Volume 2 Issue 55 | April 11 , 2009 |


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From Chittagong

Games of Strength

Photos by Shahadat Parvez

"Jabbarer Boli Khela” is a very popular wrestling festival of Chittagong, generally held in the first half of the Bangla month of Baishakh amid great fanfare and festivity.

The exact origin of this sport is not known but this tradition is believed to have started in the Mughal period.

Now, in the waning days of its grandeur, Jabbar's Boli Khela continues to attract crowds in Chittagong. A three-day fair is held on the occasion, generally at the Laldighi Maidan.

Boli Khela is publicised by beating drums. The wrestlers enter the arena while supporters beat their drums. There are several rounds.

The present-day Boli Khela was introduced in 1909 by Abdul Jabbar Saodagar and was aimed at mobilising the country's youth against British rule. The golden age of this sport lasted between the two world wars.


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