List of Games Originated in India that are World Famous

From mathematical equations to scientific discoveries, India has a great name in giving the world many new inventions and concepts. Over the past few years, there has been a vast number of global inventions taking place in the field of yoga, Ayurveda, and even sports. There are many modern games today which are played worldwide yet their actual and main origin was from the roots of India.

Here’s a list of the top games played in India since ancient times and are famous across different continents today.

Games Originated in India

These sports like chess and snakes and ladders are ancient Indian games. Check out this list of best games originated in India.

1. Judo and Karate

Judo and karate are two famous forms of martial arts which today is practiced by many all across the world. It is claimed to originate from ancient India adopted by Buddhist monks in the medieval era which later began to spread all across Asia. Even though the world today considers it a legacy of China, Korea, and other Asian countries, throwing light to the real side, it mainly originated from India.

2. Ludo


Earlier played as Pachisi, Ludo is an ancient game that comes from the story of Pandavas and Kauravas. It later spread across different time gaps and played in the Mughal era as well. Akbar was very interested in playing Ludo according to the scriptures. It was only in 1896 when the Britishers changed it with certain rules and introduced the concept of dice to it with which they patented the game. Today it is played worldwide and known as Ludo.

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3. Snakes and Ladders

Ancient India saw Snake and ladder with different names such as Gyan Chaupar, Mokshapat, and Moksha Patamu. Just like Ludo, the game was later patented by the British and it then expanded across the world and become famous.

4. Kho-Kho

One of the most popular and traditional games of urban and rural India is Kho Kho. This game has always been one of the most played and enjoyed in India. It is mainly all about to run and chase which historians say is similar to ‘raths’ or chariots and was known as Rather by the emperors of India.

5. Kabaddi

Though there is no such evidence yet, the game is believed to be of Indian origin coming from the Southern part of India. It is a 4000 old year sport. The game gained a lot of popularity from rural India as it neither requires large space nor expensive equipment. The game requires skill and power along with some wrestling qualities to defeat the opponent. Kabaddi is also popular in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Japan, and Pakistan.

6. Chess


Chess is one of the most famous and top played games around the world that originated in India and is loved by everyone. It was initially called as Ashtapada and was one of the royal games in India. During the Gupta dynasty, it was called Chaturanga.

Later when Persians visited India and initially got introduced to the game, they picked it up and named it Shatranj. Though there are many similar board games in the books of Indian history, Chess remains one of the famous which with the British later expands on to the world. The All India Chess Federation is the governing body for chess players in India.

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7. Polo


Expect the unexpected, Polo is recorded as an ancient India game that originated from Manipur which was earlier played as Elephant Polo. Historians say that the game was played by the kings of Cheitharon Kumpapa court chronicle of the kings of Manipur in 33 AD. The game later became popular when the Britishers loved playing it in India.

8. Cards


Known as cards, which is played almost all across the world is an ancient Indian originated game and was known as Krida-Patram. You can mostly hear of them in the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Later when in the 16th century the game was introduced among the royal families and in the Mughal dynasty, they named it Ganjifa.

At this point, the cards were made of tortoiseshell or ivory and decorated with pearls and precious metals. Later on, as time passed by, the game changed and came into the picture known as Cards.

9. Bullfighting

Bullfighting is a traditional sport belonging to the Tamil Nadu state of Indian for ages. It is known by names such as Jallikattu, Manju Virattu, and Eruthazhuvathal. The game is played during Pongal celebrations and is one of the most played sports in Tamil culture. The game is believed to show the bravery of the man who fights the bull and wins a prize.

10. Hockey


Indian audience was introduced to Hockey when the Britishers started playing it on the Indian grounds. It all started in the 19th century and then in the year 1885, the first hockey club was established in Calcutta, and later with the spread of popularity and interest, cricket and hockey widely spread among the audience of the country. Winning around multiple matches, hockey was one of the most victorious games that raised the Nation’s name in sport besides cricket.

The games consist of two teams with two players in each team and using a stick they pass on the ball to make it reach on opposition’s end. The game is truly very interesting to play.

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These were some of the games commonly known and played in the Indian continent. Though there’s a list of games that Indians love to enjoy, these games are among the top favorite that every youth looks upon to play and enjoy.

Do share with us more on other interesting games in India.