50 years, ago, one great man made our country proud in this world when people thought India was poor in all sports. Guess who? He is none other than Dara Singh Randhawa. He was India’s most favourite and iconic wrestler. He was born on November 19 in the year 1928, Amritsar district.
Dara Singh carved out a reputation for himself as the most successful wrestler as he fought over 500 matches in his stellar career where he never lost a fight in the international wrestling arena. That sums up the essential Dara Singh for you!
Back then many people get goosebumps when they heard his name because he was stronger enough to defeat all the opponents. Dara Singh had a killer physique and was easily the dominant wrestler ever than most Indian wrestlers at that time. He was known for his bigger body measurements as he was 6ft 2 inches tall with a 53-inch chest.
Due to his excellent physique, Dara Singh was pushed to take up wrestling at a very young age. Realising his talent, he kick-started his wrestling career by competing in non-professional fights at fairs and markets. He slowly started gaining fame and reputation for his physical stature.
Dara Singh was actively involved in Pehlwani, an Indian wrestling technique that has been trending for over 1,000 years. After growing from strength to strength, Dara Singh had toured many Asian countries to rage fights. In 1947, he jetted off to Singapore, where he stole the spotlight for being crowned as the Champion of Malaysia when he trounced Tarlok Singh at the best scene.
Day by day, he got better and he became the National Wrestling Champion in 1954, at the age of 26. His name was widespread across all countries. He earned many honours from all corners of the country with his stupendous wrestling skills.
Five years later, Dara Singh became the Commonwealth Champion by getting the better of King Kong, George Gordienko and John Desilva. Also, Dara Singh became the World Champion by trouncing America’s Lou Thesz in 1968.
Having become famous worldwide, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) introduced him into the Hall of Fame as a professional wrestler in 1996. He called it quits from wrestling at a tournament held in Delhi in 1983. Apart from being an undisputed wrestling champion, he made his appearance as an actor and he put on a great show in several Hindi and Punjabi films.
His most watched movies are Sikander-e-Aazam, Watan Se Door, Daada, Rustom-E-Baghdad, Sher Dil, and Raaka, Kal Ho Na Ho and Jab We Met. He also played the role of Hanuman in the TV serial starring Ramayana. The iconic personality was also the first sportsperson to be nominated in the Rajya Sabha. He served the role from 2003 to 2009.
He passed away on July 12, 2012 and will forever be remembered as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. He left a great legacy and it was 50 years after he became World Champion and people still remember him.