Pahalwan ( Urdu پہلوان the word is originally derived from Persian ) also pronounced as PehelwanPahelwan or Pehalwan meansWrestler in English. In hyderabad India, the word Pahalwan is generally called and related with two types of People.


  • First, as it means Wrestler are those Pahalwans patronised by royalty as wrestlers during the princely era, who brought fame and respect for Hyderabad city by winning titles world wide in Kushti (Indian free style wrestling).
  • The another term of Pahalwan is as similar as Bhai of Bombay now (Mumbai), India, who afterwards of Indian Independence turned to the practice of landlords and consider as main War Lords in city crimes, mostly involved into crimes like Land grabbing, Extorting and Real estate.[1]

Initially in Hyderabad, the Pahalwan were mostly Arab's (locally known as Chaush), Thus the name Pahalwan was given to thoseChaush Wrestlers, and this brought them into the public eyes (Thus most of the people in Hyderabad understand, that all the pahalwan are chaush). In early days, they were respected by residents and were encouraged to settle public issues.[2]






History of Chaush Pahalwan can be traced to the Nizam's era. It was in 1818 AD during Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander Jah, Asaf Jah IIIsome of the Hadramut Arabs migrated to Hyderabad from Bhoslas of Nagpur and their discharge from Poona ( now Pune). Relations with Arabs became more stronger when the NizamMahbub Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VI, gave asylum to the Sultan of MukallaYemen. At that time foot soldiers were also brought in large numbers and settled in Hyderabad outskirts in barracks, the area which later came to be known as Barkas,[3] They became part of the Nizam's irregular army and the Nizam also used them as Royal Guard.[4]

Their decline started soon after India gained independence and the Nizam's reign was brought to end. In 1948, many descendants of families from Yemen were asked to leave by the Indian government, even as others stayed back arguing they were now Indian citizens. They said they were Hyderabadis and they spoke a distinct Hyderabadi lingo. Many of them were wrestlers and also promoted wrestlingin Hyderabad. They had their own Akhada and Ustad.[2][4]


Initially in Hyderabad, the Pahalwan were mostly Arab's (locally known as Chaush), Thus the title Pahalwan were given to those Chaushwrestlers, and this brought them into the public (Thus most of the people in Hyderabad understand all the pahalwan are chaush). In early days, they were respected by residents and were encouraged to settle public issues.[5]

Pahalwan's used to get there earnings from small eateries or dairy farms or a small fruit business, they are now property owners and dealers. When local residents started going to Middle East ( Gulf countries ) for jobs in the 70's and some of those relatives are married to Middle East Arabs[6] they would come back on vacations and buy plots. They were many empty sites in the Hyderabad specially Old City Hyderabad and at that time neither the revenue department nor the Wakf board used to have any control on the lands in those period.[5]

Pahalwan are mostly Chaush but not all, started getting money from their children who had left for Gulf Countries (GCC). By late 70s and early 80s they started getting into the business of land dealings. They started settling land disputes and seeking a good margin out of these deals. Areas such as Talab KattaShaheen NagarBabanagar, up to Pahadi Shareef among others witnessed many land transactions. As land transactions here grew, and the money pouring into these deals multiplied, so did pahelwans.[5]

But now Pahalwan, are known to be too big to be touched by the local police (the police, it is said, take no interest in the pahelwan cases) and too important to be patronised by many political parties. The growth of pahelwans is linked to the rising realty prices in Hyderabad over the last couple of decades. Specially with the boom in Real Estate and due to the development of Hyderabad International Airport in Shamshabad the neighbouring of Barkas.[5][7]

politicians in Hyderabad owe their growth, both financially and politically, to the Pahalwan. Clearly, political leaders have played a crucial role in making pahalwan bigger, stronger and their spirited political backing is always there.,[2][8]

Kushti(Indian Free Style Wrestlers) Pahalwan

Hyderabad Kesari is sponcered by (GHMC) Hyderabad Municipality.

The famous Hyderabad Kesari takes place in BarkasHyderabad.[9]

Mohsin Ali Second son of Chand Pahalwan, after winning Andhra Kesari, He wore the

1992 Colombia won India colours at junior world championship.1994 Hungary participated and won Greco-Roman free style wrestling in world championship.1996 Pakistan won the Quaid-e-Azam.1996 Chennai, picked up a silver at the South Asian Federation Games. The fourth brother, Hamid Ali, represented India at a competition in Chicago, USA, in 1994.[8]

Hamid Ali Son of Chand Pahalwan .

1994 ChicagoUSA Represented India for Greco-Roman free style wrestling.[8]

Mohammed Bin Ghouse jabri Mohammed Pahalwan was 2004 Andhra kesari 2009 Bharat kesari and Hind kesari


1. Noorani Taleem (Ghouse Pahalwan Akhada)

2. Mohammed Bin Eisa Afeef Ustad Akhada

3. Saleh Bin Awad Al-Khalaqi Ustad Akhada

4. Saleh Jabri Akhada


  • Oldie Popular Pehalwan's 

1. Sayeed Bin Ali as (Sayeed Pahalwan

2. Sayeed Bin Tirif as (Sayeed Baam)

3. Mohammed Qamaruddin Khan (Chand Pahalwan)

4.Rafiq Bin Shimlan as (Rafiq Pahalwan)

5. Abdulla Bin Mohammed Bamaz

6. Mohammed Shah Rangelay

7. Balaji Singh Pehalwan


  • Current Popular Pehalwan's

1. Mohammad Bin Ghous Jabri (Mohammed Pahalwan)​

2. Mohammed Bin Omer Yafaae (Mohammed Pahalwan)

3. Zafer Bin Ali (Zafer Pahalwan)

4. Sayeed Ba JaberSaleh BamqazMohammed Baqresa 


        Reference List


  1. ^ "Old City in the grip of loan sharks". October 8, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  2. a b c "It's Pahelwans who call the shots in Old City"The Times Of India.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. a b Mediaeval Deccan history commemoration volume in honour of Purshottam
  5. a b c d e "Pahalwan nurse a grudge against Akbaruddin over a land dispute"The Times Of India.
  6. ^ "Arabs after Old City maidens again?"The Times Of India. 2011-06-09.
  7. ^ "Murder in gym: eleven persons arrested"The Hindu. 29 March 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2012.
  8. a b c [2]
  9. a b "Ready for a bout of desi kushti?"The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2011-01-27.
  10. ^ "‘Kushti' continues to charm youth"The Hindu (Chennai, India). 2010-08-27.


Except where otherwise noted, this content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. See Copyrights.