Weird Indian Sports That You Never Knew 2023
India is a country with a rich culture not only in the diversity of festivals but also in sports. Many sports like Kabaddi, Kushti, Lagori, Langdi, etc I have already discussed here, if you haven’t read those, then you can search on our site or click on the names. Well, today we will be talking about some Weird Indian Sports That You Never Knew 2023.
The sports which I am going to mention here originated from the cultures and beliefs of different regions of India. Some are played for physical improvement while some of them are dedicated to gods they believe in and some even for praising their animals.
These sports might seem weird or bizarre which they are but still, they show a diversity in sports culture that we must appreciate and admire.
Let’s dive into some of these weird sports now.
Kambala Buffalo Race
Originated From: Karnataka
About the Sport
Kambala is a traditional buffalo race that takes place in the southwestern coastal region of Karnataka, India. It is a popular sport among the farming community, particularly in districts like Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. It is typically held in muddy fields, and it involves buffaloes and their handlers, known as “aragaaris.“
The event is deeply rooted in the local culture and is often organized to pay homage to the deities and seek their blessings for a good harvest. Kambala usually takes place between November and March, coinciding with the post-harvest season. (I already told you that these are based on people’s beliefs.)
In Kambala, buffaloes are made to run in pairs along a straight, paddy field track, while the aragaaris run alongside, guiding the animals with a plough. The buffaloes are often decorated with colorful accessories and are prepared for the race to showcase their strengths. The fastest pair of buffaloes is declared the winner.
It has been a part of the region’s cultural heritage for centuries, but it has also faced controversy and concerns about animal welfare. In recent years, there have been discussions regarding the treatment of buffaloes during the races, leading to debates about the ethics by Animal rights activists about the well-being of the buffaloes, and taking calls for regulations or modifications for animal safety.
Originated From: Meghauli, Nepal
About the Sport
Elephant polo is a sport that is a variant of traditional polo and is played while riding elephants instead of horses, duh. It is a niche sport that combines elements of polo with uniqueness by using elephants.
Teams and Rules: Elephant polo is typically played between two teams, each consisting of three players. The rules are similar to those of traditional polo, with teams attempting to score goals by hitting a ball through goalposts using long-handled mallets.
Elephant Handlers: Each elephant is accompanied by a mahout or handler who guides and controls the elephant during the game. The mahouts (a person who works with, rides, and tends an elephant), play a crucial role in ensuring the safety of both players and elephants.
Tournaments and Events: Elephant polo is often played in exhibition matches or as part of special events and tournaments. These events are sometimes organized for charitable purposes, with funds raised going toward elephant conservation or other causes.
Location: Elephant polo events have been held in various locations around the world, but they are most commonly associated with countries like Thailand and Nepal. The sport has gained popularity as a unique and entertaining activity for tourists and spectators.
Like other sports involving animals, elephant polo has faced criticism from animal welfare activists. Concerns include the well-being of the elephants involved.
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Originated From: Manipur
About the Sport
Yubi Lakpi, also known as Manipuri rugby, is a traditional sport that originated in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. The name “Yubi Lakpi” can be translated to “coconut snatching” in English, as the game involves players attempting to snatch a coconut from the ground and make their way to the goalpost while facing opposition from the opposing team.
The aim of Yubi Lakpi is for a player to snatch the coconut, which is used as a ball, and carry it to the goalpost of the opposing team. The player must avoid being tackled and stopped by members of the opposing team.
The game is typically played between two teams, and each team consists of 7 to 10 players and they are known as “Hunters” and “Players.”
The main equipment used in Yubi Lakpi is a coconut, which serves as the ball. Players do not use any protective gear, and the game is played on a rectangular field.
Yubi Lakpi is deeply rooted in the cultural history of Manipur and is often played during festivals and other traditional celebrations. The sport holds cultural and historical significance and is considered an important part of Manipuri heritage.
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Asol Tale Aap (Canoe Race on sand)
Originated From: Andaman and Nicobar Islands
About the Sport
The Nicobarese have been the only community in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India) that have their own cultures and beliefs, as well as their unique sports. AsolAap and Asol-Tale Aap are 2 of the region’s prominent native games.
Canoeing was a popular practice among the Nicobarese tribes since it was the only way for them to go from one territory to another and they turned this thing into a unique sport.
The canoe width in AsolAap is roughly 100′, and the group of players in each team is determined by the size of the canoe. Because the race is held on the sea, and the level of water and velocity varies from coast to ocean depths, only two teams compete at a time.
The Nicobar Athletic Association organizes this event at Car Nicobar. The participants range from 40 to 90, depending on the size of the canoe. The event is around 5 to 6 kilometers long and takes place during the dry season.
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But Asol-Tale Aap is a bit different than this, as it is a Canoe race held on sand instead of the sea. In this rather strange canoe race, the craft is built from the stem of a coconut tree and can be of any size for one or two participants.
But in a race, the number of participants must be similar for each canoe. 15 to 20 participants take part at a time as the land of Nicobar is sandy and even. All the participants sit in their canoes keeping one leg in the canoe, and the other on the ground. They drive their canoe on the sand with the force of their limbs.
The one who completes the distance in the shortest period is the winner and it activity involves great strength of body, especially in the hands.
Originated From: Kerela
About the Sport
Kalaripayattu is an ancient Indian martial art form that originated in the southern state of Kerala. Dynamic movements, physical conditioning, weaponry techniques, and healing practices make it one of the oldest fighting systems. Kalaripayattu has a rich history and is often referred to as both an art and a science.
Kalaripayattu practitioners undergo rigorous physical training to improve flexibility, strength, agility, and stamina. The training also incorporates various postures, stances, and footwork.
In addition to unarmed combat, weapons techniques are taught, such as swords, daggers, spears, and staffs. Kalaripayattu encompasses a wide range of striking, kicking, grappling, and joint-locking techniques. Movements are often fluid, which focuses on balance and coordination.
Like many martial arts, Kalaripayattu includes a series of pre-arranged movements known as kata or forms. The sequences help practitioners refine their techniques and understand the art’s principles.
Kalaripayattu includes a system of traditional medicine and massage known as “Kalari Chikitsa.” This aspect focuses on the healing of injuries, enhancing flexibility, and maintaining overall well-being.
Kalaripayattu is not only a physical discipline but also has a philosophical component. In meditation, the mind and body are connected through mental training.
This has cultural and historical significance in Kerala and is often performed during festivals and other traditional events. It has also gained recognition as a traditional art form and is sometimes showcased in cultural performances.
Well, these sports are not even close to showing how much variety of weird and unique sports India has come up with and has been going on for centuries. Other sports will be discussed in future posts so, stay tuned for that.
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If you enjoy reading it, comment below and leave your suggestions and any other topics that I should write about in the comments. Don’t just read alone share it with others in this way everybody will enjoy it. I will be back soon with another game or related info. Till then…