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Home Must Know 5 Traditional Games of India

5 Traditional Games of India

Kancha - Traditional Games
Kancha - Traditional Games

In the history of indian sports traditional games are most important part of that period. In a time where people play gadgets and video games, we all have almost forgotten the traditional games of India. Those time when we couldn’t wait to come after school and run to our neighborhood to play games.

Here are some traditional games, we as Indians love to play:

1Gilli Danda

Gilli Danda - Traditional Games
Gilli Danda

An amateur sport, Gilli Danda is one of the most thrilling games invented on the Indian Subcontinent thought to be originated 2,500 years ago.

The game requires two sticks. The smaller, oval-shaped wooden piece is called “Gilli“ whereas the longer one is termed as “danda”. The player needs to utilize the danda to hit the Gilli at the raised end, which flips it into the air. While it is in the air, the player hits the Gilli, as far as possible. Then, the player is required to run and touch a point (It is agreed with the players from before) outside the circle before the Gilli is taken by an opponent. The secret of winning this game is all in the technique of raising and hitting Gilli.

One of the amazing things about the game is that there are no strict rules about the upper limit of the number of players. It can be played between four players all the way up to 100 or even more players.


Lagori, or Lingocha, is another interesting game invented in India in the ancient times. It involves a ball (preferably rubber ball) and a pile of seven flat stones stacked upon one another. It is generally played between two teams, with a minimum of 3 players and a maximum of nine on each team.


Each team gets nine chances, 3 players getting 3 chances each, to knock down the stones that are stacked vertically, from a distance of about 20ft.  If one team is unable to knock down the stones the next team gets the chance to throw. The objective of the defensive team is to strike any player of the throwing team with the ball, below knee level. There are no fixed rules for a number of players or match durations. Matches are usually played for a fixed number of points, about 7 to 10.

The beauty of the game lies in the fact that it can be played with minimal equipments. The simplicity of rules also make it special. The sport is popular especially among the rural parts of the country.


Kancha - Traditional Games
Kancha – Traditional Games

Kancha is another interesting, inexpensive game invented on the Indian land. A favourite amongst youngsters, it is played using dark green glass marbles colloquially known as ‘Kancha’. The game involves a player hitting the selected target marble using one of his own. Traditionally, the winner of the game takes away all Kanchas from the losing players.

The marble is held between the right hand and the forefinger of the left hand. The finger is pulled backward and is released with pressure almost in a spring action.


There are various versions of the game ranging from easy all the way to the more complicated ones.

In simpler game, the player has to target a marble among other ones in the circle from a distance. Then in another version, Kancha is almost played like a miniature version of golf where the player has to send his marble into a hole a couple of yards away from him/her.

Kancha was a hit amongst youngsters considering that the marbles were inexpensive and the game could be played on any surface and weather.

4 Kho-Kho

Kho-Kho - Traditional Games

Kho Kho is another popular tag sport invented and developed in ancient India. After Kabaddi, Kho Kho is the most prevalent traditional tag games in the subcontinent.

The origin of game may be tricky to trace, but it is believed that it is a modified version of ‘Run Chase’. In its simplest form, Run Chase involves running behind a player and touching him/her to win. Traditionally, it was known as Rathera. The present form of Kho Kho can be dated back in 1914 during the World War I. However, at that time, there were no poles or other playground dimensions. The time factor was missing as well.


It consists of two teams. The game is involves 12 nominated players out of a total of 15. At a given time, the chasing team’s nine players sit on their knees alternately facing in opposite directions with the 3 players from the defending team try to avoid being touched by members of the opposing team. The team that takes the shortest time to tap all the opponents in the field, wins.

5 Gutte

Gutte - Traditional Games

Gutte is a casual game played among the rural parts of the country. It is equally popular both among children and adults. It involves 5 pieces of small stones and is usually played in leisure time.


This simple game requires you to toss and spin one stone in the air and pick other stones from the ground before the airborne stone touches the ground. The process is repeated until an airborne gutte strikes the ground. The process gets trickier when there are more than one stones in air.

The beauty of the game lies in its simplicity, inexpensiveness. Moreover, any number of people can play this game.

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Saad Kaazi is very persistent when it comes to providing quality content to his viewers. He has spent time working and polishing his skills on how to deliver value the way his audience would like. His interest in sports was right from the beginning of his school days. Writing and gathering information about sports is just a bonus for him as his job.


    • Yes, it is called that as well. A really dun game and we are sure all Indians would have played it at least once in their lifetime 🙂


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