Gilli Danda

Gilli Danda is a favourite game played by children in India. Two sticks are used in this game, a gilli and a danda. The danda is used to hit the gilli.

Age: 5+

No. of players: 2 or 2 teams

Equipment: 2 wooden sticks - a gilli is approximately 8 cm (3 inches) long and tapered at the ends and a danda is approximately 60 cm (2 feet) long.

Time: 20+ minutes

Aim: To get the highest score by hitting the gilli the furthest.

1. In the middle of a field, draw a circle on the ground approximately 1.2 metres (4 feet) in diameter. In the centre of the circle make a small oval-shaped hole.

2. Players are divided into two teams or just two players can play. One team is chosen to bat and the other team are fielders.

3. To begin the game, the gilli is is placed across the hole in the circle. The first batter tries to hit the gilli twice. The first time he tries to lift the gilli up off the ground and the second time to hit it as far as he can into the playing field.

4. If the batter successfully hits the gilli, the fielders on the other team try to catch the gilli before it touches the ground. If they catch the gilli, the batter is out and the next batter has a turn.

5. If the fielders are unsuccessful at catching the ball, the danda is used to measure the distance from the hole to the place where the gilli has landed. One point is scored for each length of the danda. A record of all the scores is kept.

6. The danda is now placed over the hole. The fielder closest to the fallen gilli attempts to hit the danda with the gilli from the place where the gilli fell. If the gilli hits the danda, or falls so that it remains in the circle, then the batter is out. If not, then the batter gets another opportunity at hitting the gilli. Each batter only has three turns at the most of hitting the gilli.

7. When all the players on the batting team have completed their turns, the two teams swap places.

8. The game of Gilli Danda continues until all players have a turn at batting. The winner is the team with the higher score.

Source: Adapted from

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