Ancient martial art form still in vogue

October 15, 2010 12:00 am | Updated 04:24 am IST - AMALAPURAM:

Apart from its scenic beauty, Konaseema has a little known martial art form called – Chedi Talimkhana -- which was highlighted in the recent Telugu blockbuster film Magadheera .

‘Chedi Talimkhana' was brought to the Konaseema region, particularly Amalapuram town in 1856 by Abbireddy Ramdas, a freedom-fighter, to train youth in the martial art. He had identified four main centres in Konkapalli, Mahipala Veedhi, Gandu Veedhi and Ravanam Veedhi to organise and train youth in boxing, martial art and fitness through gymnasiums. Responding to the call given by Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Abbireddy and others started the Ganesh festival followed by Dasara Navaratri in Amalapuram and on the final day of Navaratri, a procession was organised. During the festival, youth exhibited their martial arts skills by breaking coconuts and cutting vegetables thrown in the air with a long sword or feign attacks on the head and stomach, fight with swords and bamboo sticks like the gladiators of Rome. After the demise of Abbireddy Ramdas, the tradition is still continuing and the family is imparting training to youth interested in the martial art form. “We are trying to develop their skills along with their regular studies. The youth will get an opportunity during this Dasara festival to exhibit their talent,” said Junior Ramdas, grandson of Abbireddy Ramdas.

Royal touch

This year residents of Konkapalli Street and Mahipala Street will unveil a statue of Vijayanagara emperor Sri Krishnadevaraya, who had contributed a lot to developing this martial art form. The Abbireddy family still possesses a bronze plaque presented by Sri Krishnadevaraya to the Amalapuram fighters during his time.

‘Chedi Talimkhana' was brought to Konaseema region, particularly Amalapuram, in 1856 by Abbireddy Ramdas, a freedom-fighter, to train youth in the martial art form

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