Sunday, 14 October 2012

Dara Singh and the Skating Ring at Kurli Bazaar.

The Skating Ring, also known as the Rink Hall at the Kurli Bazaar on Camals Back Road was opposite the Roxy building. Sometime Shri Nathji used to come to the Skating Ring. HH Pran Nathji and HH Priya Nathji came with Shri Nathji to the Skating Ring in 1959 to watch the international wrestling match between Dara Singh and foreign wrestlers, in which they saw how mean and angry the foreign wrestlers were and how they cheated, as compared to the dignity and silence and honesty of Dara Singh. It was Dara Singh’s first visited Mussorie during Commonwealth International Wrestling Championship in 1959. It was in this championship that Dara Singh defeated the great wrestler of his times King Kong, in a free style wrestling bout held at the Rink Hall, considered to be the biggest in Asia then. It was due to Shri Nathji’s blessings that Dara Singh defeated the much heavier King Kong who weigh 200Kg. After defeating King Kong that day Dara Singh become a legend.
Dara Singh had a close connection with the hill town of Mussoorie, and that was evident from his nearly 20 trips to the town since 1960 on different occasions. Dara Singh, on the invitation from the National Roller Skating Association, once again visited the same Rink Hall in 1969 as chief guest where he distributed the awards to the participants from around the country. Beena Bhardwaj, the national champion in roller skating, said that Dara Singh was impressed with the talent displayed by the roller skaters. This rare photograph shows Dara Singh (in black suit) with the participants of the National Roller Skating Championship held at Rink Hall in Mussoorie in 1969. He also shot his film titled “Veeru Ustad” in 1976 in Mussoorie.
Dara Singh had received the special blessings of Shri Nathji when Shri Nathji was staying at the house of Sardar Harbhajan Singh Chopra, in Allahabad,  for few months in  year in1958.
 Dara Singh was a relative of Chopra who also happened to be visiting him and lived with Chopra for some days. So when Dara Singh came to Mussoorie for the wrestling match. Shri Nathji went their to bless him. 

Dara Singh was born in a Punjabi Jat Sikh family, son of Surat Singh Randhawa and Balwant Kaur on 19 November 1928 in the village Dharmuchak of Amritsar district in Punjab.Dara Singh married to Surjit Kaur Randhawa in 1961. He has six children 3 sons and three daughters.His son Vindu Singh is a popular TV and film actor.His other sons are Pruduman Singh Randhawa and Amrik Singh.
He was encouraged in wrestling due to his massive physique. He worked at his Farm as a kid.He was encouraged to study Pehlwani, an Indian style of wrestling, in the milked sand wrestling pits called akhara. Dara Singh was a favourite in wrestling tournaments in India. In addition to this, he wrestled on invitation of kings of Indian princely states and wrestled frequently in haats and melas (fairs and carnivals). He successfully competed against some of the greatest names in wrestling history and professional wrestlers in the United States. Dara went to Singapore in 1947. Became the Champion of Malaysia (Indian style wrestling) by defeating Tarlok Singh in Kuala Lumpur. He has toured almost all far-east countries as a Professional Wrestler. Dara Singh returned to India in 1952 and became the Indian Champion in 1954.And the rest as they say is history.
The Skating Ring or the Rink Hall Hotel has been converted into a hotel by the name of  “The Rink Pavilion” Incidentally it still has a large roller skating ring in its premises, which can also be used as an auditorium. 

1 comment:

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