Indian heritage has always been rich because of its history and wisdom. Its richness reflects through civilizations, customs and historical sites. However, it is not just limited to these few things. The Indian heritage arena is very wide, and it covers various other elements too. According to UNESCO’s body – the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage; among a total of 334 elements, there are 13 Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) elements other than games from India. However, India is a home of some traditional games that play an important role in the overall development of an individual. Pachisi, dice, chess and others have always played an imperative role in Indian mythology. If you want to know more about some popular heritage games, below is a list of games that have been played since forever. Even today, they are an integral part of different cultures and societies.
Popular Games Played in Ancient India
Pachisi has been played since ancient times. Speculations are that Lord Shiva and Parvati loved to play this game for entertainment. Also, it is a game from which modern games Parcheesi and Ludo were invented, however, the rules of both these games are very different from Pachisi. Pachisi is played on a cross-shaped board with four arms and each arm being divided into three end-to-end columns of eight squares. Emperor Akbar played this game in a regal manner during the Mughal era. He was passionate about playing Pachisi, and this led him to construct Pachis courts in all his palaces.
Lagori is one among some popular games to be played outdoors in some parts of India. Generally, two teams of equal number of players participate in the game in a large area. All they need to play is seven flat stones and a light weight ball. Each stone should be in decreasing size than the other one, so a rough pyramid can be formed when stacked together. To be a winner, players who are in center need to pile up the stones on each other in descending order.
It is believed that the Gutte game has originated in 1184 B.C during the time of Siege of Troy. This is a five stone game that can be played by any age group. Two or more players can start playing this game anytime and anywhere for entertainment. This game can be very effective for improving eyesight and memory. It also improves concentration and aiming skills.
Of all the ancient Indian games, the rummy card game is the next name. It is a game that we all love to play with our friends and family members on all occasions. By crossing all boundaries, nowadays the game is played for fun at festivals, celebration, kitty parties, marriage functions, chopals and local gatherings, etc. It is played in two formats – 13 cards and 21 cards. However, 13 card rummy game is more prevalent as it is easy and fast to play. The game has achieved new heights by hitting the online space. The transformation from the traditional way to online has helped it to reach some players, especially who prefer to play games online on their mobiles and desktops through internet connectivity. Rummy Passion, Rummy Circle, Junglee Rummy and Rummy Millionaire are few trustworthy platforms that offer flawless rummy experience to rummy lovers online.
- Gilli Danda
The Gilli Danda game originated during the Maurya Dynasty. The game usually played with two different sized sticks among which the bigger one is ‘Danda’ and the smaller one is ‘Gilli’. Previously, this game was limited to rural India only, but now it is played all across India. Its historical popularity has been a reason why cricket became a religion in India.
- Kancha/ Goli/ Goti
Kancha or marbles is next in the list of the most popular ancient games in India. It is a famous street game played by using a collection of colourful glass kanchas. The game helps in increasing concentration power of a player as specific types of techniques are involved in playing and winning the game.
- Lattu/ Spinning Top
Next is the traditional pet game of Lattu or spinning top that has been around for thousands of years. Children use a wooden Lattu with a string to play. This is a game that helps in improving muscles, dexterity and body balance.
- Nondi/ Pandi
Nondi game is more famous among girls in rural areas. A group of players draws a grid on the ground, and they hop across it to complete his round without touching or stepping on the border and grid lines. The game is very effective to improve the body balance and muscles.
Get out of your air conditioned rooms and reconnect with the Indian game heritage! Explore widely to know all about these games and related rules to enjoy them to the fullest with your friends and family members. If no one is around, you can enjoy some of them online.