Top 15 Most Popular Sports Played in India

There are different kind of games played in India, from popular sports such as football and Cricket to lesser known but most played local games Kho- kho, Langdi and Gillidanda. Here is the lit of top 15 most popular sports in India with the special place and part of the physical culture in ancient India.



Cricket is not only the most popular sport in India but also an important part of the Indian culture,played almost everywhere. BCCI is body for cricket in India, Indian Premier League is the most watched sports leagues in the world.
Indian cricket team is the winner of all format of Cricket be it Twenty20 World Cup, 2011 Cricket World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC Test Championship. Legal betting sites can be found on


Badminton is the second most played sports in India and the team is governed by the Badminton Association of India. The Indian team of Badminton players are taking the world in all kind of Championships, P.V. Sindhu, Saina Nehwal,Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta.



Football as a sports is very popular in the state of Kerala, Goa, West Bengal and north-eastern India, From where professional players like Bhaichung Bhutia and Sunil Chhetri promote Indian football to the country.



Kabaddi is one of the most popular sports in India, popularized as a competitive sport and part in the Asian Games, international kabaddi competition – Kabaddi World Cup and Pro Kabaddi League based on Indian premier league.

Pro Kabaddi League is second most watched sports in India after IPL, also uses a franchise based model with rules same as indoor version of Kabaddi and 2019 season of Pro Kabaddi League features 12 teams.

Field Hockey


Field Hockey is one of the oldest ancient games played in India, Considered as the unofficial National sport of India. Odisha field hockey has dominance in field hockey in India and a league called Premier Hockey League started like IPL.



Tennis in India is limited to urban areas but counted among the top ten most popular sports in India along with Badminton and Football, introduced in India in the 1880.



Pehlwani from India is a form of wrestling and old Malla-yuddha game, originating from the Indian subcontinent and today known as Kusti. Wrestling is the form of modern Pehelwani and very popular in India since ancient times where it was famously known as Malla-yuddha.

Malla yuddha is the ancient Indian game of Pehlwani and the competitions known as kushti or dangal, place of practice Pehlwani is called Akhara.



Boxing combat sports game is getting popular in India after the Indian Olympic boxer like Mary Kom, Pinky Rani,Sarita Devi, Shashi Chopra and
Champion Vijender Singh are inspiration many boxers in India.



Mallakhamba is another well known traditional sports of India which includes wrestling grips, aerial yoga postures on a vertical hanging wooden pole. The free standing pole usually made from Seesham wood Indian Rosewood tree and polished with castor oil, where a gymnast practiced and performs.


The game of basketball is not that much popular sports in the country like Cricket and Badminton but already make a significant mark in the list of sports played in India.


Sahara Force India Formula One Team

Motorsport in India has developed keen interest, particular when Narain Karthikeyan became the only Indian signed by the Formula One team, today India has newly built Buddh International Circuit and Formula One team as Force India.



Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest fighting system originated from Kerala and most popular Indian martial art in the world. The Indian martial art offers two different style known as Northern Style with exercises and Southern style with different set of techniques.

Kho Kho

Kho kho is an ancient sport from India and second most played traditional tag games of the Indian subcontinent, after Kabaddi. The traditional Indian sport also played in South Africa by the Indian community and one of the must play sports of India.

Gilli Danda

Gilli danda is a widely played sports of the Indian subcontinent, played all over in the rural areas, villages and small towns in India, also known as ancient sport of the Indian subcontinent.

Kite Flying


Flying kite in India is a recreational art of practice and one Indian festival is dedicated to kite flying. International kite festival in Gujarat known as Uttarayana and Makara Sankranti in other part of India is the day for tradition of kite flying in India.

Golf in India is very much popular among the wealthier classes and growing sports like Tennis, Squash, Beach volleyball, snooker, Rugby and Table tennis in India.

Some of the most popular and traditional sports in India also include local playing games like Dhopkhel of Assam, Langdi a traditional Indian field sport, Lattu, Archery,Chess ,Kancha, Kayaking water sports, Equestrian sports, Sitoliya, Vallam Kalim, Jallikattu and martial arts sports.

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