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Bholu Pehalwan – The mighty wrestler of ‘50s

Bholu Pehalwan – The mighty wrestler of ‘50s

Haji Manzoor Hussain, known as Bholu Pehlwan, was the most famous wrestler of his time. Bholu’s name was listed in the history of Pehalwaan-baazi (traditional wrestling). He belonged to a Gujjar GAMA wrestling family from Amritsar, Punjab. He passed his childhood in Amritsar for 9 years.

He was 9, when it was his school vacations; he went Patiala to pay a visit to his father. His father was also one of the most legendary wrestlers of his time. Bholu then chose wrestling as his profession in Radhanpur in the supervision of Mr.Hamida Pahalwan ‘Rehmaniwala’. He was an authorized wrestler of his region.

In the year 1935, when Bholu was 13, he appeared for the first time in the wrestling competition which was held at Lahore. Bholu fought against a wrestler named Ahmad Bakhsh, ending up with a tie for interval of 12 minutes.

Later on 27th March ’39, he again fought with Ahmad Bakhsh, at Lahore. From ’35-‘40 Bholu won a number of wrestling matches with various professional Indian wrestlers like Bora Singh , Kharak Singh, Mangal Singh, Aleem Pehalwaan and Bulhar Pehalwan,.

Throughout the year of 1940, Bholu participated in ‘battle fund wrestling contests’ organized by the administration in every division of the sub-continent. Bholu Pehalwan crushed countless wrestlers.

It was 1944 when Bholu won over ‘Puran singh amritsarii’ in the region of Ajain, and the time of the complete match was recorded 6 minutes only. Again, he prevailed over another great wrestler named ‘Puran singh patialawaala’ less than 3 minutes’, in the region of Ludhiana, in 1944. In the year 1945, Bholu defeated a wrestler who was a Sikh, named Darbar Singh, within just one minute, in the land of Kasur.

Two main wrestling Akhara’s were made and controlled by Bholu pehalwan in Pakistan. The first named ‘Bilal Gunj Akhara’ which was situated in Lahore. In the year 1948, Bholu made one more fighting Akhara named Dar-ul-Sehat at Pakistan Chowk, Karachi. The latter one was also recognized as -Bholu-ka-Akhara- which trained its members in Pakistani wrestling method under the direction of expert wrestlers. His Akhara’s trained approximately 55,000 people throughout the 1960’s. Bholu also gave individual interest to his Akhara’s. He individually taught different people which had 60-70 tough wrestlers.

Bholu pehalwan took part in many wrestling contests and won most of them. He maintained a good pride of his ancestors. Considering his mightiness, the Pakistan Wrestling Association officially confirmed him as an authorized wrestler on September ’67, in a ceremony occasion which took place in Karachi and was supervised by the Home Minister of Pakistan, Mr.Kazi Fazlullah. The mighty Bholu wrestler died on 6 March 1985, in his motherland Pakistan.


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