Kabaddi has become one of the most popular sports in the country. We look at a few interesting facts that are sure to make you feel proud of the sports rich history.

Not long ago, I wondered what was so great about this sport that people could barely contain their excitement about it. With little clue, I went online and all I had to do was key in the word ‘Kabaddi’ and the results were vast and varied. What caught my eye were the videos. Every single video was more breathtaking than the other. The amusement and the excitement kept growing. The roots deepened and my liking for the game gradually grew. Thereon, the excitement on my face was clearly noticeable every time there was any news about Kabaddi

Here are some interesting facts about the sport that is growing in popularity like never before:

1. Some believe Kabaddi is 100 years old while many others believe that the sport was invented by Abhimanyu during the Mahabharata battle at Kurukshetra.

2. Kai-pidi, meaning ‘holding hands’ in Tamil is believed to be the word from which Kabaddi originated. It is also known by many other names. Some of which are: Hududu in Bangladesh, Baiblaa in Maldives, Chedugudu in Andhra Pradesh, Sadugudu in Tamil Nadu, Hututu in Maharashtra.

3. The first international demonstration of Kabaddi took place in 1936 during the Berlin Olympics by Hanuman Vyayam Prasarak Mandal from Amaravati, Maharashtra. The game was introduced in the Indian Olympic Games at Calcutta in 1938.

4. 1995 saw the first women’s Kabaddi event, which was held in Kolkata, India. Women’s Kabaddi rose to fame in 2010 at Guangzhou when it was included in the Asian games.

5. The Indian team, both men and women, have won all the World Cups and all gold medals at the Asian Games since its inception.

6. Kabaddi is the official state game of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Punjab. It also enjoys the status of being the national game of Bangladesh.

7. Kabadddi made its movie debut in the Tamil movie Kudumba Thalaivan in 1962. Other Tamil movies, which have included Kabaddi in their run-time are Ghilli in 2004 and Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu in 2009. Telugu and the Kannada industries have had their share of kabaddi-based films too, which include Okkadu in 2003 and Ajay in 2006. Bollywood was not left far behind with the Shah Rukh Khan-starring Pardes in 1997, Hu Tu Tu in 1999, Yuva in 2004, Badlapur Boys in 2014 and Tevar, as recently as 2015 all showcased this amazing sport.

8. Even the FIFA World Cup was no match for Kabaddi in India. The viewership for Pro Kabaddi League’s first match was more than the opening match of 2014 FIFA World Cup. A staggering 435 million people watched season one of PKL season which was second only to the IPL.


That’s all for now, but my hunt for everything interesting in the world of Kabaddi is still on. Can’t wait to see what I find out next and I’ll be sure to share the same with you all.

–Written by Rohit Sonawane