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Traditional Male Sports & Games

Punjabis play a wide variety of sports and games, ranging from modern games such as hockey and cricket, to the more traditional games such as Kabaddi, Kushtian (wresting) and Khuddo khoondi (similar to hockey).

There are over 100 traditional games and sports of Punjab. To promote traditional games of Punjab, the state government has since 2014 been working on initiatives to promote the Punjab Rural Games. The games will include sports such as Kushtian in the state.


Kushti (Desi Wrestling)


The style of Indian wrestling played on soil, also know as Pehlwani and the person referred as Pehlwan. kushti, The words pehlwani and kusti derive from the Persian terms pahlavani and koshti respectively.The traditional Indian wrestling take place in “Akhada“. Akhada is a place for practicing the Indian wrestling, in other words the school of wrestling

The aim of kushti is to wrestle the opponent and to block the other player. Grueling daily training, strict diet and celibacy for the duration of their careers are necessary if they hope to ever achieve their dream - to become a champion 'pailwan' (wrestler), which in these parts of India still means - glory, respect and power.

The traditional methods of wrestling in the Punjab include the following

kalajang marna (Punjabi: ਕਲਾਜੰਗ ਮਾਰਨਾ), rela karna (Punjabi: ਰੇਲਾ ਕਰਨਾ), dhaak charhna (Punjabi: ਢਾਕ ਚਾੜਨਾ,) patti paina (Punjabi: ਪੱਟੀ ਪੈਣਾ), Multani marni (Punjabi: ਮੁਲਤਾਨੀ ਮਾਰਨੀ), andar tangi (Punjabi: ਅੰਦਰ ਟੰਗੀ), bahar tangi (Punjabi: ਬਾਹਰ ਟੰਗੀ), dhobi pattrha (Punjabi: ਧੋਬੀ ਪਟੜਾ), morha (Punjabi: ਮੋੜਾ), killi (Punjabi: ਕਿੱਲੀ), suttne hath pauna (Punjabi: ਸੂਟਨੇ ਹੱਥ ਪਾਉਣਾ), andarli te baharli marni (Punjabi: ਅੰਦਰਲੀ ਤੇ ਬਾਹਰਲੀ ਮਾਰਨੀ), sutt karni (Punjabi: ਸੁੱਟ ਕਰਨੀ), jholi karni (Punjabi: ਝੋਲੀ ਕਰਨੀ,) gaphuaa marna (Punjabi: ਗਫੂਆ ਮਾਰਨਾ), nkale puttna (Punjabi: ਨਕਾਲੋੰ ਪੁੱਟਣਾ), ghorhi pauni (Punjabi: ਘੋੜੀ ਪਾਉਣੀ), machhi gota marna (Punjabi: ਮੱਛੀ ਗੋਤਾ ਮਾਰਨਾ), goda tekna (Punjabi: ਗੋਡਾ ਟੇਕਣਾ), burhka kadhna (Punjabi: ਬੁੜਕਾ ਕੱਢਣਾ), saltu (Punjabi: ਸਾਲਤੂ), munna pherna (Punjabi: ਮੁੰਨਾ ਫੇਰਨਾ), karhunga (Punjabi: ਕੁੜੰਗਾ), joorh (Punjabi: ਜੂੜ), kulla (Punjabi: ਕੁੱਲਾ), chomukhya (Punjabi: ਚੌਮੁਖੀਆ), bagti (Punjabi: ਬਾਗੜੀ), raam baan (Punjabi: ਰਾਮ ਬਾਣ), porhi (Punjabi: ਪੌੜੀ), kunda (Punjabi: ਕੁੰਡਾ), ik tangi (Punjabi: ੲਿੱਕ ਤੰਗੀ), savari (Punjabi: ਸ਼ਵਾਰੀ), rerh (Punjabi: ਰੇੜ), charkha (Punjabi: ਚਰਖਾ), janeyoo (Punjabi: ਜਨੇਊ), (Punjabi: ਕਰਾਸ਼), puthi (Punjabi: ਪੁੱਠੀ), putha (Punjabi: ਪੁੱਠਾ), bagal (Punjabi: ਬਗਲ), savi (Punjabi: ਸ਼ਾਵੀ), dasti (Punjabi: ਦਸ਼ਤੀ), tega (Punjabi: ਤੇਗਾ).

Gama Pehlwan , Dara Singh are the names among Legends of Kushti .



Ancient Indian martial art 'Gatka' is associated with the Sikhs history and an integral part of an array of Sikh Shastar Vidiya developed during 15th century for self-defence.

It was a battle technique of Sikh warriors during the martial period of great Sikh Gurus. The present form further perfected into a sport in the later 19th century. Gatka is performed & played in two sub-styles called Rasmi (traditional) and Khel (sport) respectively in the Northern India since 1920.Gatka is a complete martial system which uses spiritual, mental and physical skills in equal portions to help one fully competent in defending themselves and others. It is a system that can only be used in defence as per:

"When all other means have failed, it is proper to take the sword in one’s hand"

Gatka is a style of stick fighting between two or more practitioners, with wooden sticks (called Soti) intended to simulate swords. In Gatka, the "Stick" and "Farri" are also used to substitute the sword and shield respectively for practice and safety purposes. When one exponent attacks, the opponent blocks it and then counter-attacks the player. It entails a sequence of maneuvers involving pattern of footwork coupled with offensive and defensive skills.

Gatka is a unique art to defend & display fighting skills and exercise self-control which is the best part of this time-tested martial art. Gatka practice also meant to enable youth to stay healthy and agile by keeping them away from the menace of drug abuse and other intoxicants to lead a disciplined and pious life.

The Punjab Government and School Games Federation of India (SGFI) have also incorporated the Gatka game into the school games. Various colleges and universities have also included Gatka into their sports calendars on our persistent appeals. Punjabi University Patiala has hosted 2nd All India Inter-varsity Gatka Tournament in January 2014. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) have also recognized Gatka and providing all support to Gatka Training Academy at Amritsar.


Rassakashi (Punjabi: (ਰੱਸਾਕਸ਼ੀ))


Rassakashi is a sport that directly puts two or more teams against each other in a test of strength.Men generally played this game but women also participate in the game.Two teams participates at one time .Both Teams pull on opposite ends of a rope, with the goal being to bring the rope a certain distance in one direction against the force of the opposing team's pull.

Tug of war with two teams: A line is drawn between the two teams, each having one end of the rope in its hands.Both team has to pull rope toward their side,whoever pulls till a distance is a winner in Rassa Kashi.

History :
The origins of tug of war are uncertain, but this sport was practised in ancient Egypt, Greece and China, where it was held in legend that the Sun and Moon played Tug of War over the light and darkness.

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