Today’s Google Doodle commemorates the birth anniversary of Gama Pehalwan, one of pre-independence India’s most famous wrestlers. In addition to his ring moniker The Great Gama, he was an unbeaten wrestling world champion known as Rustam-e-Hind.
According to Google, Bruce Lee is a recognised enthusiast and incorporates components of Gama’s conditioning into his own training practice.
Gama was born in Amritsar in 1878 as Ghulam Mohammad Baksh Butt into a wrestling family. In 1910, he was crowned World Heavyweight Champion.
At the age of ten, his fitness programme comprised 500 lunges (bethaks) and 500 push-ups, according to Google. In 1888, Gama won a lunge tournament in which over 400 wrestlers from throughout the subcontinent competed, launching his career at an early age.
Gama accomplished a great achievement in 1902 when he lifted a 1,200-kg stone. According to reports, the stone is presently housed at the Baroda Museum.
Raheem Bakhsh Sultaniwala, the then-World Champion who stood over seven feet in front of Gama, was one of his most fearsome opponents. The two met four times, with the first three ending in a tie and Gama winning the fourth.
During his voyage to India, the Prince of Wales presented Gama with a silver mace to honour his strength
Gama died in 1960 after spending his final days in Lahore.
According to Google, today’s doodle honours Gama Pehalwan’s achievements in the ring as well as the impact and representation he gave to Indian culture. Vrinda Zaveri is the artist that made it.