Born in 80’s kids will know these games. But now kids play games like cricket, tennis and football. No one remembers the games like Goli, Ghilli, Lagori or the indoor games like the Moksha Patam or Chaupat. Let’s see few of the remarkable Ancient Indian Games which we have forgotten.

1. Antakshari

Antakshari is a spoken parlor game played in India. Each contestant sings the first verse of a movie song that begins with the Hindustani consonant on which the previous contestant’s song selection ended.

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2. Ashtapada

Ashtapada is an Indian board game which predates chess. Chess was invented in India and originally called as Ashtapada. Later this game came to be known as Chaturanga. It could be played by two to four participants and data used to determine the amount of houses to be moved in the board.

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3. Lagori

Lagori is a game which is a popular game in India. It is called Dappa Kali in the northern parts of Kerala, especially in Kannur. This game requires a considerable amount of physical exercise and is mainly played by boys. This game is played between two teams. It consists of 10 marble pieces piled one above the other. One team targets this pile and once they strike it then their next aim is to keep it back while the other team has to block the opposing side from arranging it back. This is almost same as Seven Stones game.

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4. Kite Fighting

Fighter kites are kites used for the sport of kite fighting. Traditionally most are small, unstable single line flat kites where line tension alone is used for control, and an abrasive line is used to cut down other kites.

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5. Gilli Danda

The game is played with two sticks: a large one called a danda, which is used to hit a smaller one, the gilli. Gilli Danda is known by various other names in India. Standing in a small circle, the player balances the gilli on a stone in an inclined manner (somewhat like a see-saw) with one end of the gilli touching the ground while the other end is in the air. The player then uses the danda to hit the gilli at the raised end, which flips it into the air. While it is in the air, the player strikes the gilli, hitting it as far as possible. Having struck the gilli, the player is required to run and touch a pre-agreed point outside the circle before the gilli is retrieved by an opponent. This aspect of the game is similar to runs in cricket or home-runs in baseball.

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6. Moksha Patam

Moksha Patam or Parama Padam is a dice game from ancient India, popularly known as Snakes and Ladders. It was from India that it spread to the rest of the world. It was a very popular game to be played its main purpose was not only entertainment but also to teach morality. The central concept is liberation from bondage of passions. So the players move from the lower levels of consciousness to higher levels of spiritual enlightenment and finally to Moksha.

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7. Pallanguzhi or Ali guli mane

Variants are called as Ali guli mane (in Kannada) Vamana guntalu (in Telugu) and Kuzhipara (in Malayalam). he game is played by two players, with a wooden board that has fourteen pits in all (hence the name from the words fourteen pits (pathinaalam kuzhi). There have been several variations in the layout of the pits, one among them being seven pits on each player’s side. The pits contain Cowry shells, seeds or small pebbles used as counters. There are several variations of the game depending on the number of shells each player starts with.

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8. Pittu Garam or Seven Stones

Pittu Garam (Seven Stones) is a traditional South Asian game played between two teams. The game requires a tennis ball and set of seven stones which can be stacked up to form a small tower. The aim of the game is to be able to break the tower and then rebuild it before getting hit by one of the opponent.

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9. Gutte

This traditional game is played by both children and adults. This simple game requires 5 pieces of small stones. You spin one stone in the air and pick other stones from the ground without dropping the stone in the air. This game can be played by any number of people.

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10. Kancha/Goli

Kancha was one of the most popular games among children in the neighborhood. It is played using marbles called ‘Kancha’ or ‘Goli’. The players are to hit the selected target ‘kancha’ using their own marble ball. The winner takes all Kanchas of rest of the players.

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11. 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.

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12. Poshampa

Two people stand with their hands locked together above their heads and sing a song. The other kids pass from under that bridge and the one who gets caught (when the hands come down like a cage at the end of the song) is out.

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13. Kith Kith or Pandi Attam

Nondi or Pandi Attam is a very funny hopping game played by the girls in many rural villages of Tamil Nadu. It is known as Tokkudu Billa/Tangidi Billa in Andrapradesh and Kunte Bille in Karnataka it is played by the girls in many villages, even today. 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.

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14. Kabbadi

Kabbadi is a contact sport that originated in Ancient India. In the international team version of kabaddi, two teams of seven members each occupy opposite halves of a field of 10 m × 13 m in case of men and 8 m × 12 m in case of women. Each has three supplementary players held in reserve. The game is played with 20-minute halves and a five-minute halftime break during which the teams exchange sides.

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15. Krida-patram

The popular game of cards originated in ancient India and was known as Krida-patram. It was one of the favorite pastimes of Indians in ancient times. This game was patronized especially by the royalty and nobility. In medieval India, playing cards was known as Ganjifa cards which were played in practically all royal courts. Cards were known as Krida-patram in ancient India. These cards were made of cloth and depicted motifs from the Ramayana, Mahabharata, etc. A tradition carried on today with floral motifs and natural scenery.

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16. Kalari

Kalari is considered to be the most complete and scientific martial art and is the mother of all martial arts. Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk from India, introduced Kalari into China and Japan in the 5th century. He taught this art in a temple. This temple is today known as the Shaolin temple.

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17. Dhopkhel

Dhopkhel, also transliterated dhop khel and dhoop khel is a popular game in Assam. The game is played between two eleven member teams on a 125m by 80m field bounded by four flags, dhop is the name given to a rubber ball used by these two teams. The players take turns throwing the ball at the opponent to knock them out of the game, while seeking to catch the ball and evade other players. It is a test of speed, stamina, and acrobatic skills.

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18. Chaupat

Chaupat is claimed to be a variation of the game of dice played in the epic poem Mahabharata between Yudhisthira and Duryodhan. It is a relatively easy game to learn but it does require skill to play this game of strategy well. A chopat ‘board’ is traditionally an embroidered cloth in the shape of a cross. Each arm of the cross is divided into three columns and each column is divided into eight squares. The “dice” are seven cowry shells. The “men” or pieces (Sogthi)are usually made of wood. Each player has four men.

Chopat

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19. Lambs and Tigers

Lambs and Tigers Game locally referred as Aadu Puli aatam is a strategic, two-player (or 2 teams) leopard hunt game that is played in south India. The game is asymmetric in that one player controls three tigers and the other player controls up to 15 lambs/goats. The tigers ‘hunt’ the goats while the goats attempt to block the tigers’ movements.

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20. Hide and seek

Kannamoochi or Hide and seek is a timeless game that has been played by children throughout the ages. It isn’t only children who enjoy it – a natural instinct for parents is to play a facial form of hide and seek with their children from the earliest age, as it teaches children about attachment and detachment in a safe and caring environment. Leaving aside the psychology, however, the outdoor game provides wonderful interaction amongst children is easy to play and never gets boring.

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