Published 09:46 IST, May 4th 2024

Who Was Hamida Banu - India's First Woman Wrestler On Google Doodle Today

Google Doodle pays tribute to Hamida Banu, India's pioneering woman wrestler, known as the 'Amazon of Aligarh.' Celebrating her legacy.

Reported by: Digital Desk
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Who Was Hamida Banu - India's First Woman Wrestler On Google Doodle | Image: Google

Today, Google pays tribute to the remarkable life of Hamida Banu, a trailblazing Indian woman wrestler whose legacy embodies resilience, determination, and breaking barriers.

Born in the 1920s, Hamida Banu emerged from the streets of Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, to challenge the norms of her time and carve her name into the history of Indian wrestling. In an era dominated by male wrestlers, Banu fearlessly entered the arena, captivating audiences with her unmatched skill and unwavering tenacity.


Banu's journey to prominence was not without its hurdles. In a bold move that sparked both admiration and controversy, she issued a unique challenge in February 1954. Any man who could defeat her in a wrestling match would win her hand in marriage. This audacious declaration not only showcased her confidence but also her steadfast belief in her abilities. And Banu proved her mettle, defeating two male champions from Patiala and Kolkata, respectively, before facing off against Baba Pahalwan in Vadodara and emerging victorious in just over a minute.

What happened on May 4:

According to Google: 'On this day in 1954, the wrestling match that earned Banu international recognition and acclaim was reported - she had defeated famed wrestler Baba Pahalwan, in just 1 minute and 34 seconds, after which the latter retired from professional wrestling.


Throughout her career, Banu's prowess inside the ring was matched only by her dedication outside of it. Standing at 5'3" and weighing 108kg, she adhered to a rigorous training regimen and consumed a staggering amount of food daily to fuel her athletic pursuits. Her discipline and commitment earned her the moniker "Amazon of Aligarh" and cemented her status as India's first professional female wrestler.

Who created the Google Doodle on Hamida Banu? The Google Doodle on India’s first woman wrestler was created by Bengaluru-based artist Divya Negi. Negi says she was inspired by Hamida Banu’s fight against conservative norms of the day.


Despite her triumphs, Banu faced opposition and scepticism from various quarters, including local wrestling federations and doubtful spectators. Moreover, her personal life was marked by adversity, as she endured violence at the hands of her coach, Salam Pahalwan, resulting in physical injuries that left her incapacitated for years.

In her later years, Banu retreated from the limelight, finding solace in a quiet life in Kalyan, where she earned a modest living selling milk and snacks. Yet, her legacy continues to inspire generations of women wrestlers who dare to dream and defy convention.


09:14 IST, May 4th 2024