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International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health
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P-ISSN: 2394-1685 | E-ISSN: 2394-1693 | CODEN: IJPEJB

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2016, Vol. 3, Issue 4, Part F

Paik akheda the martial arts of Odisha: A historical analysis

Author(s): Dr. Shyam Sundar Rath

In ancient and medieval times, Orissa passed under the names of Kalinga, Utkal, and Odra Desa. Ancient Kalinga was a powerful state and extends its boundary from the river Ganges to the river Godavari. The history of Kalinga goes by its own significance. The military glory of Kalinga is marked from the time of Ashok (3rd century B.C) the Mauryan Emperor of Magadha. The martial arts of Odisha, though popularly known as ‘paik akheda’ in present days origin from the ancient war skill. It has some literary meaning. The term 'paik' derived from the Sanskrit word 'padatika' which means foot soldiers. They were requited from all the classes and castes. The paik enjoyed the cultivated lands, as cash for their military services, which was called Paik Jagire, did not pay them. The ‘akheda’ is a place or club house in the villages of Odisha where they practice all sorts of martial activities in front of their paik Guru (teacher). The paiks of Orissa used sixteen types of weapons. 4ost important thing is that, at the age twenty they are eligible to join in the army after obtaining necessary training from their Guru. They retired from their military services at the age forty. However, after their retirement, they can work as a watchman at palace, treasury, and fort. Some of them also utilize their service as paik guru and trained young at their village akheda. Further the elder son of the family was bound to join in the army and the younger son look after the cultivation and their family. The single son of the family is not entitled to join in the army. From this we can very well understand the recruitment process of the Kalingan army. There is no doubt these famous martial arts have been derived from ancient war skills and presently exhibited by the paiks and their Guru in different festivals of Odisha. These martial arts are classified into two different parts like martial arts with weapons and without weapons. Sometimes state and district level competitions were organised by the State Government. However, the paiks and paik gurus are trying their level best to retain their traditional martial sprit as a valorous race and for the memories of the bygone days.

Pages: 302-305  |  2003 Views  555 Downloads

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International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health
How to cite this article:
Dr. Shyam Sundar Rath. Paik akheda the martial arts of Odisha: A historical analysis. Int J Phys Educ Sports Health 2016;3(4):302-305.

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