Google Doodle celebrates India’s first female wrestler Hamida Banu

Google Doodle celebrates India's first female wrestler Hamida Banu

Hamida Banu is known as the first woman wrestling champion of India. She was so aggressive while at work that her colleagues used to be scared of her. Hamida Banu forced respected men wrestlers of her day admit her mastery and invincibility.

When you look through Indian wrestling, it is hard to ignore the name of Hamida Banu. Regarded as the initial female wrestler in India, she set an example which shall never grow old. So on Saturday fourth of May, Google decided to commemorate her by making Hamida Banu the first Indian female wrestler to be featured on its Doodle.Let’s look back and trace how Hamida Banu became a star.

This doodle, Illustrated by Bengaluru-based guest artist Divya Negi, celebrates Indian wrestler Hamida Banu standing in the foreground surrounded by local flora and fauna with ‘Google’ inscribed in the background.

About Hamida Banu`s  Life

Hamida Banu who lived in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh became famous as the Amazon of Aligarh and earned an admirer most male professional photographers wanted.

Banu has faced many difficulties in different parts of India and she has emerged the victor against all those who came her way. Bringing down either the Gaucharan (wrestling champion) of Patiala or knocking just about the Maharajah’s wrestler Chhote Gama Pahalwan from Baroda at the time when they were both being described as champions of wrestling, she triumphed over every obstacle.

She weighed about 108 Kilograms and she was 1.6 metres tall. She took five to six litres of milk every day since she had a liking for it. Later on in her career, she developed a taste for eating fruit juice. On a day-to-day basis, this woman was taking in biryani, mutton, almonds and butter.”

In a book published in 1987, noted Indian author Maheshwar Dayal wrote about Hamida Banu and likened her style of wrestling to that practised by male wrestlers.

“Dayal observed she fought like a male wrestler before on several occasions but then again it is believed that Hamida Pahalwan and the male wrestlers used to enter into a pact before the match and the opponent would lose purposely.”

News shows that Banu suffered great poverty in the final days of her life where she had to sell milk and homemade cookies at a street corner to raise some money for herself.


During the 1940s and 1950s, the wrestler was an amazing wrestler and men in India were still considering wrestling a manly game that a professional woman in the same sport would have sounded unimaginable.

Hamida Banu secured international fame in 1954 by fighting and defeating Baba Pahalwan—a bout that many across the globe considered phenomenal. It took her just 1 hour and 34 minutes to emerge victorious after they had locked horns on the mat for hours without end before an audience of thousands who had gathered specifically for this momentous occasion-if anything because no one in attendance could believe how strong these two people were when pitted against each other! She stopped working as a professional wrestler after she beat him for nothing in the sport could surpass that.