Kushti is a form of traditional mud wrestling from India. It is centuries old, but in the last few decades the number of people taking up Kushti has been diminishing, with wrestlers taking up mat wrestling instead. [15 photos total]

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Wrestlers pose for a photo at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 15, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
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A wrestler rubs his hands with mud to prevent slipping due to sweat, during a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) bout at the Akhaara centre in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
3
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
4
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 15, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
5
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
6
A wrestler takes a bath after a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) bout at the Akhaara centre in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
7
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 15, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
8
Wrestlers rest in their dormitory after a training session at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
9
Wrestlers practise at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
10
A wrestler speaks to a schoolboy at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 14, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
11
A mud-covered wrestler trains at a traditional Indian mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 15, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions.Picture taken February 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
12
Wrestlers practise at a traditional mud wrestling (Kushti) centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, about 400 kms (250 miles) south of Mumbai, February 15, 2012. Fewer people are taking up Kushti, according to the sport's coaches, as young athletes turn instead to mat wrestling to gain access to top international sports competitions. Picture taken February 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
13
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional Indian wrestling centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, February 15, 2012. Kushti (mud wrestling) is a traditional sport in India but more and more young athletes are now taking up mat wrestling to gain access to the top international competitions like the Commonwealth Games or the upcoming Olympic Games. Picture taken February 15, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
14
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional Indian wrestling centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, February 14, 2012. Kushti (mud wrestling) is a traditional sport in India but more and more young athletes are now taking up mat wrestling to gain access to the top international competitions like the Commonwealth Games or the upcoming Olympic Games. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #
15
Wrestlers practise in the mud at a traditional Indian wrestling centre called Akhaara in Kolhapur, February 14, 2012. Kushti (mud wrestling) is a traditional sport in India but more and more young athletes are now taking up mat wrestling to gain access to the top international competitions like the Commonwealth Games or the upcoming Olympic Games. Picture taken February 14, 2012. (REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui) #

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