Gilli Danda

Gilli Danda is a game played mostly in rural areas. It is said to have originated in India around 2,500 years ago. The game is played with two sticks: a large one called a danda, which is used to hit a smaller one called the gilli. It is also known as ‘Tipcat’ (in English).

The game is best enjoyed with four or more players (total of even number), who are broken up into teams if needed. While standing inside a small circle, a player balances the gilli on a stone in an inclined manner (like a see-saw). One end of the gilli touches the ground while the other end is in the air. The player then uses the danda to hit the gilli on the raised end, which causes the gilli to flip and fly up into the air. While it is in the air, the player strikes the gilli as hard as possible. After doing so, he/she has to run and touch a point outside the circle (the point is agreed upon before the game begins), before the gilli is retrieved by an opponent. If the striker fails to hit the gilli in three tries, the striker is out.

If the gilli is caught by any another player (or member of another team) before it touches the ground, the striker is out. If the gilli lands on the ground, the player closest to the gilli has one chance to hit the danda (which has to be placed on top of the circle used) with a throw. If the danda is hit, the striker is out. If not, the striker scores one point and gets another opportunity to strike. The team (or individual) with the most points wins the game.

This game encourages agility, builds stamina and improves hand-eye coordination. It is also good grounding in teamwork as well as disciplined persistence.

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