Bodybuilders
Bodybuilders strike a pose during a bodybuilding competition in Srinagar on 20 September 2012REUTERS/Fayaz Kabli

Manohar Aich, a top Indian bodybuilder and former Mr Universe, passed away at the age of 104 on 5 June. Tributes have poured in for the celebrated bodybuilder, who died of age-related health issues in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata.

Aich was said to be fully fit until his last days. "He was on a liquid diet for the last 10-15 days. He succumbed to age-related complications," his son Manoj Aich told the Indian Express newspaper.

He won the Mr Universe title in 1952 in London making him the second Indian to win the title, and the first Indian to win it in independent India.

Aich earned himself the nickname "Pocket Hercules" due to his diminutive 4ft 11in (150cm) frame. He had won several titles, including three gold medals in the Asian bodybuilding championship.

The tiny man with big muscles continued to take part in events even in his eighties, and gave his last performance in 2003, at the age of 89.

As a youngster Aich had to face several hurdles, including poverty. He was reportedly a coconut seller at an Indian railway station.

He was incarcerated by the British when he protested against their treatment of Indians. He is said to have slapped a British officer in 1942 when he was working as a physical instructor in the Royal Indian Air Force. Aich considered the jail term as the turning point in his life as he started weight training in prison, with the jail authorities even helping him with a special diet after seeing Aich's dedication in training.

"He was an inspiration to everyone, young and old. Death is inevitable but Manohar Aich will be remembered by all, across every sporting discipline," footballer Chuni Goswami told the Indian Express.

Paying tributes to him, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee said it marked the "end of a historic era. He made us proud," she said.

He inspired many Indians to take up bodybuilding. However, he died with the regret of not being able to meet his hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. He had always looked up to the Hollywood star and internationally acclaimed bodybuilder.

Aich told BBC in 2012, "I have been blessed with this body. What else does one want?"