(Last Updated on : 17/04/2012)
Traditional games have always been part of the Indian culture since centuries. If looked at these very closely, one would surely find many striking similarities in most of the famous games played all around the world. For eg: Cricket or Baseball can be called as an improvised version of the traditional `Gilli Danda`. Then, we also have the famous games like Polo, Rugby, Boat Racing which are again the improvised versions of many other traditional games played in many remotest parts of India. These are:
: Kerala`s martial art form, Kalari Payattu, is very similar to Karate.
: A very similar but more skilful, complex and may be a little older than Pachisi, a game called Chausar, Chaupar or Chaupad is also popular among Indians.
: Pallanguli is a game played mostly played by Tamil women, both in Southern India and Sri Lanka and it is known as the number game. Men also sometimes play it for gambling purposes. The board has 14 cups, each player controlling seven.
: Cricket or Baseball played with sticks instead of bats or balls, is exactly the structure of Gilli Danda. Gilli Danda is played with two wooden sticks - a gilli and a danda.
: Asol Aap or Canoe Race is an indigenous game of Andaman and Nicobar islands. In this game, a canoe having a length of almost 100` is used.
: Celebrated in Kerala, the festival of Onam is well known for the famous snake boat race that is organized on the occasion.
Gella - Chutt
: Gella - Chutt is a famous indigenous game of Tripura. Interestingly, the number of participating in a game of Gella - Chutt differs in the various places the game is played.
: Hiyang Tannaba is a very famous boat race, which takes place in Manipur, and is an essential ingredient of one of their prominent festivals - Lai Haraoba.
: Inbuan is an age-old game played in Mizoram. The game bears a striking resemblance to combat wrestling.
: Insuknawr or rod - pushing is an indigenous game of Mizoram. Played only by the male population of Mizoram.
: Kang Shanaba is an indigenous Manipuri game played on the day between Manipur`s New Year`s Day and the Ratha Jatra festival.
: Kho-Kho is one of India`s very famous traditional games and is also known as a `Standing Game`. This is the sport where players chase and try to touch a person.
Kirip (Nicobarese wrestling) Kirip is an indigenous wrestling form of the Nicobarese tribe. The game begins with the wrestlers clasping each other from behind using their hands- the grip should not be relaxed till the match is over. In this game, the wrestlers must try and push the opposition to the ground using their legs. As soon as a player`s back comes in contact with the ground, he loses the match. The game is played in 5 rounds.
: Lamjei is athletic event held annually in Manipur. The race is held strictly for the pannas (Revenue / Administrative Units) and duration of the event is half a mile.
: The word Mallakhamb is derived from two words. `Malla` means gymnast, and `khamb` means pole. The game is said to have originated as far back as the 12th century.
: Mizo Inchai is a Manipuri game, which has a striking similarity to wrestling. Like in wrestling, Mizo Inchai too requires to participants to possess endurance, good muscular force and all other abilities required for wrestling.
: Another popular sport from Manipur, Mukna blends the features of wrestling and judo.
Thang - ta & Sarit - Sarak
: The origin of Thang - ta and Sarit - Sarak goes as far back as the 17th century. Thang - ta is the use of sword against one or many challengers. Sarit - Sarak is the procedure of taking on armed or unarmed competitors.
: Archery is an indigenous sport of Meghalaya. As such, it is an inherent part of the culture of Meghalaya and the festivals of the state are incomplete without Archery.
Yubee - Lakpee
: This is an outdoor game played only by men in Manipur, Yubee - Lakpee (Yubee in Manipuri means coconut, and lakpee means snatching).
: The famous sport of polo is better known as Sagol Kangjei in Manipur. The words Sagol Kangjei are derived from Sagol which means pony / horse, kang which is a circular object like and ball and jei is the stick for hitting the object.
Hole Taso Dukanaram:
Hole Taso Dukanaram is an indigenous game of AP in which the contestants have to imitate an animal named Hole Taso. The player or the animal has to run around by beating his chest alternately with his front paws. The tough part is that the contestant has to have his third leg in the air while running around. Great balance and physical fitness are among the major requisites to succeed in this game.
The local people call it the struggle of life and death. In Hinam Turnam, the contestants take over the role of hunter and the hunted in a forest. The game is as follows - the hunter has missed his prey and now has to follow him and try to catch him. The hunter has to grab him with his third leg.
Porok - Pamin Sinam:
In this game, the participants have to hold one leg of the cock in his hand and the other hand on their shoulder. While leaping on one leg, the aim of the participants must be to push their opponent out of the playing area i.e. a circle. The player loses the game if he is down on the ground or even if he loses his balance and either his other foot touches the ground or his hand comes out of the shoulder.
: The most famous sport in the scenic state of Nagaland is wrestling but of its own kind. In this form of wrestling, participants begin by catching the other contestant`s waist belt.