Height: 6’ 6”
Weight: 266-364 pounds
Born in a village near Lahore in 1857, Kikar Singh was inspired by his wrestler father to train him in the tradition. After establishing himself as an upcoming wrestler, he placed himself under the control of Bhuta Pahalwan and Rustom-e-Hind.
When the Bhuta wrestler retired from the sport at the end of the 19th century, he was accepted as a staunch Sikh student champion. Soon after the emblem by the rulers of Jodhpur, Indore, Tatia, Dong and Jammu and Kashmir became Kikar Singh’s magnificent law and fierce force. His physique and strength were in such a proportion that the Maharaja of Kashmir considered him to be an incarnation of Bhairava, a serious form of Shiva. But, with all his size, he wrestled with the lion’s pace. Some contestants may match the strength and skill of this ‘Dev-e-Hind’ (the god-god of India).
Kicker Singh’s biggest rival is the slave wrestler of Amritsar. He fought on several occasions and attracted large crowds from all over Punjab for his epic fights. After Ghulam’s death in 1900, his brother, Kallu claimed the title, but Kikar Singh stood his way. Out of seven to commemorate the coronation of King George V during the Delhi Durbar celebrations in December 1911, Kikar Singh won four, lost two and won the last match. Kikar Singh was challenged by his old rival Kallu. Even if Sikh has passed his prime (he has risen a lot: according to referee Brigadier General Charles Granville Bruce, his weight has increased from 19 stones or 266 pounds to 264 pounds or 364 pounds) with his asthma. Patient, he will not be able to answer a challenge. When the match began, two wrestlers circled the arena like two hungry lions. Kallu fielded Kicker Singh, but Vishal stained him. When the match resumed, the stone kicker defeated Singh completely until the referee intervened and declared the match a draw.
Kikar Singh died in his native village in 1914, where a ‘mausoleum’ or memorial temple was built in his memory.
Kikar Singh (right) posing with Labu Lohar in a pre-match pose born as Prem Singh is said to have trapped the name Kicker Singh once the tree of ‘Kicker’ (Acacia) was uprooted from his hands. Others say that he got his botanical name because of his height and dark complexion.
Kikar Singh easily defeated all the challenges, except the wrestler brothers Ghulam and Kallu. One of the strongest enemies of the slave was Gamu Paliwala, who was defeated at the hands of this great wrestler, as well as many other similar fame: Shah Nawaz, Channan Kasai of Lahore, Dita, Qadir Bhatt of Multan and the great Kala Partha.
Kikar Singh (right) painted a mural at the entrance of a village in East Punjab’s Ludhiana district against his elder rival Ghulam Pahalwan. The extraordinary strength of a Sikh wrestler was never tested by the Maharaja Bartab Singh of Kashmir; The Maharaja organized a competition to see who among his wrestlers could hold the shaft of a hand-tied power generator (set up to treat a relative’s arthritis). Kikar Singh was in Kashmir at the time and was preparing for the upcoming matches in Jammu. He was called and happily grabbed the pipe. The current opened up to its fullest extent, but there was no trace of pain or agony on Kikar Singh’s face; The gladiator’s forehead was seen sweating for only one hour. When the current was stopped, his palms burned and thick layers of blisters formed. For this achievement, he received an award amount equal to 20. Then, his palms became so hard that when he once crushed his rival, The Great Slave, in his third match, the slave screamed in pain, his chin showing years of signs.