Most of us have played Kabaddi in our school/college and yet we know so little about it. Kabaddi is one sport that failed to get the limelight it deserves for a long time. However, things are changing dramatically for this game now, as it is being extensively promoted on the lines of the Indian Premier League. If you like Kabaddi, here are 10 fascinating things about Kabaddi that will amaze you.
Tamil origin: Evidence suggests that Kabaddi originated in ancient Tamil region. From there, it spread to other parts of South East Asia, as traders came in contact with people in other regions through sea trade.
Mahabharata mentions it too: Even though historians believe that Kabaddi originated in the ancient Tamil region, the game has also been mentioned in the Mahabharata. That’s several thousand years old and it reveals that Kabaddi may have been a much ancient sport than it is considered. In Mahabharata, Kabaddi is mentioned when Abhimanyu was battling the Kauravas. It is said that Gautama Buddha also used to play this game.
What’s in a name: Kabaddi is known by various names in different regions. For example, it is known as Chedugudu in Southern India. In some regions of North India, it is called Kaunbada. In Western India, it is called Hu-Tu-Tu. In the East, it is called Ha-Do-Do. However, the basic rules of the game remain largely the same all across the country.
A State Sport: Since Kabaddi appears to have originated in ancient Tamil region, it has already been named a state sport of Tamil Nadu. However, it is popular in other states also and has been given state sport status in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab as well.
National sport of Bangladesh: Kabaddi is popular in several countries neighboring India. It is the national sport of Bangladesh, where it is played in almost every community. In Bangladesh, Kabaddi has taken the form of an everyday activity and is popular among children and adults alike. Kabaddi is popular in Pakistan and Nepal also.
Kabaddi at the Olympics: It was only due to India’s efforts that Kabaddi got international exposure. The game was introduced in the Olympics by India at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. It was the Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal of Amravati, Maharashtra that presented the game to the entire world.
A popular sport in movies: Kabaddi has often been depicted in movies. It is often used to show the strength of a particular character or for self-deprecating humor, depicting a weak individual struggling to play a rough game that requires great stamina, agility and power.
India a world champion: India has emerged as the undisputed world champion in the sport of Kabaddi. In all the three Kabaddi World Cups, held in 2004, 2007 and 2016, India has been the winner. This is a big achievement, as India has defeated leading countries such as United States, Australia, England, Iran, Japan, Poland, Argentina, etc.
Next only to IPL: Thanks to the marketing blitzkrieg, Kabaddi is now being actively followed by millions of sports fans. Games in the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014 were viewed by more than 430 million people, which is next only to IPL.
Big money: Kabaddi players are now making good money, especially the ones being selected for the Pro Kabaddi League. The highest auction in 2017 Pro Kabaddi League Season 5 was that of Nitin Tomar, who signed for Team Uttar Pradesh for a whopping Rs 93 lakh. A total of Rs 46.99 crore was spent for signing 227 players in season 5 of Pro Kabaddi League 2017.