Bodybuilding has always been famous in India, especially in states like Maharashtra and Haryana. We have known it simply as ‘Pehalwani’ or a youngster’s way to get into ‘Kushti’ (Wrestling). However, it was the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and bollywood star Salman Khan who played elemental roles in popularising workout in India. Bodybuilding needs years of dedication, discipline and hard work. And it is, therefore, not surprising that the musclemen are so revered in the world. Here are the top 10 bodybuilders of India:
Born and brought in a family of bodybuilders in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, Suhas Khamkar is one of the most successful Indian bodybuilders. The 39-year old has won the Mr India an astonishing ten times in his career while bagging the Mr Maharashtra title 8 times. In 2010, Suhas became the first Indian to win the Mr Asia title. He won the Mr Amateur Olympia- Champion of Champion title in 2018 and continues to win medals everywhere he goes.
An electrical engineer by profession, Sangram has made a name for himself in bodybuilding. The Kolhapur-born bodybuilder has won the prestigious Mr India six consecutive times from 2010 to 2015. The 39-year old has also won the Mr Maharashtra 3 times in his career. But Sangram’s most notable achievement was winning the Mr World twice, in 2012 and 2014. The Pune-based bodybuilder has also won the Mr Universe in 2012 and now runs a gym in Pune.
It is not difficult to imagine the physique of a person nicknamed the India Hulk. But Rajendra Mani is something beyond imaginations. The 45-year old is one of the veterans in Indian bodybuilding, but his physique will still put a lot of youngsters to shame. The Chennai born served in the Indian Air Force for 15 years before completely turning his attention to bodybuilding. And ever since that, he has won several medals at the national and international level. Rajendra is a stunning 14 time Mr India, 3 times World Champion and 3 time Asian Champion. In the domestic competition, Mr Services, the bodybuilder has bagged 12 gold medals – Winning for fun!
The 44-year old bodybuilder has proven that age is just a number with his recent achievements. From the state of yet another Indian sensation, Mary Kom, comes Arambam Boby Singh, who has won the Mr India title a whopping 12 titles in his career. And it is just the tip of the iceberg. Boby’s trophy cabinet is jam-packed with his achievements at the international level. He has won 8 Mr World titles, 5 Mr Asia titles and 3 Mr South Asia titles. He usually competes in 75 kg category. Boby started participating in bodybuilding competitions in 1995, and after more than two decades, he is still going strong.
25 is considered as a pretty late age for anyone to even think about a career in bodybuilding. Murli served in the Indian Navy in his early days before he started lifting weights at 25. And today, the bodybuilder has won the Mr India 9 times in his weight category while bagging the overall title thrice. Murli has also won the 2012 Mr Asia title.
The Delhi-born bodybuilder created history by winning the International Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation Event (IBFF) for three consecutive years between 2015, 2016 and 2017. To this date, Wasim is the only Indian to have won the IBFF Event twice in two years. The bodybuilder has also won the Mr Universe in 2014 and continues to represent India at various competitions. He recently finished 5th at the 2019 Olympia Amateur in Las Vegas.
Thakur Anoop Singh
Thakur Anoop Singh might just be one of the most versatile people – He’s a pilot, an actor and a bodybuilder. He won a Gold medal at the WBPF World Bodybuilding Championship 2015 in the Men’s Fitness Physique category. The bodybuilder followed it with a bronze at the 49th Asian Championship same year. He also bagged a silver medal at 2015 Mr India. He is often seen in TV series with the most notable role of Dhritarashtra from Star’s TV series, Mahabharat.
Bron in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, Amit Chhetri is known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of India. He won the Mr India title in 2016 in the 100 kg category. Amit, who is also a police constable in Uttarakhand Police, participated in the Fairfax World Police and Fire Games in 2015 in Virginia. And the Indian stood tall in his 100 kg category, winning the gold medal despite the competition from the bodybuilders of 90 different countries.
Varinder Singh Ghuman
Varinder Singh Ghuman is amongst world’s very few vegetarian bodybuilders. Born in Punjab, Varinder won the Mr India title in 2009 and won the silver in 2012, Mr Asia. He is also the first Indian to get a Pro Card by International Federation of Body Building. Varinder has acted in a few Punjabi and Bollywood movies so far and is also set to be a part of an upcoming Bollywood movie Marjaavaan. Not only that, but Arnold Schwarzenegger selected the Indian for the promotion of the Hollywood superstar’s health care and fitness supplements in India.
The Chandigarh born Ankur Sharma is considered as one of the finest amongst the new crop of bodybuilding in India. He won the Mr Universe title in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since then. Ankur won the Mr South Asia title in the same year. He followed it with the Mr India title in 2012. In 2013, Ankur won the gold medal at the WBPF World Championship and won the Mr Asia title.