Top 15 Traditional Regional Sports of Incredible India

Traditional Indian Sports are the games that originated in ancient India or games played during old times such as Kushti or Malla-yuddha, Vajra-mushti, Mallakhamb and kabaddi. Here is the list of few well known traditional game of the Indian states.

Indian Martial Arts


Indian martial arts includes a large variety of culture, traditional and ancient games of the Indian subcontinent. There are variety of regional Indian martial arts famous for different style and weapons such as lathi khela from Bengal,Huyen langlon from Manipur, Kalari from Kerala, gatka from Panjab region and silambam from Tamil Nadu.


Pachisi was the national game of ancient India, which means twenty-five in Hindi and played on a board or circle board. Chaupar and Pachisi are two different games but very similar with variations throughout India.


Chaupar or chopad is another circle board game of India like pachisi with four players and a variation of Indian epic Mahabharata dice game. Chaupar originated from ancient India from pachisi with more skill and complex rules and variation.


Chaturanga was a Chess like game of ancient India with similar rules to shatranj. The game was first known by the Gupta Empire but much older than we know, An ancient Indian board game with four divisions of an army.

Seval Sandai (Cockfighting)

Seval Sandai or cockfighting is one of the most popular rural sport stil exist in Tamil Nadu and coast of Andhra Pradesh. Cockfight game was very popular in ancient India, especially in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Tulu Nadu region of Karnataka.

Maramadi Bull Surfing, Kerala

Maramadi Bull Surfing race from Kerala take place in Anandapally village where pair of bulls races with different categories for speed and style in paddy fields. The oxen are specifically trained with the professional jockeys and one of the lesser known sports of Incredible India.

Vallam Kali or traditional snake boat race in Kerala is another very popular regional sports conducted during the festival of Onam and a major tourist attraction in Kerala.

Kambala, Karnataka


Kambala buffalo race from Karnataka is a simple sport where the pair of buffaloes run one by one. The annual festival is one of the most popular and unique sport in Karnataka mainly in districts of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi.

Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu

Jallikattu is a traditional sports of Tamil Nadu typically practised during the Pongal celebrations in January. Pulikulam or Kangayam breed of cattles are used for Jallikattu where Bulls are released into the crowd and participants has to remove flags from bull’s horns.

Hori Habba, Karnataka

Hori Habba is another rural sport practiced mainly in Shivamogga districts of Karnataka and similar to Jallikattu of Tamil Nadu. The sport is part of the Deepavali festival celebrations and bulls run through the crowds.

Bullock Cart Race, Maharashtra

Bullock cart race in Maharashtra was a popular tradition in various parts of the state known as Bailgada Sharyat. As per the law, now the sport is ban on the rural area of western Maharashtra as well same law applies to Jallikattu and bull race at Kila Raipur games.

Pallanguzhi, Tamil Nadu

Pallanguzhi is a Tamil traditional indoor board game, played by two players on a rectangular board. The traditional ancient game is very popular among the kids and old people especially in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka (Ali Guli Mane), Andhra Pradesh and Kerala also played in Sri Lanka.

Dhopkhel (Ball Game)

Dhopkhel is a ball game from Assam state played between two teams during the festival of Bihu. The indigenous game of Assam is a seasonal game that requires speed, stamina, and acrobatic skills.

Yubi Lakpi (Coconut Snatching)

Yubi lakpi game played in Manipur with coconut and a lesser known traditional football game of India. The game generally played barefoot with 7 players in each two team over a 45 metres long pitch and also known as coconut snatching.

Insuknawr (Rod Pushing)

Insuknawr game is a rod pushing sport played in Mizoram state of North-East India and most popular among the Mizo community. The game where round wooden rod or bamboo rod between two players are tries to push his opponent out of the ring.

Camel Racing, Rajasthan

Rajasthan state of India is well known for Pushkar camel fair, Nagaur cattle fair and a tourist attraction for domestic and international travelers. Pushkar Fair and Nagaur Fair both are known for performances like bullock cart races, cockfights, camel dances, tug-of-war and camel races.

There are list of more traditional Indian games played across the country like Gilli Danda, Kho Kho, Kushti, Kancha, Kabbadi,Uriyadi, Kite Flying, Mallakhamb, Bambaram, Pallanguzhi, Khong Kangjei,Thoda,Vajra Mushti,Poshampa,Langdi,Kith Kith,Seven stones and archery.

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