The history of bodybuilding in India dates back to the post-independence era when several Indian athletes competed for the prestigious Mr. Universe title.
Bodybuilding is not a Western invention, but a sport that has been practiced and perfected by many Indian legends.
Some of the names that have brought glory to the country are Manohar Aich, Bishnu Charan Ghosh, Premchand Degra, Monotosh Roy, the first Asian to win Mr. Universe in 1951, Chitharesh Natesan, the latest Indian to win Mr. Universe in 2019, and R Kartikeshwar, the overall champion of Mr. Universe in 2022.
10. Yatinder Singh
Yatinder Singh, a professional bodybuilder from Uttar Pradesh, India, is one of the top Indian bodybuilders who has overcome a serious injury to achieve remarkable success in the sport. He was born in 1982 and started his bodybuilding career in 2001.
He has won several national and international titles, including the silver medal in the 80 kg category at the World Bodybuilding Championship and the Mr. India title in the same weight category in 2016.
What makes his story inspiring is that he suffered a lower back vertebrae rupture during a workout session in 2005, which resulted in nerve damage and partial paralysis of his right hand and leg.
Despite this setback, he did not give up on his passion and worked hard to recover and compete again.
He is also an entrepreneur and a fitness icon who runs his own supplement brand, gym chain, and YouTube channel.
9. Rajendran Mani
Rajendran Mani is a former Indian Air Force soldier and one of the top Indian bodybuilders who has achieved remarkable success in the sport despite his humble background and lack of support.
He was born in 1975 into a financially weak family with five siblings and started his bodybuilding career in 2001.
Mani also served in the Indian Air Force for 15 years and retired in 2016.
He has won several national and international titles, including eight times Mr. India and Champion of Champions.
He also won the men’s 90 kg competition at the 2013 World Bodybuilding and Physique Sports Championships.
He is known for his dedication and passion for bodybuilding, as he spends most of his income on training and supplements.
8. Arambam Boby Singh
Arambam Boby Singh is an Indian Manipuri bodybuilder who won his first Mr. World Championship title in 2010 in the 75 kg category for bodybuilding championships in Varanasi, India and has represented the country on the international platform since then regularly.
He won this title 7 times in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, winning 7 golds, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. The amazing and riveting tale of this extraordinary man is behind all these wondrous victories.
The World Bodybuilding and Physique Federation (WBPF) held a tenth Mr. World competition on December 16, 2018, in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which was Bobby’s 8th world title win.
In his early days, Boby also won the 1995 Jr. Mr. Manipur and Champion of the Champions title, and the overall title of Mr. India, in 1998.
The champion talks about his struggle, hopes, aspirations, and expectations in a freewheeling interview with Indian Sports News.
7. Amit Chhetri
Amit Chhetri is an Indian Gorkha Body Builder from Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
He won the ‘Champion of Champions for Federation Cup 2013’ and was adjudged the best in his weight category at the 13th Federation Championship.
In 2016, he took home the 100 kg division of Mr. India and was adjudged the best not only in his weight category but also over all other 9 weight categories ranging between 55 Kg to above 100 Kg+.
He has achieved remarkable success in the sport and is referred to as the Arnold Schwarzenegger of India and currently works as an officer in the Uttarakhand Police department.
6. Murali Kumar
Murali Kumar is an Indian Navy champion bodybuilder. He was ranked first position for the Top 10 Indian Bodybuilders Ranking in 2013.
Murali isn’t from a bodybuilding or wrestling background; he didn’t always want to grow into a Desi bodybuilder.
A fracture in his legs during his profession injured him.
To improve his leg muscles, the physician advised him to start some exercise at the gym.
That’s when he was introduced to the local gym and started training regularly.
In the beginning, he only focused on his legs for rest and recovery therapy, but he progressed to a strong bodybuilding interest.
He has a splendid structure with broad shoulders and has good genetics that helped him to recover quickly to become a professional bodybuilder.
He’d had a vivacious upbringing, playing many sports, including cricket and football, but his primary passion was computer electronics.
He has shown an excellent commitment to bodybuilding and has followed his gym routines regularly.
He took ten years of ongoing efforts to reach such a point that he managed to defeat Sangram Chougule bodybuilder, who won Mr. India’s title on 25 March 2013.
