Being one of the oldest surviving civilizations, India has a rich cultural history. They are home to the oldest religion still practiced today, Hinduism. The country is responsible for two of the most important and revered pieces of literature in all of human history, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana. And of course, it is also the place where some of the sports still played today originate. So, in this article, we would like to go over a few sports that began in India, and are still practiced today across the world.
Kabbadi may not have the international appeal of sports like football, basketball, or cricket. However, in Southeast Asia it enjoys incredible popularity. In Bangladesh it is a national sport. It is incredibly popular in Pakistan. And it is the official state sport of over 10 Indian states. And its history can be traced back to Ancient India.
The 4000-year-old sport is still played today. For those who aren’t aware, Kabaddi is a contact team sport (similar to American football). Each team consists of 7 players, the goal of which is to run into the opposing team’s field, and touch as many of their players as possible without being tackled. In essence, it is a high-adrenaline game of tag. If that sounds appealing to you, check out the latest Kabaddi highlights on Sportsadda, so that you may get into the sport and experience it firsthand.
But, Kabaddi is not really an internationally popular game. It enjoys vast popularity in South East Asia, but nowhere else really. So, let’s take a look at some sports that did attain international appeal.
It isn’t exactly certain when Malla-Yuddha first appeared in India. However, the sport is mentioned in some of the subcontinent’s oldest literary works. And we know what you’re thinking. Malla-yuddha isn’t an internationally popular sport. Most have probably never heard of it. However, you definitely are familiar with malla-yuddha, only by a different name: wrestling.
That’s right, malla-yuddha is simply the Indian variation on one of humanity’s oldest and most popular sports, wrestling. However, malla-yuddha incorporates striking techniques, making it closer to mixed martial arts, another sport that is incredibly popular today, with a ton of reputable sources covering the best practitioners and coaches in the business.
While it is difficult to link MMA to malla-yuddha directly, we are aware that the Indian sport inspired quite a few similar ancient forms of combat. Meaning it wouldn’t be a huge stretch to connect the two, at least indirectly. Kabaddi Updates of January2023
Finally, we come to a sport whose popularity cannot be disputed. We’ve all heard of badminton, and many of us have even played the game recreationally. Certainly, when we did so few of us knew that the game’s origins can be traced to British India.
In the 1800s, the British Empire was at its peak, having colonized good portions of Africa and Asia. British expatriates had established a life for themselves in India. They brought over their own British culture and sports, most notably cricket, which remains incredibly popular in India today. During this time, the British residents in India developed the game, originally calling it Poona, after the town where it began.
By 1870, the game had already caught on. Very soon, the Badminton Association of England formed, and by 1893, had published the official rules of the game. Today, the game remains incredibly popular in India, and is played all over Europe, but most notably in England, Scotland, Wales, France, Ireland, Denmark, and the Netherlands. It is also a popular recreational sport in the United States.