Traditional outdoor games in India

Traditional outdoor games in India

Playing games has always been linked to happiness and is an exciting part of everybody growing up. Games and sports are always an integral part of Indian culture and heritage.

Traditional outdoor games played in India are a storehouse of a lot of strategic, intellectual, and spiritual learning. Gone are the days when kids used to go out in the evening to play with their friends. With the evolution of mobiles, video games, laptops, and smart TV, kids are deeply involved in them. With no physical activity, the kids are prone to health issues as well.

Some of the popular traditional outdoor games in India are:

  • Patang Bazi
  • Gilli Danda
  • Pitthu
  • Kho-Kho
  • Kabaddi
  • Langadi
  • Chhuppan Chhupai
  • Aankh Micholi
  • Kancha
  • Bora Daud
  • Ghera Rolling
  • Rassaakasee
  • Chibiddi

Patang Bazi


Patang Bazi or Kite flying is a popular sport in India and was a sport loved by the Kings and Nawabs. It symbolized unity in a colorful celebration of skill and craftsmanship. This legacy may have been forgotten but is not lost. Patang Bazi is still a major attraction in many parts of the country.

Most of North India celebrates it on Makar Sankranti while Gujarat holds an annual Kite Flying festival on this day called Uttarayan.

Gilli Danda (Baseball with sticks)


Gilli Danda is the old-fashioned version of modern-day cricket. Two unevenly sized-pegs are all it takes to play this fun game. The game improves concentration and aim. The game is played with a small piece of wood reduced on both sides known as gilli and a large piece of wood that is used to hit the gilli known as danda. The game aims to hit the Gilli as far as possible.



Pitthu is a game played outdoors with a ball and a set of flat stones/pebbles placed on top of each other. This game is played in teams of two with an equal number of players in each team. One team tries to break the stone pyramid by striking it with a ball. Once the pyramid is broken, the team has to put the pyramid back together while the other team tries to prevent them by striking the players out with the ball.



The kho-Kho game comprises two teams, who are required to chase down players of the opposite team to win the game.



kabaddi, an ancient game of India, is still very popular. A team sport, kabaddi requires strength and agility, and no equipment.

Langadi (One-leg hopping)


Langadi (Langdi) is traditionally an Indian field sport used for training. It has some similarities to the American game of hopscotch. The game is played between two teams. The chasing team sends chasers who hop on one foot and try to tag the defenders. The chasers can step out of the ground as long as they keep on one foot. The team that tags the most defenders is declared the winner.

Chhuppan Chhupai


The old and most popular game, but it is forgotten by today’s modern generation is hide n seek. It is a game where one player closes his or her eyes for a brief period while the other players hide. The seeker then opens his/her eyes and tries to find the hidden members the first one found is the next seeker and the last is known as the winner of the round. To play these games all you need are a few friends and some interesting hiding places.

Aankh Micholi


Cover your eyes, and find your friends! When you didn’t have fancy toys to play with, aankh micholi was the perfect evening game. All you needed was a dupatta from your mum’s closet.



Kancha is another interesting, inexpensive traditional game invented on Indian land. A favorite amongst youngsters, it is played using dark green glass marbles colloquially known as ‘Kancha’. The game involves a player hitting the selected target marble using one of his own. Traditionally, the winner of the game takes away all Kanchas from the losing players.

Bora Daud (Sack Race)


Bora Daud or Sack Racing is a racing sport that is mainly popular among children. All participants are required to wear a sack up to their waist and hold it with their hands while running to avoid getting out of it. The basic objective of the game is to finish the entire course in the shortest duration of time. The game takes place in an open field where tracks are marked according to the competitors.

Ghera Rolling (Hoop Rolling)


A wooden hoop is rolled over the landscape by using a simple wooden stick to propel the hoop forward. The game aims to keep the hoop upright for long periods or to do various tricks.

Rassaakasee (Tug of war)


Tug of War or Rasa Kashi is a popular game played on many occasions. The game is played with the help of a simple rope with a red mark in the middle. This red mark on the rope needs to be at a perpendicular angle to the exact center point on the ground, before the commencement of the game. A white mark is made exactly 13 feet from the red mark on either side of the rope. The game is won when either side with this white mark crosses the center point.

Chibiddi (Hopscotch)


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. A grid is drawn on the ground and the player hops across to complete his lap without stepping on the border.

Suggested Read: Traditional Indoor Games in India

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Simmi Kamboj

Simmi Kamboj is the Founder and Administrator of Ritiriwaz, your one-stop guide to Indian Culture and Tradition. She had a passion for writing about India's lifestyle, culture, tradition, travel, and is trying to cover all Indian Cultural aspects of Daily Life.