Ambika Charan Guha

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Ambika Charan Goho
Born 1843
Kolkata, Bengal, British India
Died 1900
Kolkata, Bengal, British India
Nationality Indian
Occupation Wrestler
Children Khetra Charan Goho
Parent(s) Abhay Charan Goho

Ambika Charan Goho (Bengali: অম্বিকাচরণ গুহ; 1843–1900), popularly known as Ambu babu (Bengali: অম্বুবাবু) or Ambu Goho (Bengali: অম্বু গুহ), was an Indian wrestler who pioneered the growth of akhada culture in Bengal.

Early life[edit]

Ambika Charan came from a family of wrestlers. His grandfather, Shiv Charan Goho, patronized the sport and is credited with popularizing the sport in Bengal. Ambika Charan was born to Abhay Charan Goho in 1843 in Hogolkuria in Kolkata. The locality is near the Masjidbari Street near Hatibagan.

Ambika Charan suffered a serious injury at the age of eight or nine. At the advice of the doctor he began to continue his studies at home. He also continued his physical exercises and took lessons in horse riding at home. He was trained in the art of wrestling by Kalicharan Chaubey of Mathura.


In 1857, at the age of sixteen, Ambika, founded the first akhada of Bengal, at the advice of his grandfather. Ambika then travelled throughout India learning different wrestling and weight lifting tricks. He engaged in wrestling bouts with the contemporary Indian wrestlers and became victorious in many of them. He came to be known as Ambu babu or Raja babu.

His akhada became a pilgrimage to the budding wrestlers of India. Ambika Charan became a trainer of the art and the budding wrestlers of Bengal used to train under him. Swami Vivekananda in his early years, learned wrestling in Ambu babu's akhada.[1]

Some of his famous students are listed below.


His son, Khetra Charan Goho, (popularly known as Khetu babu) also became an accomplished wrestler. Khetu babu's nephew, Jatindra Charan Goho, went on to become an accomplished wrestler who became the first Asian to win the World Light Heavyweight Championship in the United States in 1921.

The akhada culture subsequently flourished in Bengal and the Bengali Hindu elite were drawn into it. Hundreds of akhadas began to proliferate in the nooks and crannies of Bengal, some of which later became the breeding ground of revolutionary nationalist activities.


  1. ^ Rajagopal Chattopadhyaya. Swami Vivekananda in India: A Corrective Biography. Motilal Banarsidass. p. 22. ISBN 8120815866.