India has always been rich in culture and tradition, and games have been an important part of Indian culture since forever. Be it Lord Shiv and his consort Parvati playing Pachisi, the Pandavas loosing Draupadi over a game of dice or the Mughals enjoying an afternoon of chess – games and sports have always played an important role in the history and mythology of India. Gradually the time changed and so did our sports.
In a time of Play Stations, video games and gadgets, we all have almost forgotten the traditional games of India. Remember the times we couldn’t wait to come back from school so that we could go and play a couple of rounds of kith-kith (Hopscotch) with our friends?
15 Kho Kho
It is one of the most popular tag games in India. It consists of two teams. 1 team sits/kneels in the middle of the court, in a row, with adjacent members facing opposite directions. The team that takes the shortest time to tag/tap all the opponents in the field, wins.
14 Kith Kithh- Stepu
See an open surface and a chalk to draw? Lets play Kith Kith! A popular playground game in which players toss a small object into numbered spaces of a pattern of rectangles outlined on the ground and then hop or jump through the spaces to retrieve the object. This popular game is also played in other countries and is loved by all.
13 Gutte- Goti- Gaan Goti
One of the most famous games that is recalled in every nostalgic talk, Gutte can be played by both adults and young ones, and by any number of people.
You just have a few stones in the game. What you have to do is toss a stone up in the air, and before it falls on the ground, you need to pick up the other stones. It’s fun! Try it someday if you haven’t yet!
Chor-Police is the Indian equivalent of tag. As the name suggests, there are the thieves (chor) and then there is the police. The players in this game divide up into two teams. The police has the task of catching the chor and then the turn changes. It is one of the most popular games played by children all over the world with different names and a slight change in rules, but the overall objective remains the same.
11 Oonch Neech- Up Down
A game with full hizards but still a fun out of hell. A group of children chooses one kid who gives the dime( we called it dai) and asks Oonch Neech ka Papada Oonch mangi k neech. And rest will choose the upper as oonch or lower as neech. Then all shout their choice and the one who lefts to reach the selected place will be the next guy for dime(dai).
10 Vish Amrit
Vish means poison. Amrit means nectar. Vish Amrit is thus a game of poison and nectar, of good and bad, and is best played on a constricted playground such as a chath. One denner runs around catching people. Upon touching someone, the denner must yell “VISH!” which instantly freezes the hapless person, who has to stand still and hold the pose. His or her teammates must liberate them by touching them and yelling “AMRIT!” Of course, they must do this before the denner touches them and freezes them. The denner thus doles out poison, attempting to freeze the entire gaggle of screaming prey. Heroes exist who must resist capture, doling out nectar. The game ends when the denner freezes the lot.
9 Statue !!
Statue is name a of a game played by kids across India. One yells out STATUE!! and everyone is supposed to freeze and not move.
One can move only when the word “Over” is uttered.
8Lattu, Lattoo- A spinning wooden “Top”
The game involves spinning a wooden toy called ‘top’ which is spherical at the top and tapering at the bottom. A string is used to wrap around the the top to spin it. It was knotted at the end to hold between the fingers. boys used to make different styles and actions while throwing the wrapped top in the air. two boys would throw the spinning top on ground and would see whose top spun for more time. Not only that they would also pick up the spinning top on to the palm while it is still spinning and pass it on to others also. It was fun to watch.
Yet another running game, in which any runner who is caught must join hands with the catcher and they must catch the remaining runners together. Any runners caught must join the catchers, hence forming a chain(saakhli). Naturally, this becomes harder as the length of the chain grows. Variations include a version in which the chain breaks up into pairs, significantly upping the chaos factor(called Chinese Saakhli, though this may be disputed.)
This game is preferred over normal pakda pakdi by the fatty bombalattys among us, as the burden of being the catcher is mitigated somewhat.
6Raja, Mantri, Chor, Sipahi
A classic royal whodunit. The participants (four or more) would pick up chits that hold their secret identity. Each secret identity would be allotted certain points. The game required the ‘Sipahi’ (also sometimes called Senapati or Police) to declare himself. His job was to guess who the ‘chor’ (the thief) was. Guess the wrong person and risk royal treason (oh, and your points go to the real thief). Guess it right and
5Patangbaazi, Kite Flying, Guddi, Tilangi
The most famous game Kite Flying among all the boys in India. Almost every age of male just love flying kites.Also known as ‘patang’ in India and the thread used is called ‘Manjha’, a glass coated line, and each flier attempts to cut every other kite out of the sky. ‘ Makar Sakranti’ is the festival for kite flying Indian states.
4Pittoo, Bum Pittoo
Also known as pitthu or satoria in some parts of India, Bum Pittoois again one of the widely played games in India. And, the best part is, no matter how many friends you have, all of you can play this game together. All you need for the same is seven flat stones (remember those “spa” stones), each being lesser in dimension that the other. Now place the stones over each other depending on their sizes (the biggest being kept at the base and so on), then hit them from a pre-decided distance. Each player will get 3 chances to hit the stones. If they succeed, then it’s great, and if they’re not, they’re considered to be out.
3Kauwa Ud Chirai Ud
This indoor game required nothing more than a handful of kids wanting to have a great time. One person would take the lead to start the game calling out names of different things, some of which can fly and others that cannot. With everyone placing one finger on a flat surface, they have to raise their finger when the thing called out can fly and if they raise it for a thing that cannot fly, they are out. After everyone is out, the first person out, restarts the game. Calling out names goes on like this — Chidiya udd, kauwa udd, bhains udd, sher udd… It ensures hours of laughter and fun.
2Goli, Anta, Kancha
Played mostly by the children, kancha is known by different names all over India. This is a game played by using marbles or kancha, as it is known in Hindi.
Amidst an array of marbles, you are to select one particular kancha, target it from a distance and hit it. It is again one of the most popular and fun filled games ever played.
Gilli Danda is one of the most well known childhood games played in rural India. It is a popular street game which rivals the popularity of cricket at some stage. The game is played with a small piece of wood tapered on both sides known as gilli and a larger piece of wood that is used to strike the gilli known as Danda. The object of the game is to get the gilli as far away from the home base as possible. The rules are amazingly similar to cricket and in some way it is a crude form of the more popular sport.