Despite the contradicting accounts, India is still credited to have increased the sport’s popularity by making it a competitive sport,” says Narinder Dhruv Batra.
Sports are believed to have originated in India around 8000 years ago, during the Indus Valley civilization. One of the oldest civilizations and one of the most advanced was the Indian one. In fact, the civilization’s clean architecture, hygiene, and general understanding of town planning continue to astound many historians. However, they didn’t stop there. Numerous pieces of evidence point to the existence of dice and early chess games. Seals found at Indus Valley archaeological sites and other artefacts provide additional evidence that hunting and boxing were popular sports back then. Narinder Dhruv Batra, brings in notice more such traditional games that made it to the list of international games.
India has contributed a significant number of inventions to the world, in addition to the idea of zero and the basic theory of atoms. Chess is the most well-known of them. In the past, chess was called ‘Chaturanga’. It was created by the Gupta Dynasty, who ruled from 280 to 550 AD. Literally translated, chaturanga means ‘four divisions’ or ‘four corps’.
“Chess later spread around the world and developed into what it is today thanks to the Arabians, who dubbed the game ‘Shatranj’. Other well-known board games like Snake and Ladder, Suits, and Ludo were also introduced to the globe by India, in addition to the game of chess,” informs Narinder Dhruv Batra.
When it comes to on-field sports, the country is likewise credited with making a substantial contribution. Kabaddi, a popular sport throughout the world, was created in ancient India. Kabaddi is believed to have originated in Vedic India, while its precise origins are still up for debate. It is believed that the Yadavas, a prehistoric culture living on the western edge of the country, enjoyed playing the game.
“A shred of evidence can be found in the Mahabharata, which describes how Arjuna is able to infiltrate enemy territory and kill enemies without being seen. This fits in perfectly with how Kabaddi is played. Nevertheless, despite the contradicting accounts, India is still credited to have increased the sport’s popularity by making it a competitive sport,” says Narinder Dhruv Batra.
Subsequently, there is evidence that wrestling was practised in ancient India in addition to ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, where it is thought to have originated. In reality, it was known as ‘Malla-Yuddha’ at the time. It is said to have started at least in the fifth millennium BC. In fact, the name Malla Purana refers to an encyclopedia on the sport. It was the forerunner to modern wrestling, having been created in the 13th century.
Lastly, the present version of badminton was developed in India, while having its roots in England. In the 1860s, the game developed into its current form in the fortified city of Poona. When it was performed by the British, it was referred to as ‘Poona’ in popular culture. In addition to these, India also has other sports including Kho-Kho, Carrom, and martial arts styles like Kalaripayattu.