Today, most of the outdoor games played then are almost extinct, with some on the verge of being forgotten thanks to our busy lifestyle and also the urbanisation which has taken up most of the playgrounds and empty spaces that were so abundant. One such game which is forgotten due to a lack of space to play in is Gilli Danda.
Cricket played with a stick instead of a bat is exactly the structure of Gilli Danda. Previously Gilli Danda was as amateur sports played in the rural parts of India.wooden sticks-a small one about three inches long called the gilli, and a longer one called the danda, around two feet long. The gilli is tapered at the ends to get a good grip for striking it and the greatest challenge lies in how well and how far one can strike the spinning gilli in air.
The game’s origins in India date back to at least the Maurya Dynasty. It is believed to be the origin of Western games such as cricket, baseball and softball.
The rules are different everywhere and you can have fun making your own rules.
Gilli Danda is known by different names all over India :
1) Tipcat in English
2) Dandi – Biyo in Nepali
3) Alak – Doulak in Persian
4) Danguli in Bengali
5) Chinni – Dandu in Kannada
6) Kuttyum Kolum in Malayalam
7) Viti – Dandu in Marathi
8) Kitti – Pul in Tamil
9) Gooti – Billa in Telegu
10) Gulli Danda in Punjabi
1) Gilli – a 3 to 6 inches long stick, one inch diameter at the center and tapered at both ends.
2) Danda – a 2 to 3 feet long stick , one inch in diameter
The game is played between two teams with one team on strike while the other fields. It can also be played by individual players. A small circle is drawn and the striker (the one who hits the gilli) stands inside the circle with the gilli placed across a small hole dug up on the ground . Sometimes the gilli may be balanced on a stone in an inclined position, with one end touching the ground and the other in air. The fielders take various positions to catch the gilli
Unlike modern games, any number of players or teams can play this game. That’s precisely the difference between the western and Indian games. However, it is preferred that you have only two teams to avoid unnecessary fights.
Gilli danda improves the skills like hand and eye co-ordination, judgement, calculation etc.