How Has Kabaddi Evolved in the Past 100 years?

How Has Kabaddi Evolved in the Past 100 years?

Kabaddi is an Indian game of the past that has regained its popularity in the past decade. Kabaddi is a game of breath control, raid, dodging, and the basic movement of hands and feet. Everyone recognizes the game when they hear the words Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi…..

Now is an era where kabaddi is becoming extremely popular. India has witnessed many players bringing gold, great glory, and a name to the country. 

This has led to tremendous growth in Kabaddi-related businesses. With the introduction of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, more and more advertisements for apparel and accessories for Kabaddi came into the picture. The fever is just growing, and during special events like Pro Kabaddi leagues, famous betting sites like Betway, Parimatch, Dafabet, and many more have started to advertise special betting bonus offers on kabaddi betting too. 

However, not everyone knows what lies behind the history of the game. Here in this article, we will cast some light on how old a game Kabaddi is in India. With the Pro kabaddi League approaching soon, we feel this article will be a joyful ride for our youth and adults who enjoy Kabaddi. 

Origin of Kabaddi 

Kabaddi has its mentioned even in Buddhist literature and dates back to 4000 years ago when Gautam Buddha used to play it with his peers for recreation. 

Kabaddi is also mentioned in the legendary Mahabharata, where Pandava’s brother Arjun used to play it with Lord Krishna. 

The modern Kabaddi that we know today is essentially a mix of all the versions of Kabaddi that played in the past.

The modern game is believed to have its roots in Tamil Nadu and is supposed to have originated from the Tamil word ‘kai-pidi,’ which means holding hands.

The game is also called by different names as we move to southern or eastern regions. Some common ones are Chedugudu, Hu-Tu-Tu, Hadudu (for men), and Kit-Kit (for women).

The Rise of Kabaddi in India

India gave birth to the sport and popularized it among its youth to develop their physical strength and reflex actions. 

Kabaddi was given the status of a national game in India 104 years ago, i.e., in 1918. Maharashtra brought the game to a national platform by initializing the standard rules and regulations. However, they could only be printed in 1923. 

The year 1923 also marks the beginning of a revolution for the game. Played the first formal game, the set rules and regulations played the first formal game following the set of rules and regulations at an All India Tournament for Kabaddi organized in Baroda, the present-day Vadodara in Gujarat. 

Since then, there has been no looking back on the game. The popularity constantly increased with several tournaments being organized at the national level throughout the country. 

Introduced the game at Calcutta’s 1938 Indian Olympic Games, fetching international recognition.

The Kabaddi Revolution in India 

With years passing by, Kabaddi’s popularity increased significantly in India. What was just a game for recreation in the villages became a national sport. 

The game saw a total revolution with the rise in the number of championships at the national and international levels. The Indian national kabaddi team performed well and delivered some remarkable performances. 

Kabaddi became even more and more popular with the introduction of Federation Cup Kabaddi matches in 1981. And after that, there was no stopping! 

India hosted the first-ever Kabaddi World Cup in 2004 in Mumbai and won it too. Women’s kabaddi started in the 2010 Asian Games held in Guangzhou. 

Everything worked together and led to a rise in the popularity of Kabaddi in India. People now waited for Kabaddi matches to happen and started recognizing the kabaddi players as famous cricketers. 

In no time came the Pro Kabaddi League. It was introduced in 2014 in India and had a concept similar to the Indian premier league. 

The tournament began with eight franchises based in eight different cities in India, consisting of players from all over the world. The teams have grown to 12 and are owned by famous Bollywood stars and business people like Abhishek Bachchan, the Jindal Group, Ronny Screwala, etc. 


Overall, India has won the gold in most editions of matches. The players have brought a lot of glories and have played a significant role in popularizing the game. Several kabaddi players like Anoop Kumar and Mamtha Poojari have been awarded the prestigious Arjuna award, and more to come that way! The Pro Kabaddi League’s fifth edition will begin on July 28, 2022, and we look forward to the game as much as all the Kabaddi fans out there.  

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