Kolhapuri Kusti (Wrestling)
Wrestlers of Kolhapur are famous around the world. This land is enriched with many qualities. Among them wrestling is one of the games. Young rural boys enroll in wrestling arena. They are trained by Masters which are called as "Vastad". There is a great convention of this wrestling arena. More than 40 wrestling arenas called as Talims are functioning in the city.
Chhatrpati's of Kolhapur gave patronship to many such institutions. Now a days many of these training activities are growing up. State Government has also given a wider scope to these activities. A Government aided wrestling training camp is also situated at Kolhapur. Corporate sector and charitable trusts and some noble persons offer scholarships for wrestlers and the training activities. Apart from this various competitions are conducted every year in which the wrestlers participate and win huge sum of money as well as name for the "Talim" they belong to. Khasbhag Maidan is famous for hosting such Kusti Matches at Home, District and Zonal Level as well. This ancient sport is still preserved in heart of Kolhapur.
Lavani is a special type of presentation which comprises of Traditional Classical Dance and Typical Songs. This can be termed as a folk dance of old Kolhapur. Later Kings and Rulers used to entertain themselves with this type of singing and dancing. It is a special type of art which is now preserved through some families and groups only.
Often stage shows happen in and around Kolhapur to keep the spirit of Kolhapuri Tradition alive. Ladies performing Lavani dress beautifully with NAV WARI SAREE (a saree longer than usual) and wear heavy ethic jewellery. They present a typical body language difficult to imitate but easy to relate with the ongoing performance. Usually the whole of show is based on a particular theme and all the artist blend into the theme so beautifully that it becomes an ever lasting memory for the audience.
Sadly though this ancient entertainment like others is loosing its shade in the bright colors of Television, Movies & Digital Entertainment.