Indian indigenous sport Mallakhamb began at the 36th National Games morning. Mallakhamba is the display of aerial yoga and wrestling grips with vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole performed by a gymnast.
This is one of the five new sports to be played at the National Games this year. The sport made its debut at the Khelo India University Games earlier this year where Madhya Pradesh bagged 12 medals including 5 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze.
Mallakhamb is a traditional sport, originating from the Indian subcontinent, in which a gymnast performs aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips in concert with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope. The word Mallakhamb also refers to the pole used in the sport. The pole is usually made from sheesham (Indian rosewood) polished with castor oil. Three popular versions of Mallakhamb are practiced using a sheesham pole, cane, or rope.
The name Mallakhamb derives from the terms malla, meaning wrestler, and khamb, which means a pole. Literally meaning “wrestling pole”, the term refers to a traditional training implement used by wrestlers.
On April 9, 2013, the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh declared Mallakhamba the state sport. As of 2017, more than 20 other states in India have followed suit.