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You are here : home > Indian Culture > Related Articles For Indian Culture > Traditional Indian Games

Traditional Indian Games

Traditional Indian Games

Traditional Indian games like Chess and Kabaddi have been played in India since time unknown. Teach your kids to play the games that your forefathers grew up playing. Read on to know more.

Let's take a look at some of these games.

Shatranj or Chess

Chess is perhaps India's oldest and most loved board indoor game. Chess was born in India and has been played in India through centuries. It is revered as an indication of a man's intelligence and strategic capabilities. A chess set can be found in almost every Indian home. Many of India's folktales are littered with stories of kings and emperors and their chess games. In fact, even the Mahabharata has a crucial episode which involves chess.
Chess is excellent for overall mental development. Many schools encourage children to pick up chess. Chess has a very positive effect on children and adults both.

Kho Kho

Kho Kho is an immensely popular sport in India. In some parts of India it is even played on a professional level. Kho kho is very popular with children and is often part of the games class in schools.
In Kho Kho, one team kneels on the ground in a line, but with alternate persons facing opposite directions. The other team sends in one or more members, who have to avoid being touched by the chaser. He is allowed to dodge by running through the line of squatters, but the chaser can only run in one direction and cannot pass between the squatters. He however can pass the turn to nay of his team mates who are kneeling on the ground.
This game is very quick, requires good fitness levels and is excellent for overall development of your child. It is a quick and exciting game and can be played for hours together. Also, it does not need any training or equipment and can be played by almost anyone!


Kabaddi too is an indigenous Indian game. It is a team sport and has been played in India since ages. It requires players to be strong and agile, and does not require any equipment or training.
In kabaddi, two teams occupy separate halves of the ground. Then one team sends one player into the other half to try and 'tag' any member of that team. The other team is supposed to capture that player and prevent him from getting back into his territory. This goes on until each team member is caught or escapes. Also, the team member is not supposed to take a breath until he returns to his side. This is done by reciting 'kabaddi' over and over so the referee knows when he takes a breath.
The game has gained popularity over the years in other parts of Asia as well. It is played in many parts of the Indian sub-continent as well as China and Japan.

Gilli Danda or Lippa

Gilli Danda or Guli Danda is a very popular game among the children of India. It is played all over the country and can be enjoyed for hours together. Most Indian adults would remember having played gilli danda with their friends in the neighbourhood.
To play this game, you need a long stick, and a short stick with tapered ends. The long stick is used to flick the short gilli into the air, and then hit to travel to a maximum distance. The opposing team here has to try and catch the gilli. That gets the hitter out. Also, if the hitter misses the gilli thrice, he loses. The hitter's score is measured by the distance from the place where he hit the gilli and the place it landed, measured by the danda.
These are some of the games which have been a part of Indian history and culture and still hold much relevance today. Go ahead and give these a try today, you may end up liking them more than your child!

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jaya.7 years ago
nice article for the kids , kids love to play the games . In the summer vacation it is really tough to keep the kids busy . We found best channel for kids it is ZeeQ channel.
kamaljit.7 years ago
need more info was not helpful
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