Kushti wrestlers making hand massage inside a small akhara of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Pehlwani or kushti is a form of wrestling from South Asia. It was developed in the Mughal era through a synthesis of Indian malla-yuddha and Iranian Varzesh-e Bastani. A practitioner of this sport is referred to as a pehlwan, while teachers are known as ustad (or guru, for Hindu teachers).
The ancient South Asian form of wrestling is called malla-yuddha. Practiced at least since the 5th century BC and described in the 13th century treatise Malla Purana, it was the precursor of modern pehlwani. In the 16th century India was conquered by the Central Asian Mughals, who were of Mongol descent and officially promoted Persian culture. They brought the influence of Iranian and Mongolian wrestling to the local malla-yuddha, thereby creating modern pehlwani. Pehlwan who compete in wrestling nowadays are also known to cross train in the grappling aspects of judo and jujitsu. (wiki)
Man practising Pranayama by the Ganga river in a foggy morning, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Pranayama (प्राणायाम) is a sanskrit word meaning “extension of the prana or breath” or more accurately, “extension of the life force”, a system of breath control in yoga practice.
Gangaur is a festival of women celebrated especially in Rajasthan. It is a time for them to dress up in their best clothes and participate in the festival dedicated to the divine couple of Lord Shiva and Goddess Gauri. A vow is observed by married women for marital bliss and young girls for ideal husband. Women make clay idols of Lord Isar (Shiva) and Goddess Gauri (Parvati) and worship for 18 days. They sing bhajans or devotional songs as part of Gangaur Puja. During Gangaur festival many fairs or Jatra are celebrated in Jaipur, Udaipur, and many other towns in Rajasthan.
Mewar festival is a fair organized in Udaipur during Gangaur festival. The festival marks the beginning of spring season in the state. Gauri and Isar idols are taken out for a ceremonial procession through different parts of the city. Women carry the idols on their heads and place them on the boats of Pichola lake at Gangaur Ghat at the end. Once the religious part of the festival is over, it is time for cultural events where the rajasthani culture is portrayed through songs, dances and other festivities.