Mallakhamb: The Strangest Sport No One Knows
Originally developed as a training methodology for wrestlers, Mallakhamb’s own name entwines Sanskirt and Hindi to literally means “pole wrestling.” The ritual of greasing both the equipment and athlete in castor oil mirrors the Indian kushti wrestling tradition of dousing both ring and wrestler in ghee.
The climbing, joyfulness, and irreverence of Mallakhamb are said to be informed by the spirit of Hanuman, the Hindu monkey god, and its strange apparatus reflect his anatomy: the pole is his phallus (which is why Pole has no female practitioners) and the rope is his tail (which is why the rope is exclusively climbed with toes, as using the soles of feet would be disrespectful).
Source: The Strangest Sport No One Knows | Roads & Kingdoms
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