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Top 10 Best Wrestlers In India Of All Time

Recently, you may have seen the headlines that Indian wrestlers are making quite the wave on the international stage. Right? Well, that’s quite apparent since Kushti aka Pehlwani has been going to India for quite a long time now. And of course, Kushti or Pehlwani is actually a form of Wrestling, in which the Indian wrestlers are masters. If you have started feeling intrigued by this sport, then the reason for that would be the superstar wrestlers who have made this sport quite interesting for you. Correct? Well, if that’s the case, then you are at the right spot and at the right time because we are about to dive deep into the list of your favorite and the top 10 best wrestlers in India of all time.

We have included the name of who actually made this sport a hit in India. It is not just about their introduction though, we will also take a leap into their backstory, their struggles, and what makes them so special as wrestlers. So yeah, stay tuned for that. Here we go.

List of Best Wrestlers In India Ever

1. Sushil Kumar

Sushil Kumar

Whenever you talk about India’s wrestling scene, Sushil Kumar’s name is bound to leap out. This stellar athlete’s put India on the freestyle wrestling map, being one of our most successful athletes. He’s got a couple of Olympic medals under his belt, a silver from London 2012 and a bronze from Beijing 2008, both in the 66 kg category. He’s a trailblazer in our wrestling history, being the first to win consecutive Olympic medals. When it comes to other international stages, this guy’s nailed it. Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, World Championships – you name it, and he’s likely won gold there. Domestically, he’s a wrestling rockstar, winning national championships and inspiring a new generation of Indian wrestlers.

2. Yogeshwar Dutt

Yogeshwar Dutt

The next guy is a Haryana lad from Sonipat who’s smashed the international wrestling scene with his spectacular track record. He’s got enough medals to fill a room, but his golden moment was snatching the bronze medal in the 60 kg freestyle at the London 2012 Olympics. Beyond the Olympics, he’s been a whirlwind in the wrestling world, snapping up titles at the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, and countless World Championships. His tenacity and technical genius on the mat, coupled with a never-back-down attitude, set him head and shoulders above the rest. With his legacy, aspiring Indian wrestlers have quite the shoes to fill.

3. Bajrang Punia

Bajrang Punia

There’s a new talent in the Indian wrestling world, and his name is Bajrang Punia. This powerhouse from Khudan village, Haryana, has etched his name in the annals of Indian wrestling. His medal haul is awe-inspiring, with accolades pouring in from international arenas. He made the world sit up and notice at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, where he clinched a bronze in the brutal freestyle category. His victory lap continued at the Asian Championships, where he’s the proud owner of multiple golds. When it comes to representing India in the Commonwealth Games, Punia’s the man, clinching gold medals in 2018 and 2022.

4. K.D. Jadhav

K.D. Jadhav

Next on our list is Dadasaheb Jadhav, lovingly known as K.D. Jadhav. This Maharashtra native is a colossal figure in the world of Indian wrestling. Born in 1926, in Goleshwar village, Jadhav made history as the first Indian wrestler to win an individual Olympic medal. The Helsinki Summer Olympics 1952 was his moment of glory when he brought home a bronze in the bantamweight category (57 kg). Beyond his Olympic success, Jadhav was a trailblazer for future Indian wrestlers. Despite financial hiccups and limited resources, his passion for wrestling never wavered, making him a true icon in the sport.

5. The Great Gama

The Great Gama

Then there is the legend himself The Great Gama, aka Ghulam Muhammad Baksh, the real superstar of Indian wrestling. Born in 1878 in Amritsar, Punjab, Gama was a maestro in the traditional Indian wrestling style called Pehlwlegendani. With an unbeatable track record, Gama fought around 5,000 matches in his five-decade career, and he never lost a single one. Among his legendary matches, his 1910 showdown with Russian wrestler Ivan Poddubny is still talked about. Both Titans held their own, resulting in a nail-biting draw. Even after retiring in 1952, Gama’s influence on Indian wrestling continues to resonate. His invincible record and lifelong dedication to wrestling make him a beacon of inspiration in the wrestling world.

6. Geeta Phogat

Geeta Phogat

Thanks to some epic coaching from her dad, Mahavir Singh Phogat, Geeta has risen to become one of India’s most celebrated female wrestlers. Her 2010 Commonwealth Games victory was the stuff of legends. This trailblazer bagged gold in the 55 kg freestyle category, smashing stereotypes and setting a new standard for Indian women in sports. She also scored a milestone when she became the first Indian woman wrestler to qualify for the Olympics in 2012. Although she didn’t snag a podium finish, her resilience ignited a wildfire of inspiration for future athletes. Geeta’s journey, full of meteoric highs and gritty determination, is so epic it even inspired a hit Bollywood movie, “Dangal.”

7. Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh Phogat

The second Phogat on this list, Vinesh, carries her family’s wrestling legacy with pride. Her unstoppable spirit and powerful wrestling moves have made her one of India’s most adored athletes. With her killer freestyle wrestling skills, she’s taken down stereotypes and competitors alike. Her wrestling career came to the fore at the 2014 Commonwealth Games when she snagged a gold medal in the women’s 48 kg freestyle wrestling category. Her finest moment came at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta when she became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal, proving that she’s not just tough, but a history-maker too!

8. Ravi Kumar Dahiya

Ravi Kumar Dahiya

Ravi Kumar Dahiya’s journey to wrestling greatness has been nothing short of spectacular. This guy hails from the wrestling hub of Sonipat in Haryana, and boy has he put it on the map! He grabbed a silver medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships, becoming the first Indian wrestler in over two decades to do so. But Ravi’s true shining moment was at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here, he clinched a historic silver medal, proving that he’s not just another wrestler but a real Indian wrestling hero. His power-packed performance, fierce dedication, and quick-thinking strategies make him one hell of a force to reckon with on the wrestling mat.

9. Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik

Sakshi Malik is the queen of the Indian wrestling world. Born and brought up in Rohtak, Haryana, this fearless woman made history at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. She won the bronze in the tough-as-nails 58 kg category, becoming the first Indian female wrestler to secure an Olympic medal. But Sakshi’s not a one-hit wonder. She’s proved her mettle at the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Championships, and the World Championships. She’s not just a sportswoman; she’s a trailblazer for millions of aspiring female wrestlers across India.

10. Deepak Punia

Deepak Punia

Lastly, let’s talk about Indian wrestling’s rising star, Deepak Punia. Born on February 19, 1999, in Haryana’s Jhajjar district, this lad has had quite a journey. He burst onto the international scene at the tender age of 20, winning silver at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships. The victory made him the youngest Indian wrestler ever to do so, and boy, did it put him in the spotlight! Punia’s other big wins include gold at the 2019 Asian Championships and a bronze at the 2021 Asian Championships. All of these accomplishments have propelled him to the top tier of Indian wrestling.


That’ll do it. Now you know who are the top Indian wrestlers of all time, and why are they so special in the wrestling scene of India. So next time, if you see any of these wrestlers trying to win a title in a match, you’ll be able to fully appreciate their efforts because now you know their backstory, and what struggles they went through.


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