Indian Gilli Danda Federation


Gilli Danda is an ancient sport popular among rural youth in the Indian subcontinent. It is called dānggűli in Bangla, chinni-dandu in Kannada, kuttiyum kolum in Malayalam, viti-dandu in Marathi, kitti-pullu in Tamil, gooti-billa in Telugu, and Lappa-Duggi لپا ڈگی

in Pashto. This sport is generally played in the rural and small towns of the Indian subcontinent. It is widely played in Punjab and rural areas of the North-West Frontier Province, Sindh (Pakistan), and Uttar Pradesh (north India).

Gilli-Danda is a very exciting game played among teenagers and even adults. The game involves a lot of vigour and thrills. It is an amateur sport very prevalent in the villages and rural regions of India and Pakistan. However, this amateur sport has grabbed the curiosity and attention of people living in other regions of the world. Gilli-Danda has caught the attention of people in Italy, Spain, Cambodia, and Columbia. The game is actually played with two sticks. The bigger stick is known as a Danda, and it is used to hit the smaller stick, which is called a Gilli.

The game is also known by other names. Gilli-Danda is called Dandi-Biyo in Nepal, Tipcat in England, Alak-Doulak in Iran, Chinni-Dandu in Karnataka (India), Viti-Dandu in Maharashtra (India), Billam-Godu in Andhra Pradesh (India), and other different names in diverse parts of India. It is certainly an ancient game of India, perhaps with origins dating back to more than 2500 years ago. Many people have the opinion that Gilli-Danda is derived from traditional Western sports like cricket, softball, and baseball. As an amateur sport, it has several regional variations. According to some versions, the points scored by a particular striker actually depend on the total distance covered by the Gilli from the striker’s point.

In some cases, the distance is actually measured with respect to the length of Gilli, whereas others measure the distance with respect to the length of Danda. Scoring might depend on the number of times Gilli was actually hit with one strike in the air. If the Gilli travels some distance with double midair strikes, then the points are doubled.


This ancient game is said to have evolved in India some 2000–2500 years ago. However, some people and sports enthusiasts think that the sport evolved in Europe, particularly in England. The sport is similar to baseball, which is the most popular sport in America. On the other hand, Gilli-Danda is similar to cricket and even softball. In Galicia, a particular game is known as bilharda. It is very much identical to Gilli-Danda. In the Philippines, Gilli-Danda takes the form of a popular sport called syatong. People in the United States call this exciting game as pee-wee. In Italy, teenagers play a similar game known as lippa.

People in Malaysia play an identical game to Gilli-Danda known as Konda Kondi. In Poland, an identical sport is played called klipa. Whatever the variations or similarities, Gilli-Danda has certainly grabbed the curiosity of people living in other areas of the globe. 

Dimensions of Gilli and Danda

Gilli is made from wood. It is small in size and measures approximately 4-6 inches in length. Danda is also made from wood. It is slightly bigger in size and measures two feet in length. An open field or space is required to play Gilli-Danda.