Why is Gilli Danda considered as the king of all games?


Gilli-Danda is an amateur sport popular in rural and small towns throughout Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan, as well as sections of Cambodia and Italy. The game is played using two sticks: a huge one known as a danda and a smaller one known as a gilli. 

Gilli Danda is an ancient Indian sport that may date back over 2500 years. It is thought to be the source of Western sports including cricket, baseball, and softball so it is also considered as the king of all games.

Gilli-danda is a popular amateur youth sport with several regional variations. The number of points a striker scores in various versions is determined by how far the gilli falls from the striking spot. The length of the danda, or in some situations, the length of the gilli, is used to calculate the distance. The number of times the gilli was hit in the air on the first strike also affects the score. The total points are doubled if it goes a specified distance with two mid-air strikes.

How to play

There are two teams formed. One is a batter, while the other is a fielder. 

Fielders take up positions from which the gilli can be caught. The first player puts the gilli in the hole and quickly lifts it into the air with the danda before striking it. If he fails the first time, he is given another chance. The batsman is out if the fielder catches the gilli before it strikes the ground, and the second player attempts to hit the gilli. If the gilli is not captured, the danda is used to measure the distance from the hole to where the gilli falls. One point is awarded for each danda.

The fielder picks up the gilli and tosses it to the batsman. While the gilli is in the air, the batsman tries to hit it. If it falls, he taps the tapered end and pulls it into the air, striking it while it is still in the air. He had three attempts at hitting the gilli. He is out if he does not hit it or is caught. 

The game will continue until all of the batsmen have been dismissed. The squad switches sides and proceeds in the same manner. The team with the highest score is the winner.

What is needed to play?

This game necessitates the use of two wooden sticks. Gilli is a little wooden item that is 3-1/2 inches long and 1-1/4 inch in diameter in the middle, tapering at both ends. Danda – a two-foot-long stick with a one-inch diameter, similar to a circular ruler. Solicit assistance from your parents in obtaining this. You can get one made at any carpenter’s shop. 

A little circle with a diameter of four feet is drawn. A little oblong-shaped hole is excavated in the centre, which should be smaller than the gilli.

In popular culture

Vitti Dandu, a Marathi sport-drama film produced by Ajay Devgan and Leena Deore, was released in 2014. 

The traditional youth sport of gilli-danda is compared to cricket in the Bollywood film Lagaan. 

Premchand, a Hindi writer, created a short storey called “Gilli-danda” in which he compares old simple times and feelings to current standards while also hinting at India’s caste inequities. The story’s protagonist and narrator recalls his youth inability to play gilli-danda successfully. He recalls a guy who could command the gilli in whatever way he desired. He grows up and becomes a government officer when he returns. When the protagonist asks if he plays gilli-danda, he searches for his old friend and finds him — he is poor and replies, “Where do we get the time?” He is persuaded to play by the protagonist, who cheats at every opportunity, but his friend submits meekly, despite the fact that he would not have let him get away with such deception in his youth. Following his defeat, his friend invites him to a gilli-danda match the following day. When the protagonist notices that his friend is playing exactly as well as before, he realises that he had pampered him because he knew he had forgotten the fundamentals of gilli-danda. The protagonist gets humiliated and returns to the city feeling small.


Gilli danda is the most popular sport since it can be played anywhere and requires no special equipment. There is no need for grass, a court, a net, or any other costly equipment. You can start playing even if there are only two of you by climbing a tree, cutting a branch, and making a gulli.