India's first Hind Kesari Shripati Khanchnale has passed away in Kolhapur on Monday.
Khanchnale was 86 years old.
As per the report by Maharashtra Times, he had been ill for the past few days and died due to age-related health issues at a civil hospital in Kolhapur.
Born on December 10, 1934, in Eksamba, a village on the Maharashtra-Karnataka border, Shripati Khanchanale came from an impoverished family.
From an early age, he loved wrestling and bodybuilding. Kolhapur is the Vatican of Kushti in Maharashtra. Young boys and men come here from all over Maharashtra to learn Kushti as well as to become stronger. Khanchanale was also trained at the famous Shahupuri Training Centre in Kolhapur.
His match with Punjab Kesari Banta Singh in 1959 was a huge hit. In the same match, he defeated Banta Singh and won India's first Hindkesari.
Several leaders including NCP chief Sharad Pawar, Deputy CM Ajit Pawar, minister Satej Patil paid tribute to the legend.
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