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India is a land of versatility. Along with varied languages, cultures, religions, and beliefs, this country boasts an enviable list of games, both indoor and outdoor, which are played with undying fervor even today. A lot of these games are known to have originated in the country, or adapted from a game of another country. Nevertheless, each of these games has done its bit in making India as diverse as it is today. Here are a few popular games of the country, played by people with gusto and energy:
One of the most loved and fun games played among Indian families and friend circles, across age groups, is carom. The game involves the use of a square, wooden board with four net pockets in each corner, carom men (small disks), the queen (red disk), and strikers. A fine-grain powder is used before the start of the game for smooth movements of the disks on the board. The purpose of the game is to pocket one’s nine carom men and the queen before the opponent.
It is believed that the game originated in the Indian subcontinent and was a popular free-time sport for kings. However, it was only during World War I that the game became extremely popular, and soon, there were competitions held across states. India has official carom federations that conduct tournaments.
This is another popular indoor sport and a favorite among card players in the country. This game involves 13 cards for each player (2–6). After dealing, the remaining cards are piled up face down, with the top most being turned over for the game to begin. The objective is to make sequences and sets, with at least one of the sequences being a pure, that is, without a joker or wild card. At any given time, a rummy player can have only 13 cards with him, which means, if he takes a card from the deck, he will need to discard one from his hand. The discarded card remains open for the next player. This game involves jokers, which can be used as any other card to form a sequence. Apart from this, a wild card is also selected that performs the same role. A skill-based game, Indian rummy has also received the nod of the courts of law in India as a game of intelligence, which does not come under the ambit of the Public Gambling Act, 1867. Today, people also play rummy online for cash or for free. A lot of websites, like Khelplayrummy, are growing in popularity among card game enthusiasts.
Who doesn’t know about this classic and ultimate game of genius? Chess is played between two players on a checkered board of 64 squares. Each player has an equal number of 16 chess men (the pieces with which the game is played), arranged in a preordained order. The 16 chess men include a king, queen, two rooks, two horses, two bishops, and eight pawns or soldiers. Each of the chess men is moved strategically according to the number of steps they’re allowed to take, depending on their ranking. The queen is the most powerful in the game, while the pawn is the least. The game is played until one of the players gets the opponent’s king killed or trapped, which is known in chess parlance as checkmate. Known to be an Indian origin, chess used to be a game played among the royalty, with real animals and men. This is known as human chess.
This is a popular outdoor sport that involves two teams of seven players each. The teams are split up into their respective halves on a ground or mat. A raider from one team needs to cross the midline and get into the opposite team’s territory to try and touch each of the players and come back into his territory. If the raider gets caught by the opposite team, his team loses and the opponent wins the round. This game is highly popular in different states, but known by different names: Chedugudu in Andhra Pradesh, Kabaddi in Karnataka and Telangana, Hu-Tu-Tu in Maharashtra, and Kauddi or Kabaddi in Punjab.