Street Games Of India: Forgotten Indian Childhood Games

Street Games Of India: Common Games Played on Streets

Street Games Of India: Gilli Danda

Hi! Friends I am Mannu from India. Today I am going to introduce you about some very interesting city and village games played by children widely across our country. These games are neither played in stadium nor shown on television. Even then, are very popular among Indian folks.

Gilli Danda
Gilli Danda

Hey, look at the picture what these kids are playing. Wow! This is “Gilli-Danda”. Interesting! Let me tell you about the terms used in this game.

  • Gilli: A small wooden piece cylindrical in shape with about one inch diameter and about 3-4 inches long is sharpened like a lead pencil from both sides.
  • Danda: A wooden rule or stick similar to that used by teachers in the school. The length of the rule is about 20 inches to 24 inches.
  • Pillow: A small pit shaped like a “banana” is made in the ground. The length of this pit is about 4 inches.

Now “players” – Well, even two can play it.

Gilli Danda
Gilli Danda

Let’s play the game.

Gilli Danda: Illustration by Amarjeet Malik
Gilli Danda: Illustration by Amarjeet Malik

Mannu: Here I’m playing with my friend Nittu. Hey, Nittu common its your turn first. He places the “Gilli” across the “Pillow” and put in his “Danda” into the pit under the “Gilli” and hold the “Danda” at about 45° on the ground like it’s shown above.

Nittu: OK, Mannu – I am pushing it off to you. If you catch the “Gilli”, I ‘ll be out, then it will be your turn. But if you fail to catch it I’ll place my “Danda” on the pit like wise my “Gilli” and you will throw the “Gilli” on to “Danda”. If it hits the “Danda” even then I’ll be out and it will be your turn to play.

Mannu: And what if my throw misses the target.

Nittu: Well, then I’ll place the “Gilli” on the ground but not on the “Pillow” and give a small bounce to the “Gilli” by hitting its one end with my “Danda”. And while the “Gilli” is still in the air, I try to hit it hard with my “Danda” as far as I can, away from “Pillow”. And Mannu will try to catch it again. Then same thing if Mannu catches it I’ll be out, if it falls off your hands or not too close to catch it, I’ll come to the place where “Gilli” has fallen on the ground, off your hands and again hit the “Gilli” further away thrice, if I don’t miss a shot in between.

Now I come back to the “Pillow” and place the “Danda” on the “Pillow”. Now Mannu throw the “Gilli” with an aim to hit the “Danda”. If it hits I’m out otherwise I’ll repeat as above.

Ok! Friends you got it. Isn’t it interesting? So come on try this game with your friends and make it popular in your country also. Nittu and Mannu be back with another interesting games for you.

Note: Be careful – The “Gilli” can hit the fielders while catching / playing.

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