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Indian Heritage & Culture

Indegenous Games & Khelo India

  • 21 Dec 2020
  • 4 min read

Why in News

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has recently included Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba in Khelo India Youth Games 2021.

Key Points

  • Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2021, are scheduled to take place in Haryana.
    • The 2020 edition of KIYG was held in Guwahati (Assam).
  • KIYG is a part of the revamped national programme for development of sports ‘Khelo India’ which was approved by the Union Cabinet in 2017.
    • The Khelo India Scheme aims to encourage sports all over the country, thus allowing the population to harness the power of sports through its cross-cutting influence, namely holistic development of children & youth, community development, social integration, gender equality, healthy lifestyle, national pride and economic opportunities related to sports development.
    • Under the Scheme, talented players identified in priority sports disciplines at various levels are provided annual financial assistance of Rs. 5 lakh per annum for 8 years.

  • Gatka:
    • Gatka originates from the State of Punjab and this traditional fighting style of the Nihang Sikh Warriors is used both as self-defense as well as a sport.
    • Gatka is believed to have originated when the 6th Sikh Guru Hargobind adopted ‘Kirpan’ for self-defence during the Mughal era.
    • It was earlier confined to gurudwaras, nagar kirtans and akharas, but now it finds presence in the sports category after the formation of the Gatka Federation of India (GFI) in 2008.

  • Kalaripayattu:
    • Kalaripayattu, also known simply as Kalari, is an Indian martial art that originated in modern-day Kerala.
    • Kalaripayattu is held in high regard by martial artists due to its long-standing history within Indian martial arts. It is believed to be the oldest surviving martial art in India. It is also considered to be among the oldest martial arts still in existence, with its origin in the martial arts timeline dating back to at least the 3rd century BCE.
    • The place where this martial art is practised is called a 'Kalari'. It is a Malayalam word that signifies a kind of gymnasium.
      • Kalari literally means 'threshing floor' or 'battlefield'. The word Kalari first appears in the Tamil Sangam literature to describe both a battlefield and combat arena.

  • Mallakhamb:
    • Mallakhamb is a traditional sport, originating from the Indian subcontinent, in which a gymnast performs aerial yoga or gymnastic postures and wrestling grips with a vertical stationary or hanging wooden pole, cane, or rope
    • The name Mallakhamb derives from the terms malla, meaning wrestler, and khamb, which means a pole. Literally meaning "wrestling pole", the term refers to a traditional training implement used by wrestlers.
    • Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been the hotspots of this sport.

  • Thang Ta:
    • Huyen langlon is an Indian martial art from Manipur.
    • In the Meitei language, huyen means war while langlon or langlong can mean net, knowledge or art.
    • Huyen langlon consists of two main components:
      • Thang-ta (armed combat)
      • sarit sarak (unarmed fighting).
    • The primary weapons of huyen langlon are the thang (sword) and ta (spear). Other weapons include the shield and the axe.


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