Popular indoor games in India
Author : Uma Bharati | Published On : 10 Sep 2021
India is globally known for its rich culture and heritage. When the topic of culture is brought up, most people think about our traditional music, art forms, and architecture. However, games to are an important part of it. This is because children used to grow up with most of their childhood entertainment focused around these games. Over time, many of these games have undergone a decline in popularity, especially in the urban areas where kids are more influenced by smartphones and other devices.
Some of the traditional Indian games for children
While some of the games have lost popularity over time, a few are still quite popular among children or even grownups. Regardless of their popularity, it is necessary to remember that each of these games helps to develop certain skills.
Pachisi originated in the 4th century and used to be very popular in ancient India. This game even finds mention in the Mahabharata. Mughal Emperor Akbar, as well as some of his descendants, were known to play Pachisi. Currently, this game exists more popularly as its modernized version, ludo.
This is a board game that two to four players can play at a time. The players use wooden pawns or cowrie shells to maneuver around a piece of cloth designed as a symmetrical cross. This game helps to develop one’s skill in strategizing.
Pallankuzhi is a two-player game that originated in Tamil Nadu. Over time, it spread to other parts of South India and even to other countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia. This game also exists in several variations, such as Ali Guli Mane in Kannada, Kuzhipara in Malayalam, and Ona Guntalu / Vamana Guntalu in Telugu.
In this game, the players use a total of 146 counters, which are usually tamarind seeds or cowry shells. The board consists of two horizontal rows, seven vertical columns, and fourteen cups.
Gutte / Five Stones
This game is quite simple and any number of players can play it. It requires five small stones or pebbles. A player would have to spin up a pebble in the air and gather up the remaining four that would be lying on the ground using one hand. The stone that had been thrown up should not fall to the ground. The other players would repeat the same in their turns too. The one who needs the minimum number of tries to finish eight steps would win.
This game and its variations are still very popular in India and abroad. Two teams can play this game. One team would sing a song and the second team would have to follow up by singing another one that starts with the last consonant of the previous song. It continues until a team loses by failing to think of a song.
This game involves a board with an eight-by-eight grid of squares. There are certain special markings known as castles, which are safe from being removed. The players have to move their pieces clockwise to enter castles and then counter-clockwise to regain their own.
Moksha Patam (Snakes and Ladders)
This popular dice game is much more than a mode of entertainment. It teaches the players the virtues of liberating oneself from the bondage of passions and rising above it to reach Moksha through levels of spiritual enlightenment.
Aadu puli aatam
This is a strategy-based game played between two teams or two players. One team would control three tigers and try to hunt the fifteen goats of the other team. The other team would try to keep blocking the tigers’ moves using the goats.
Hence, all of these games are fun and educational at the same time. The cognitive and other skills that they help to develop are quite valuable.
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