Hamida Banu: India’s First Woman Wrestler, Honored with Google Doodle as the ‘Amazon of Aligarh’

Hamida Banu: India’s First Woman Wrestler, Honored with Google Doodle as the ‘Amazon of Aligarh’

Google released a doodle honoring the remarkable Indian wrestler, Hamida Banu. Known as India’s pioneering female wrestler, she has always been an inspiration to me. The description accompanying the doodle beautifully captures her essence, highlighting her fearlessness and unwavering authenticity. It’s heartening to see her legacy being celebrated not only for her sporting achievements but also for her integrity and courage. Hamida Banu’s story resonates deeply with me, and I’m grateful for the recognition she rightfully deserves.

Who is Hamida Banu?

Hamida Banu, born into a family of wrestlers near Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in the early 1900s, defied societal norms and embraced her passion for wrestling. Despite the prevailing discouragement of women’s participation in athletics, she fearlessly challenged conventions, issuing open challenges to men and offering her hand in marriage to the first man to defeat her. Banu’s remarkable triumphs earned her the title of the ‘Amazon of Aligarh,’ with her feats, training regimen, and indomitable spirit becoming subjects of widespread admiration and fascination.

Her legacy extends far beyond the wrestling mat, symbolizing resilience, determination, and the relentless pursuit of one’s passions. Despite facing societal opposition, Hamida Banu remained steadfast in her convictions, leaving an indelible mark on Indian sporting history as a trailblazer. Google’s doodle, crafted by artist Divya Negi from Bangalore, pays homage to Banu’s courage and talent, portraying her as a symbol of inspiration for standing up for what she believed in, even in the face of adversity. Negi’s artwork captures the vibrancy of Banu’s era, adorned with traditional Indian motifs and bright colors, celebrating her achievements and serving as a poignant tribute to her enduring legacy.


In an era when societal norms strongly discouraged women from participating in athletics, Hamida Banu’s unwavering dedication defied convention and earned her widespread acclaim. Fearlessly challenging male wrestlers and even offering her hand in marriage to the first to defeat her, Banu’s bold approach garnered her numerous accolades and recognition. Her remarkable achievements extended beyond national borders, with international titles to her name, including a notable victory against Russian wrestler Vera Chistilin in under two minutes. Banu’s prowess in the wrestling arena catapulted her to fame, with her dietary habits and rigorous training regimen becoming subjects of media fascination and coverage.


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