HomeAthletesBajrang Punia – The Bahubali of Indian Wrestling
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Bajrang Punia – The Bahubali of Indian Wrestling

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Haryana has undoubtedly become the Mecca of Indian wrestling. In recent times, more than half of the Indian wrestlers have come from the state, with most of these gems winning medals for India, and Bajrang Punia is leading the pack. In this blog, we will explore the life of wrestler Bajrang Punia, his age, his wrestling career, achievements, awards and much more.

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About Bajrang Punia

Full Name Bajrang Punia
Birth Date February 26, 1994
Place of Birth Khudan Village, Jhajjar, Haryana, India
Nationality Indian
Height 5 ft 8 in (173 cm)
Weight 65 kg (143 lbs)
Sport Wrestling
Event Freestyle wrestling
Playing Role Wrestler
Coaches Satpal Singh, Shako Bentinidis, Emzarios Bentinidis
Current Training Location SAI Centre, Sonepat, Haryana, India
Years Active 2013 – present

Bajrang Punia Journey

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Jhajjar is the place where Bajrang got his first wrestling lessons.

Bajrang Punia was born on 26th February 1994 in Khudan village of Jhajjar district, in the state of Haryana.

In 2015, his family moved to Sonepat for him to attend the Regional Center of Sports Authority of India. The sport has now spread to neighboring districts, with Jhajjar and Rohtak emerging as the powerhouses of the sport.

The kids of Jhajjar take to wrestling like ducks to water and being a freestyle wrestler is an honor in the region. You can find an akhara in every village and during the morning and evening where kids slug it out in the mud.

And this is where Bajrang Punia got his first lessons in wrestling.

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Bajrang Punia Workout

Bajrang Punia Wrestling Career

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From the year 2013, Bajrang has won many international medals/championships for India.
  • Bajrang Punia first shot to fame after winning the bronze medal in the 2013 Asian Wrestling Championship in the 60 kg category.
  • A year later he went one step ahead and won the silver medal (in the 61 kg category) in the 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow.
  • In the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea, Bajrang won the silver medal in the men’s freestyle 61 kg category, after losing 1-3 to Masoud Esmailpour Jouybari of Iran.
  • In the 2014 Asian Wrestling Championships Astana, Kazakhstan, Punia again won the silver medal in the men’s freestyle 61 kg category.
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Bajrang Punia receiving the Arjuna Award from former President Pranab Mukherjee in 2015
  • In 2015, Bajrang Punia was bestowed with Arjuna Award.
  • In 2017 May, he won a gold medal at thAsian Wrestling Championship held in Delhi.
  • November 2017 he secured the silver medal at the U-23 Senior World Wrestling Championships. It was also his first medal at the world level in the Olympic weight category.
  • In the Pro Wrestling League, he was bought by the Bangalore franchise for a sum of Rs 29.5 lakhs.

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  • In the 2018 Commonwealth Games Gold Coast, Australia, he won the gold medal in the men’s freestyle 65 kg category. He overcame Kane Charig of Wales by Technical Superiority to clinch the gold.

Bajrang Punia Awards 

Awards and Honours  
Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2021
Arjuna Award 2015
Padma Shri 2019
Haryana Gaurav Award 2019
FICCI India Sports Awards Sportsperson of the Year (2019)

Bajrang Punia and Yogeshwar Dutt

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Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt is the mentor who Bajrang looks up to.

Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt feels Punia is the best wrestler in India in this weight category. Before CWG 2018 started Yogeshwar showered praise on his prodigy. He said, “Bajrang has the caliber to win a medal in the Olympics. He is a hardworking boy and his strength is his stamina. I am sure he will win medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and also in the Senior Asian Championship and yeah Tokyo 2020 too.”He’s (Bajrang) Olympic material.”

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Indian Wrestling controversies

In 2016 for the most part of the year, wrestling hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons, a bitter court battle, followed by an embarrassing dope scandal, the chain of events that set in ended up disgracing the sport.

