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Gulam

Gulam

Gulam was an Indian practitioner of Pehlwani. Gulam participated in early catch wrestling tournaments in Europe. At 5 foot 9, 280 pounds, Gulam wrestled in Paris in 1900 at the time of the great exposition.

In Paris, Gulam's manager extended a challenge to Turkish wrestler Cour-Derelli. Pandit Motilal Nehru was in attendance during the wrestling bout in Paris.

Edmond Desbonnet’s account of the bout was given in his 1910 book, Les Rois de la Lutte. According to this account, the newcomer dominated Cour-Derelli. In order to avoid harming the financial interests of those who bet on Cour-Derelli, the bets on the bout were called off. Gulam was proclaimed the winner, but all bets were reimbursed. Gulam returned to India where, shortly after 1900, he died of cholera.

Desbonnet referred to Gulam as one of he two "super wrestlers" of modern times (the other being Youssouf Ishmaelo) and Stanislaus Zbyszko told Robert W. Smith that, although he had never met Gulam himself, "I got information off one wrestler who did train with Gulam. He was the ruler of his day, of the mat, of human strength."

Gulam should not be confused with Ghulam "Great Gama" Muhammed, another Pehlwani practitioner.

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