Height: 5’ 6”
Weight: 180 pounds
Ghulam Mohi-ud-din was born in 1876 to a Kashmiri family, the famous wrestler Ustad Nuruddin Pahalwan. He spent his childhood wrestling in the company of his cousin Meraj Pehalwan in the court of Maharaja Junagadh. He was later shifted to Kohlapur, where the Maharaja provided a large garden (‘Zakir’) for his maintenance.
When Mohi-ud-din defeated the famous Kala Parthba, he was given a gold bracelet and a precious necklace. However, he gained lasting fame as a result of his rivalry with the famous Gama at Mochi Darwaza in Lahore in 1906. The heroes fought like wrathful lions. Deadly grip was used and quickly broke. Gama Mohi-ud-din was able to throw twice, but the Caliph did not pass. In complete resistance, he easily broke the locks of Gamma’s rigid arm. The match ended in a draw, but three years later Gamma proved superior in another match, defeating the Caliph in eight minutes.
Mohi-ud-din had two memorable fights with Gama’s brother Imam Bakhsh. The first took place in 1909 near Dadi Darpasa in Lahore and ended two and a half hours later. They next met in 1914 at Kohlapur, where the struggle for supremacy lasted for 30 minutes, but as they reconciled, the boat was set to draw.
After a successful foreign tour of nineteen months from 1911–13, the Khalifa revealed his identity by giving an open challenge to a gathering of India’s champion wrestlers, who were invited to a banquet hosted by the Maharaja of Indore. When no one came forward to take the manual, his host gave him the title ab abtab i-hind ‘(Son of India) and gave him a mess and a beautiful sword.
In 1921, thousands of people gathered at Ratan Chand Tariwala’s ‘Sarai’ (inn) in Lahore, where the towering Rahim Baksh Sultaniwala (about one and a half feet) was taller than the Khalifa, as compared to Mohi-ud-din and Gujranwala. Fast boxing lasted two hours, but did not produce a clear winner.
Ghulam Mohi-ud-din’s extensive competitive wrestling and teaching career ended with his death in 1962.
London, 1911 Practice Khalifa Ghulam Mohi-ud-din In 1911, Khalifa went on a European tour. After receiving a disappointing answer to a challenge before him in London, he moved to Paris. To get a match, one was forced to adjust to the prevailing Greco-Roman style, which did not allow foot-holding or tripping. His technological advances were so spectacular that within a few days, he was able to mold himself to this unfamiliar wrestling style. In a remarkable scene in front of a crowd of 5,000 in a bullfighting area in Bordeaux, he threw to then-Greco-Roman champion Maurice Gambier twice in five minutes. From Paris, Mohi-ud-din traveled to Chicago and met another world champion, Frank Kot (in catch-catch-style), for a fight. The wrestler waited for him for a full six months, but the coaches could not muster the courage to face him. Back in France, Ghulam Mohi-ud-din’s skill, strength and resentment earned him the title of Champion of France.
Gamma wrestler Ghulam Mohi-ud-din’s greatest rival, the Great Gamma, holds the garment of the fictional champion.