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Even London Games bronze-medallist Yogeshwar Dutt failed to live up to the expectations, bowing out in the qualifying round to end his Olympic campaign on a disappointing note. Though Sakshi Malik’s heroics provided solace, it was not enough to eclipse the shock and embarrassment that India had to endure with Narsingh’s ouster from the Olympics.

What started as a minor tussle for an Olympic berth in men’s 74kg freestyle between Narsingh & Sushil Kumar, snowballed into an ugly slanging match that ended in a legal battle: though he won in the court, the ordeal was far from over as Narsingh landed in a bigger mess with his blood sample returning positive for a banned substance.

What followed was another battle to clear his name. Narsingh claimed innocence, saying it was a conspiracy against him, and his food supplements and water had been spiked. Even WFI stood firmly behind the wrestler, supporting his sabotage theory.

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Narsingh was eventually handed a four-year ban for flunking a dope test after the ad-hoc division of the Court of Arbitration for Sports (CAS) overturned the clean chit given to him by the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA).

In January 2023, Bajrang Punia along with wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and others have alleged that the president of WFI, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, has been sexually exploiting women wrestlers. The wrestlers had requested the intervention of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister for his removal. But, after the formation of an oversight committee to probe the matter, the protest was withdrawn. However, the wrestelers have renewed their protest on April 23 after seven women wrestlers, including a minor, tried to lodge a complaint against the federation, but the police denied to register an FIR.

However, later with the judgment of the Supreme Court to permitted the police to register two FIRs against the WFI chief. The first FIR reported against him was under the POCSO Act, for sexual harassment offenses against a minor, and the second one was registered pertaining to the complaint filed by the other women wrestlers.

Pro Wrestling League

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PWL has given international exposure to Indian wrestlers.

Essentially the Pro Wrestling League is trying to bring in the level of competition that is best in the world so that our wrestlers are exposed to the best talent globally.

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Indian wrestlers get an opportunity to compete with wrestlers from across the world at their home ground. Young wrestlers can learn a lot from Olympians and world champions in the team.

History of Wrestling in India

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Kushti is one of the most widely played sport in India.

Wrestling is the oldest sport in India. The earliest mention of Kushti or also called ‘Dangal’ is in the Mahabharata.

Kushti has simple rules and is fought between two protagonists in a large arena covered only with sand and loose mud. The men wrestle only in this natural environment and normally there is nothing like a ring. The game is a trial of strength and the victor pins his opponent to the earth with both shoulders touching the sand and mud. No blows with the hands are allowed and the men grapple with each other face to face.

The place where the wrestler’s train is called an Akhara. The head of the Akhara is referred to as ‘Guru’ who is invariably Kushti champions himself.

The exercise system for the Pehlwans also follows the Indian system of exercise. It includes exercising with large wooden clubs, Dand (Push-ups), and Baithak (squats).

Over the centuries this Indian form of wrestling continued in India. It is different from the Freestyle and Roman style of wrestling which is universally recognized all over the world. This style of wrestling is confined only to the sub-continent and now is home only to India and Pakistan.

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Bajrang Punia Twitter


Who is Bajrang Punia, and what is his wrestling career like?

Bajrang Punia is an Indian wrestler who has made a name for himself in the sport of freestyle wrestling. He has won multiple medals at the Olympic Games, World Championships, Asian Games, and Commonwealth Games.

What are the awards that Bajrang Punia received?

Bajrang Punia has been awarded several prestigious awards and honors, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Arjuna Award, and Padma Shri.

What social causes does Bajrang Punia support?

Bajrang Punia has been actively involved in promoting social causes and has used his platform as a wrestler to raise awareness about issues such as female infanticide, child labor, and environmental conservation. He has also contributed to various charity organizations and worked towards improving the lives of underprivileged children in India.

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Mamta Thatte
Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.


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