Who was the first Indian Mr. Universe

Manohar Aich - Manohar Aich

Manohar Aich (Bengali: মনোহর আইচ; March 17, 1912 - June 5, 2016) was an Indian bodybuilder. He was the second Indian (after Monotosh Roy in 1951) to win a Mr. Universe title. He did this at the NABBA Universe Championships in 1952. With a height of 1.50 m he was named "Pocket Hercules".

Early life

Aich has been interested in strength-related sports such as wrestling and weightlifting since childhood. At the age of 12, his health collapsed due to a sudden attack of black fever. However, he regained his strength through physical fitness exercises. He started out with bodybuilding exercises like pushups, squats, chin-ups, leg raises, and traditional sit-ups. At this age he only did bodyweight / strength training exercises with up to 100 repetitions per set. He attended the Jubilee School in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During his school days, he went to Ruplal Byayam Samiti for physical activity. He started out in shows with the title Physique and Magic to perform together with PC Sorcar in Dhanbad. He performed such feats as bending steel with his teeth, bending spears with his neck, and laying his belly on swords.


Aich joined the Royal Air Force in 1942, where he devoted himself to bodybuilding. He was introduced to weight training by Reub Martin, a British RAF officer. As part of the RAF, Aich was arrested for beating a British officer in protest of the officer's statements in favor of colonial repression. Aich started his weight training seriously in prison. He would spend hours in physical exercise. The prison authorities monitored his talent for physical culture and arranged a special diet for him.

In 1950, at the age of 38, Aich won the Mr. Hercules competition. In 1951 he was runner-up in the Mr. Universe competition. In 1952, he took first place in the pro-short division of the NABBA Mr. Universe. At the time his measurements were: biceps 46 cm, chest 1.2 m, forearm 36 cm.

Physical statistics

  • Height: 4'11 "
  • Chest: 1.37 m (54 in) (4 ft. 6 in.)
  • Biceps: 45.72 cm (1 ft 6 in)
  • Forearms: 36 cm (14 in) (1 ft. 2 in.)
  • Waist: 58 cm

In politics

In 1991 he had also contested elections for the BJP and finished third with over 163,000 votes. He was also awarded the Banga Bibhushan Award by the West Bengal government in 2015.


Aich was India's second Mr. Universe, the first being Monotosh Roy in 1951.

Personal life

Aich turned centenary in March 2012. Attributing his good health to "a simple diet of milk, fruits and vegetables along with rice, lentils and fish", he let no tension enter his life. He had two sons and two daughters. His sons run a gym and fitness center, where Aich helped until the last days of his life.


Manohar Aich died on June 5, 2016 at the age of 104 in Calcutta.


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  9. ^ "আরও ২৫ টানব, আশা শতায়ু মনোহরের". Anandabazar Patrika . Kolkata. March 20, 2012. Archived from the original on May 27, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "1952 NABBA Mr. Universe Results!" Archived on July 8th, 2011 on the Wayback Machine. Bodybuilding.com
  11. ^ a b "Manohar Aich: Top Indian Bodybuilder Dies at the Age of 104". BBC (June 6, 2016)
  12. ^ "RIP: Life and Times of 'Pocket Hercules' Manohar Aich". abplive.in (June 5, 2016).
  13. ^ a b c "Manohar Aich, former Mr. Universe turns 100". The Hindu . March 18, 2012. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  14. ^ "Pocket Hercules (1912-2016)". June 22, 2016. Retrieved July 1, 2016.
  15. ^ "Manohar Aich aka Pocket Hercules dies at the age of 104: 'Was an inspiration for everyone'". Indian Express (June 6, 2016).

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