Get toned up at 'Garadi Mane'

Get toned up at 'Garadi Mane'

Renovated and ready to use!

Seen better days ‘Garadi Mane’ adjacent to Hosa Sri Rama Mandir at Gandhi Nagar in Mysore, and a glimpse of its sparse interiors. The place has been renovated and will soon see better days with wannabe wrestlers practising at its precincts. DH photo

It is the inseparable part of Mysore heritage and all the royal essence the city carries. Mysore and ‘garadi mane’ (traditional wrestling house) are two faces of the same coin, having earned a distinct place in the annals of history, kudos to Wadiyars, the erstwhile rulers of Mysore who patronised kusti (traditional wrestling).  Kanteerava Narasaraja Wadiyar, one of the Maharajas of then Mysore, himself was a wrestler of repute.

Historianspeak

Historians say, it was the place where youngsters of the locality regularly practiced native methods of exercise, under the tutelage of ustad (referred to as masters).
It was also the place, where community participation became stronger, besides conserving the art of wrestling, where muscle power reigned the most.

Urbanisation

When most such houses are vanishing owing to rapid urbanisation, and also hi-tech gymnasiums to tone one’s body, a ‘garadi mane’ has been renovated, cementing the bond between the traditional art and people of the locality.

‘Garadi Mane’ attached to Hosa Sri Rama Mandira at fourth cross, Gandhinagar in the city, has worn a modern look with cement roof and other minor repairs at an estimated cost of Rs 1.5 lakh, from the MP Local Area Development (LAD) fund, when C H Vi,jayashankar, currently the Minister for  Forests, was a Lok Sabha member.

Of days gone by

The place that dates back to 1936, was earlier made of country tiled roof and wooden pillars, which have now made way for cement roof and beams promising the wrestlers a fit place to work out, even during heavy rain or gale. Kantaraj, son of Ustad Venkataraj told Deccan Herald, till 2006, youths in the range of 10 to 15 years were regularly practicing here. When the supporting pillars began to give way because of rain and gale, subsequently, it was closed.

Amba Pooja

Every year during Dasara ‘amba pooja’ was the special attraction, where ‘matti’ the red soil that makes the floor for upcoming wrestlers to learn the nuances, was worshipped.
The ritual was followed by a game, where a huge coconut will be covered with a mound of soil. Wrestlers who succeed in removing it amid stiff fight from others, and hands over to ‘yajamaan’ is declared the winner.  With the building given a new lease of life with timely renovation, the locals are ecstatic, eagerly waiting to resume ‘Amba Pooja’ after a gap of four years.

Vijayashankar will be dedicating the facility on Friday at 9 am.
It’s not just an inaugural ceremony, but a festive like celebration. Array of events, a melange of entertainment are planned- Light music by Mysore Sri Rangaswamy and troupe on June 24 at 6 pm, ‘Gundana Haavali’ a comedy play on June 25 at 8 pm and folk on June 26 at 7 pm.

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