Ten Famous Games that Originated in India

Ten Famous Games that Originated in India

There were games in India which were played and began. The aim of these games gives you fun, entertainment, and leisure. Such games stretch and exercise your mental and physical skills on how far you can survive. From simple to extreme games, some are played internationally. Here’s the tale behind those games’ origins.


Chess became known as Ashtapada, meaning 64 squares. Hence, it is used to be played on a checkered board with dice but without squares in black and white. The game evolved and called into a different name Chaturanga meaning quadripartite. It was divided into four sections called angas where the four divisions of an army are symbolized. It had pieces called elephants, chariots, horses, and soldiers and was being played to implement tactics of battle. In 600 AD the Persians called it Shatranj when heard about the game. The word checkmate comes from the Persian phrase Shah-Mat meaning King is Dead.


A table strike and a pocket game that is similar to the shuffleboard and the billiard set. Carrom is widely played in South Asia and few countries in the middle east. This game is usually played at social gatherings with friends, and believed to have originated from the Indian subcontinent. The Indian Maharajas are alleged to have invented the carrom. Throughout World War I Carrom gained prominence among the public.


Ludo is a board game played for two to four players. Once it was called Pachisi, and it was made of cloth or jute. The Mughal Emperors of India played the game. Throughout England, numerous variants of the game were played in the 19th century. A similar game which was called Ludo appeared during 1986. The game and its variations are popular in many other countries and under various names.

Snakes and Ladders

It was known as Patam Moksha, Mokshapat, and Parama Padam. It is founded by poet Sant (Saint) Gyandev in the 13th century. This game represents virtues and vice that has been used in Hindu Dharma to teach children good values. The snake represents vice, and the ladders are virtues. The game changed over time but the concept behind the game stayed the same, good deeds brought us to heaven and bad deeds took us through the cycle of rebirths.


Some of the earliest archeological evidence of oblong dice has been found in sites such as lothal, alamgirpur, kalibangan, desalpur, and ropar at Harrapan. Previously the oblong dice were used for gambling. Dicing is thought to have spread to Persia and become popular board games over there. The Rig Veda and Atharva Veda have early references to dicing.


The popular card game had its origins in India and was known as Krida-Patram. They were made from pieces of cloth and represent ancient designs from Ramayana and Mahabharata. It was called Ganifa cards in medieval India and was played at royal courts. Above all, all the cards were handmade and decorated traditionally. Therefore, cards were made of ivory, a shell of tortoise, pearls and precious metals. Hence, circular cards were more popular but also with different shapes, such as oval and rectangular.


India has laid the foundation for modern polo. Moreover, Babur made the sport popular during his establishment of the Mughal Empire in the 15th century. Whereas, the British globalized the sport performed in the Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir and other states regions. Hence, the polo variant is the one that is played with elephants and known as elephant polo. In India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, England, and Scotland it is played.

Kho Kho

It began in India and was played by the Maharashtra community. Therefore, Kho Kho is classed as one of India’s most common traditional sports. “Run Chase” is a modified form. It includes pursuing one person and touching him/her. Kho Kho was played on chariots or raths and was once called Rathera. In 1959 the first championship for Kho Kho was held.

Bull Fighting

Sometimes named Jallikattu, Eruthazhuvuthal or Manju virattu. Besides, a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu and played on Mattu Pongal Day mostly during the Pongal celebrations. Nonetheless, the bulls are bred specifically for this sport. It became, therefore, a platform for showcasing braveness, entertainment and a way of winning money.


It is a 4,000-year-old contact sport. Old and originally from the district of Tamil Nadu. Moreover, the game is derived from techniques of hunting and defense of villages. Kabaddi game’s basic concept is to touch a player on the other side and eliminating him by coming back to the origin side of the player. Above all, a team sport that requires skill and strength. This incorporates the Ruby and Wrestling features.

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