Founder of Indian Bodybuilding

  • Monotosh Roy

Monotosh Roy (Bengaliমনতোষ রায়) (21 October 1916– 29 June 2005) was an Indian bodybuilder, who held the Mr. Universe title in Group III Amateur Division in 1951.

Roy was the first Indian and Asian to be awarded the Mr. Universe title.

Monotosh Roy
মনতোষ রায়
Born October 21, 1916
Gajaria, DaccaBengalBritish India
Died June 29, 2005 (aged 88)
KolkataWest BengalIndia
Nationality Indian
Occupation Body Builder
Parent(s) Rasik Lal Roy

Early life

Roy was born in Gajaria village in Dhaka district, on the banks of Meghna river. In his childhood, Roy had to struggle against poverty. He attended an English middle school. He began exercising at the age of 12. He consider Bishnu Charan Ghosh to be his guru. He would always keep a photo of Bishnu Charan Ghosh in front of him. One day Bishnu Charan Ghosh saw him working out and accepted him as his pupil.


In 1939, he competed in his first bodybuilding competition, but did not fare well. He resolved for success and engaged himself in further practice. In 1939, he won the East Indian Bodybuilding Championship. In 1947, he won the All India Bodybuilding Championship.


In 1951, Roy travelled to the United Kingdom and participated in the Mr. Universe competition. He won the Mr. Universe title in Group III Amateur Division category. The audience at the competition were mesmerised by his muscle display. They queued up for his autograph and even waited up to two and half hours for his autograph. Following his victory at the Mr. Universe competition, he was felicitated at the India House by the Indian High Commissioner.

After his return to India he acted as a trainer in many physical culture clubs. He used to train fitness and yoga to celebrities. He founded the Indian Bodybuilding Federation in 1958.He was also the founding member of Asian Bodybuilding Federation. He also taught at the Calcutta University and the Law College. He became a featured columnist in periodicals on health and fitness. He also wrote a few books on Yoga. He conducted bodybuilding programmes that were telecast in the Doordarshan. He set up several bodybuilding and yoga centres in Kolkata.

 Later life

In 1998, he set up a multi gym near his home in Kolkata. In his later years he became bed ridden. Roy died in 2005 following a cardiac arrest.


After his death his multigym is run by his son Moloy Roy, a recipient of the Arjuna Awardand eight time Mr. India. After his death the Sports Minister and PWD Minister visited his residence and promised them to rename the Barrackpore Trunk Road after him.


Manohar Aich

Manohar Aich (17 March 1912 – 5 June 2016) was an Indian bodybuilder. He was the second Indian (after Monotosh Roy in 1951) to win any Mr. Universe title. He did so in the 1952 NABBA Universe Championships. At 4 feet 11 inches (1.50 m) tall, he was given the name “Pocket Hercules“.

Manohar Aich
মনোহর আইচ
Manohar Aich.jpg
Personal information
Nickname(s) Pocket Hercules
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Bengali Hindu
Born 17 March 1912
ComillaBengalBritish India
Died 5 June 2016 (aged 104)
KolkataWest BengalIndia
Occupation Bodybuilder
Height 1.50 m (4 ft 11 in)
Spouse(s) Jyuthika Aich (1924–2002)

Early life

Since childhood Aich was interested in strength related sports, such as wrestling and weightlifting. At the age of 12, due to a sudden attack of black fever, his health broke down.[5] He regained his strength, however, by physical fitness exercises. He started bodybuilding exercises such as doing push-ups, squats, pull-ups, leg raises, and traditional sit-ups. He only did bodyweight/calisthenics exercises with up to 100 reps per set at that age. He attended the Jubilee School in Dhaka. While at school, he used to go to the Ruplal Byayam Samiti for physical exercises. He began to perform in shows titled Physique and Magic along with P. C. Sorcar in Dhanbad. He used to perform feats like bending steel with his teeth, bending spears with his neck and resting his belly on swords.



Aich joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 where he began his pursuit in bodybuilding. He was introduced to weight training by Reub Martin, a British officer in the RAF. While part of the RAF, Aich was imprisoned for slapping a British officer in protest at the officer’s remarks in favour of colonial oppression. Aich began his weight training seriously while in jail. He would spend hours in physical exercises. Observing his knack in physical culture, the jail authorities arranged a special diet for him.

In 1950, at the age of 38, Aich won the Mr. Hercules contest. In 1951 he stood second in the Mr. Universe contest. In 1952 he placed first 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 and wrist 16.5 cm.

In 1991, he had also contested elections for the BJP and finished third, collecting over 163,000 votes. Also, in 2015, he was given the Banga Bibhushan Award by the West Bengal Government.


Personal life

In March 2012, Aich became a centenarianHe credited “a simple diet of milk, fruits and vegetables along with rice, lentils and fish” for his good health and not allowing any tension to creep into his life. He had two sons and two daughters. His sons run a GYM and a FITNESS centre, in which Aich helped until the last few days of his life.



On 5 June 2016, Manohar Aich died in Kolkata, aged 104 years.