Guru Hanuman (1901–1999) was a legendary wrestling coach of India who coached many medal-winning wrestlers. He was awarded the prestigious Dronacharya Award in 1987, the highest recognition for a sports coach in India, and the Padma Shri in 1983.
Vijay Pal Yadav
15 March 1901
|Died||24 May 1999 (aged 98)|
Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
Guru was born as Vijay Pal Yadav on 15 March 1901, in the Chirawa town of Rajasthan state. He did not attend school, but began wrestling at the local village akhada from an early age. He moved to Delhi in 1919 to set up a shop near Birla Mills in Subzi Mundi, but instead became a wrestler and soon gained popularity in the field.
The Indian industrialist K. K. Birla gave him land to set up Akhara in Malkaganj, Subzi Mandi (Old Delhi), thus 'Birla Mills Vyayamshala' was born around 1925 which is being managed by Birla Mills, Kamla Nagar, Delhi, which subsequently known as the Guru Hanuman Akhara.
Both as a wrestler and as a coach, Guru Hanuman was a legend as he created a template for modern Indian wrestling, by mixing traditional Indian wrestling style, pehlwani with international wrestling standards. In time he coached almost all of India's freestyle international wrestlers. Three of his disciples Sudesh Kumar, Prem Nath and won gold medals at the Cardiff Commonwealth Games in 1958. Other notable disciples, Satpal and Kartar Singh won gold medals in Asian Games in 1982 and 1986 respectively. Eight of his disciples got the highest Indian sporting honour Arjuna award.
Guru Hanuman Akhara (Birla Mills Vyayamshala)Edit
Guru Hanuman Akhara is a wrestlers training centre or akhara in traditional Hindi dialect. Established in 1925 at Shakti Nagar, near Roshanara Bagh in North Delhi and it soon became the epicentre of Indian wrestling. Situated in the Old Delhi region, this akhara is said to have produced some of the brightest Indian wrestlers like, Dara Singh,Hans Ram (Post India Best Wrestler)Guru Satpal, Uddal Singh (national champion and multiple time Haryana state champion ) Subhash Verma, Virender Singh, Sushil Kumar, Yogendra Kumar, Vishal Trikha, Anuj Chowdhary, Rajiv Tomer, Anil Mann, Sujit Mann, Naveen, and Rakesh Goonga. It is the oldest extant wrestling school in India.
The young wrestlers training there have an unshakeable belief that the land is blessed. So much that even when the government offered to provide a larger land with better training facilities, most of the wrestlers refused to shift out of the dilapidated buildings. However, due to lack of space, a modern gymnasium was built by the government at some distance from the akhara which is used by the trainees. The akhara is named after Guru Hanuman and currently trains about 200 wrestlers under the guidance of Maha Singh Rao.
- Obituary:Guru Hanuman The Guardian, 21 June 1999
- Obituary: Guru Hanuman Kuldip Singh, The Independent, 11 June 1999.
- Guru Hanuman no more Financial Express, 25 May 1999.
- Guru Hanuman Martial arts of the world: an encyclopedia, by Thomas A. Green. Publisher: ABC-CLIO, 2001. ISBN 1-57607-150-2. Page 723,
- City's who's who, disciples pay last respects to Guru Hanuman Indian Express, 26 May 1999.
- Guru Hanuman’s statue unveiled The Tribune, 10 August 2003
- "Guru Hanuman Akhara chosen for the 2014 Rashtritya Khel Protsahan Puraskar". Jargran Josh. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "A day in the life of a grappler". India Today. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Award for Hanuman Akhara". The Hindu. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014.