Games that originated in India


Sweta Ramesan


India is a land of rich culture and heritage. Hence, it is not surprising that many games originated here in India. Some of them are:

Snakes and Ladders: This popular board game actually originated in India! Known as Moksha Patam, Snakes and Ladders was a game which was based on the principle of ‘karma’ and the role of fate. Later, during the British rule, the game found its identity as a classic in England, the United States of America and other parts of the world.

snakes copy

Polo: India is said to have set a base for modern Polo. In the 15th century, Babur made the sport popular when he founded the Mughal Empire. Later, the British globalised the sport.

polo copy

Kabaddi: It is a combative sport which originated in India and is the national sports of Bangladesh. It is recently become very popular ever since the Pro Kabaddi League began. In Kabaddi, two teams of seven members each occupy opposite halves of a field. The teams take turns sending a “raider” into the other half. To win a point, the raider must take a breath, run into the opposing half, tag one or more members of the opposite team, then return to his home half before inhaling again. The raider will chant “kabaddi, kabaddi” with his exhaling breath to show the referee he has not inhaled. The raider will be declared “out” and will not gain the point if he inhales before returning to his side, or returns without touching an opponent.The tagged defender(s) will be “out” if they do not succeed in catching the raider who tagged them. Wrestling the raider to the ground can prevent him escaping before he needs to inhale.

kabaddi copy

Kho Kho: Kho is a tag sport in which there are nine playing members on each side. A match consists of two innings with each inning consisting of chasing and running turns of 9 minutes each. One team sits/kneels in the middle of the court, in a row, with adjacent members facing opposite directions. The runners take to the field, 3 at a time and the team that takes the shortest time to tag/tap all the opponents in the field, wins.

kho copy

Chess: Chess is believed to have originated in Eastern India, in the Gupta Empire, where its early form in the 6th century was known as Chaturaṅga. From there it spread eastward and westward along the Silk Road.

chess copy

Martial Arts: Kalaripayattu or kalari is the science of war, treatment and marma therapy believed by the historians to be one of the oldest existing martial arts in the world, a traditional form of martial art that started in Kerala, India.

kala copy

Aren’t you proud of our country? I definitely am.