Long Lost Childhood Games - Gilli Danda / Chinni Dandu

Get ready for a nostalgic drive, for am taking you to the memory lanes of our childhood days. 

We all have plenty of fond memories attached to those bygone days. Apart from school, one major work we used to do as kids was to play, play and play whether its indoor or outdoor. The  outdoor games have almost become extinct now, thanks to the busy and hectic lifestyle. And we hardly find any unoccupied plots or open grounds like earlier.

These are in fact, the forgotten games which today's kids will never going to play or connect to. However, here is a small attempt to revive those lost childhood games or Indian Traditional games which we used to play and enjoy as kids. 

So far I have covered Channe ManeSpinning Top (Bugari) Kancha (Goli), Lagori (Pittu)Next in the series is Gilli Danda We call it Chinni Dandu in Kannada. 

It is known by various other names like Tipcat in English, dānggűli in Bengali & Assamesekuttiyum kolum in Malayalamviti-dandu in Marathikitti-pul in TamilGooti-Billa / Karra-Billa / Billam-Godu in TeluguGulli-Danda in Punjabi etc. It used to be one of the popular street games of India once upon a time.  

Gilli Danda can be called as the original cricket, but without a ball. It is played with two wooden sticks, a smaller one called the Gilli, of about 3 inches long and the longer one, a Danda which is about 2 feet long. The Gilli is tapered at the ends to get a good grip for striking it. The greatest challenge and fantasy lies in how well and how far one can strike the spinning gilli in air. 

Long Lost Chidlhood Game - Gilli Danda / Chinni Dandu

Rules of the game:

Two teams are formed, one team bats, the other fields. The batsman stands inside the circle and the fielders at various positions to catch the gilli. It is also played by individual players. This game has a lot of regional variations. Below explained is one version of the game.

A small circle is drawn and the batsman stands inside the circle with Gilli placed across a small hole dug up on the ground (as in the fig). Sometimes, kids balance the Gilli on a stone in an inclined position, with one end touching the ground and the other in air. (Dont remember exactly, why this difference)

Long Lost Chidlhood Game - Gilli Danda / Chinni Dandu

To start with, the first player (batsman) lifts the gilli from its position using danda and quickly tosses in the air and strikes it. If a fielder catches the gilli before it hits the ground, the player is out. Else, the distance is measured from the centre point to the point where the gilli has fallen. They measure this distance using danda. 1 danda = 1 point.

The game continues, with a bowler tossing the gilli (standing from the position where it had fallen) to the batsman and he tries to hit it. If he misses to hit while it is in the air, he will tap the tapered end and tries to hit it from the ground. He gets 3 chances to hit. If he misses or gets caught, the next player will bat. The game continues till all the players of one team are out. 

Next, the other team bats in the same way and the team with highest points wins the game.  

Variations of the game:
Chinni and Dandu
Shorter one is Gilli and longer one is Danda
In another variation of the game, scoring depends on how many times the gilli was hit in the air. If the player strikes two mid-air strikes, the points get doubled. 
In some versions, the player who has hit the gilli initially is required to run and and reach the pre-set position outside the circle, before the opponents retrieve the gilli. (similar to cricket!)

Found a cute little video on Youturbe, of guys playing Gilli Danda on road....watch it!

Do share your experiences if you have played this game. Tune in for more such games!

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