Traditional Games of Karnataka

If you are in your forties you would have played Lagori, Chinni Danda, Kuntubele at sometime in your life. These are the games played when TV, electronic gadgets, computers did not occupy our lives. Victory is not the sole intention, but the spirit of playing together. Old and young played just for the fun of it. It’s a competition with a difference, which invokes nostalgia in older generation and curiosity among youngsters.

Some of the traditional games are

  • Chinni Danda (Gilli Danda) – Gilli Danda is called Chinni Dandu in Kannada, Gooti Billa in Telugu, Kitti Pulu in Tamil and Viti Dandu in Marathi. It is an amateur sport similar to cricket and baseball.
  • Buguri (Spinning the Top)
  • Goli (marbles)
  • Donne Varase
  • Kabaddi
  • Kallu Gundu Ettuvudu
  • Malla Kamba
  • Pyramid Madake
  • Kuntata (Hop and catch)
  • Gultoria
  • Lagori
  • Soorchendu
  • Gonichiladata
  • Kuntebille (Hopscotch)
  • Mooru Kaalina Ota
  • Pirichendu
  • Kambala
  • Kesarugadde Ota
  • Hagga Jaggata
  • Chakkadi Ota
  • Channe Mane

There are some of indoor games too. One of them is the Chouka bara (similar to Lido) played with shells, “kavade” in Kannada. There are Naalku Kavade (4 shells), Pagade Aata(dice), Alli Gulli Mane (played in tamarind seeds- traditional game from Mysore) and many more. These old games, played not only by skilled persons but also by every member of the family during leisure hours, started fading away after mechanical toys, television and computer games started dominating everyone’s attention.

Rural India is familiar with this game and many of us have heard about it from our parents or grandparents. All this is being made possible with the government’s plans to revive traditional games. The sports and youth services department is organizing these games at the hobli level across the state and has allocated Rs 38.5 lakh, at Rs 5,000 per hobli. Besides, the government has roped in the Kannada and culture department, which has been asked to organize Suvarna Janapada Kreedotsava at all districts and taluks on the eve of the World Kannada Conference, scheduled to be held in December in Belgaum. For the programme, Rs 30 lakh has been earmarked.

“With the onslaught of television and video games and modern versions of games like cricket, our traditional games are disappearing fast. Our programme is an effort towards reviving them,’’ sports and youth affairs minister Gulihatti D Shekar.