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Sports in India The history of sports in India dates back to the Vedic era. Physical culture in ancient India was fed by a powerful fuel--religious rites. There were some well-defined values like the mantra in the Atharva-Veda, saying," Duty is in my right hand and the fruits of victory in my left". In terms of an ideal, these words hold the same sentiments as the traditional Olympic oath..For the Honour of my Country and the Glory of Sport."
In the area of recreation and sports India had evolved a number of games. One would be surprised to know today that games like, Chess, Snakes and Ladders, Playing Cards, Polo, the martial arts of Judo and Karate had originated as a sport in India and it was from here that these games were transmitted to foreign countries, where they were further modernized.
It is more than likely that many of today's Olympic disciplines are sophisticated versions of the games of strength and speed that flourished in ancient India and Greece. Chess, wrestling, polo, archery and hockey (possibly a fall-out from polo) are some of the games believed to have originated in India. Card games were probably created by earlier Indians as a measure of one's wit and strategic thinking, a small nugget of info folks who play poker and other popular modern card games tend to miss.
Cricket, like Hockey, was brought to the Indian sub-continent by the British. There are references to cricket having being played in India in the early parts of the 18th century. By the beginning of the 19th century the game was being played in the cities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras.
The presidency matches began in 1892-93 between Parsis and Europeans and the tournament became the Bombay Triangular, with the Hindus fielding a team in 1907-08. In 1912-13, the tournament became quadrangular with the entry of Muslims in the field. With the efforts of several Princes, H E Grant-Gloven and A S de Mellow, the national championship, the Ranji Trophy began in 1935.
Hockey, in which India has an impressive record with eight Olympic gold medals, is officially the national sport. Other popular games are football, cricket, basketball, volleyball and badminton. Cricket has become a very popular game in India. After the IX Asian Games in New Delhi in 1982, the capital city now has modern sports facilities. Such facilities are also being developed in other parts of the country. Besides sports and games included in the international sporting agenda, there are many which have developed indigenously. Among these are wrestling and several traditional systems of martial arts.
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