place of the gymnasium in ancient Athens (Sansone, 1988; Scanlon, 2002; Cohen, 1992) and recognize the importance of sport, physical development, and masculinity in the articulation of classical Greek philosophy (Alter, 201…

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S. Alter, Joseph, “Akhāṛās: Wrestlers”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online, Editor-in-Chief Associate Editors Knut A. Jacobsen, Helene Basu, Angelika Malinar, Vasudha Narayanan. Consulted online on 26 October 2021 <>
First published online: 2018

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