Murali Kumar goes to bed at 10:00 pm and wakes at 5:00 am.
He’s also especially interested in his gyms and takes time from his daytime job.
He says it is very important to keep to your schedule because bodybuilding requires a consistent and committed approach.
5. Ankur Sharma
Ankur Sharma is a well-known Indian bodybuilder who has achieved significant success in the field.
Some of his best accomplishments include winning the Mr. India, Mr. Asia, and Mr. Universe titles.
He also secured a gold medal in the Men’s Fitness Physique category at the 2015 WBPF World Bodybuilding Championship and won a bronze medal at the Arnold Classic 2016 in Melbourne, Australia.
Additionally, he has clinched the title of Mr. Maharashtra multiple times in his career. Sharma’s dedication to natural bodybuilding methods and his consistent success have established him as a formidable figure in the global bodybuilding arena.
4. Varinder Singh Ghuman
Varinder Singh Ghuman is an Indian professional bodybuilder and actor. He was born in 1983 or 1984 in Gurdaspur, Punjab. Ghuman won Mr. India in 2009 and secured second place in Mr. Asia.
He is known for being the world’s first vegetarian professional bodybuilder.
Ghuman was hired by Arnold Schwarzenegger as his brand ambassador to promote his health products in Asia.
He is also the first Indian bodybuilder to secure the IFBB pro card.
In addition to his bodybuilding career, Ghuman has appeared in several films, including Kabaddi Once Again, Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans, and Marjaavaan.
3. Sunit Jadhav
Sunit Jadhav is an emerging Indian bodybuilder and current Mr. India from Mumbai, Maharashtra. Born in Nanded, his aesthetic physique has a lot of potential to represent India in International competitions.
He won the Federation Cup Overall and the 10th Mr. India title in March 2017 at the Leisure Valley Park (Gurugram).
His goal is to become an International Champion and leave a mark in the fitness industry worldwide.
2. Sangram Chougule
Originally from Kolhapur, Sangram Chougule is a Professional Indian bodybuilder living in Pune (in Pimpri Chinchwad).
He won the title of Mr. Universe 2012 & 2014 in the 85 kg category at WBPF World Championships and has also won the titles of Mr. India six times and Mr. Maharashtra five times.
In 2006, he took part in a professional show in his local district and won the title ‘The Great Marathi Shree’ (The Great Mr. Maharashtra).
In 2008, he won the title of Mr. Pune, and in 2015; he worked as an actor in the Marathi film ‘Dandam’ and was featured on the cover of Muscle Mango magazine in December 2017.
Sangram Chougule’s physique is considered to be one of the best among all Indian bodybuilders.
1. Suhas Khamkar
Considering his near-perfect refined physique and overall title statistics, Suhas Madhukar Khamkar is the best Indian bodybuilder to ever compete.
Khamkar comes from a family of fitness experts and wrestlers and is a native of the Kolhapur region.
Since his childhood, champion bodybuilders, and wrestlers have inspired him. He was the student of Bibhishan Patil, the legendary coach. Khamkar began seriously training at age 16 and attempted to become a bodybuilder world champion (an inspiration from Arnold Schwarzenegger).
He eventually achieved the legendary status of winning the highest Mr. India titles and the highest international titles (highest than any other Indian bodybuilder).
He got a break into international fame after winning the Mr. Amateur Olympia competition in October 2018 and was the first Indian bodybuilder to win his pro card.
Khamkar was 1st in the category of 80 kg at the 2012 Mr. India event.
A former Central Indian Railway staff member by profession, Khamkar was the first Indian bodybuilder to win the Mr. Asia competition in 2010.
In 2012, he placed 2nd place in Kuwait’s Mr. Olympia amateur competition and placed second in the 2017 Amateur Asia Mr. Olympia contest.
These top 10 bodybuilders in India have demonstrated their exceptional skills, showcasing India’s prowess in bodybuilding.
These athletes have proven that India has produced some of the most impressive bodybuilders in the world.
With their dedication, discipline, and hard work, they have achieved incredible physiques and earned many accolades in bodybuilding.
Whether you are a fitness enthusiast or admire the incredible achievements of these athletes, they have left an indelible mark on the sport and inspired countless others to pursue their fitness goals.