India has a great tradition of sports, and is greatly influenced by the British presence in India in the 18th and 19th century. Cricket is undoubtedly the most popular sport, but in such a large and populous country there are many other sports that are played by a lot of people.
India is one of the largest country in the world in both area and population. India is also one of the few countries that have retained the popularity of their indigenous games among its people. Such traditional games include pehlwani, kabaddi, silambam, yoga, thayam, aadu puli aatam, parama padam, carrom, kho kho, gili danda, ettu kodu, langdi, lagori, ainthu kallu, pallanguzhi, malyutam.
India is also where some of the oldest forms of martial arts originated like musti yuddha, kalerippayattu, silambam as well as marma adi.
India also have a few board games, most popular of which is the chaturanga, believed to be the origin of modern chess. This is further reinforced with the rise of a number of chess grandmasters from the country.
However, modern games have also taken over the Indian scene with cricket being the most popular. India have also hosted several sporting events such as the Asian Games (1951 and 1982), Cricket World Cup (1987, 1996 and 2011), Hockey World Cup and the Commonwealth Games (2010).
India also have been part of the Olympic Games since 1900 and winning an Olympic medal right off the bat when Norma Pritchard took two silver medals in athletics when in the 200 meter dash and the 200 meters hurdles. They skipped a few Games and returned in 1920 and have been sending athletes ever since.
Below are details of sports, sporting events and sports people related to India.
Popular sports of India (see more)
- Cricket, Field Hockey, Football (Soccer), Badminton, Tennis, Kabaddi, Track and Field (Athletics), Chess
Traditional or Regional Sports of India
- Ball Badminton — a racket game native to India, played with a yellow ball made of wool, with similarities to Badminton.
- Kho-Kho — the team that takes lesser time to tag all the opponent players wins the game.
- Kabaddi — a "raider" enters the opposite team's half to tag opponents without taking a breath.
- Lagori — from Southern India, this game involves a ball and a pile of flat stones. A member of one team throws a soft ball at a pile of stones to knock them over, then try to restore the pile of stones while the opposing team throws the ball at them (also called Pittu).
- Yubi Lakpi — a seven-a-side traditional football game with similarities to rugby played in Manipur, India, using a coconut.
- Mallakhamba — a traditional Indian sport, where athletes perform various types of gymnastics moves and hold various poses on a vertical wooden pole or a rope.
- Rollball — like handball on roller skates, players must bounce the ball while moving and score goals by shooting the ball into the opposing team's goal.
- Throwball — a sport very similar to Newcomb Ball (a variation of Volleyball) that is played in India.
- Pehlwani — a form of wrestling from South Asia. A win is achieved by pinning the opponent's shoulders and hips to the ground simultaneously.
- Kalaripayattu — an ancient martial art from Kerala, India.
- Silambam — a traditional Tamil martial art from India which mainly uses a bamboo staff.
- Gilli-Danda — a South Asian game played with two sticks, one long and the other short
- Nadan Panthu Kali — ball and net sport played in the Kerala region.
India Sporting Success
- India won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1983 and 2011.
- Winner 2007 T20 World Cup
- ICC Champions Trophy winner - 2002, 2013
Great athletes from India
- Sachin Tendulkar (cricket)
- Virat Kohli (cricket)
- Major Dhyan Chand (hockey)
- Anju Bobby George (athletics - long jump)
- Jyotirmoyee Sikdar (athletics - 800m)
- Milkha Singh
- Norman Pritchard
- P. T. Usha
- T. C. Yohannan
- Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupati (tennis)
- Neeraj Chopra (javelin) - the first track & field athlete to win a gold medal for India at the Olympics
- Mary Kom (boxing) - one of the greatest female boxers of all time
India Sports trivia
- 1997 Federation Cup Semi Final between East Bengal and Mohun Bagan holds the record for the largest audience in Indian football. The match played in 13th July, 1997 at Salt Lake Stadium drew 134,000 spectators. This is a record attendance for any sport in India.
- The sport of Badminton (probably) originated in India.
India at major events
- India at the Summer Olympics
- India at the Winter Olympics
- India at the Commonwealth Games
- India at the FIFA World Cup
- India at the Cricket ODI World Cup
- India at the Cricket T20 World Cup
Past sporting events hosted in India
- 1934 West Asian Games, New Delhi
- 1951 Asian Games
- 1982 Asian Games
- 1987 Cricket World Cup hosted by India & Pakistan
- 1996 Cricket World Cup hosted by India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
- 2006 Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi
- 2010 Commonwealth Games Delhi
- 2011 Cricket World Cup hosted in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka
- 2013 Lusophony Games in Goa
- 2016 Men's T20 World Cup hosted by India
- 2016 Women's T20 World Cup
- 2018 Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi
- 2018 Men's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar
- 2023 Men's Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar & Rourkela
Upcoming sporting events in India
- 2023 Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi
- 2026 T20 Cricket World Cup co-hosted with Sri Lanka
- 2031 Cricket World Cup (1-Day) co-hosted with Bangladesh
Annual sporting events held in India
- Indian Premier League (IPL) — 20/20 Cricket tournament
Sporting Facilities in India
- Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports
- Narendra Modi stadium, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
- Salt Lake Stadium Kolkata
- Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi
Is there something missing? If you know of something that should be listed here, please let me know.
- List of the most popular sports in India
- India Travel Food Guide for Athletes
- Countries list
- World of Sport Home
Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.
- HEY GILLI DANDA IS MY LYFE i recieved a full ride to the College of Gilli Danda Learning
REMEMBER... peace, love, and gilli danda, #gillidandasquad, #dabonthegillidandahaters. from WABBY (2017)
- hey guys !!!!! this was a greeeaaaaat disscussion on sporting recreation events in india !!!! my personal FAV was Gilli Danda!!!! i <3 it !! i hope you like this discussion !!! ;) <3 #INDIASPORTS. from Indiasport<3er (2017)
- You missed Major Dhyan Chand (ed. he has now been added) who got 5 gold medals in field hockey in summer Olympics and who impressed by Adolf Hitlar during 1936 Berlin Olympics. Also Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi who won many Doubles Grand slams (from Jo Vikâs, June 2011) - added