Gilli Danda

OBJECTIVE GILLI DANDA: The main objective of this game is to strike the Gilli in the air (with the help of a Danda) as far as possible and score more runs than the opponent team.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: The number of players is not specific in Gilli Danda. You can bring in as many players as you want. The game can be played with two teams with equal members.

MATERIALS: Two wooden sticks are required, a Gilli, and a Danda. Gilli – A small wooden stick that is narrower at endpoints (about 3 inches of length), Danda – A large wooden stick (about 2 feet long)

TYPE OF GAME: Outdoor/Street Game

AUDIENCE: Teenagers, Adults


Gilli Danda has its origins in South Asia. The game has a history of around 2500 years, and it was first played during the Maurya Empire. In some rural areas of Asia, it is widely played. People from some European countries like Turkey also love playing it. It’s a popular youth sports game and has a resemblance to popular western games like cricket and baseball.


Gilli Danda has different variations in different regions. Even it is played with different names in different countries. Some familiar names are listed below:

  • Tipcat in English
  • Dandi Biyo in Nepali
  • Alak Doulak in Persian


Two wooden sticks are required to play Gilli Danda. As its name suggests, the one stick is called “Gilli,” which is a small stick of around 3 inches long. The other stick is called “Danda” which is a large one with about 2 feet of length.

In simple words, the Danda serves as a bat, and it should be thinner at the end. You can make these sticks in your home. If in case you want some excellent looking material, then you can visit the carpenter.


At the center of the ground, a circle of around the diameter of 4 meters is made. Then an oval-shaped hole is dug in the center of it as well. Gilli is placed across the hole. It can also be placed between two stones (in case you haven’t dug the hole).

Gilli is placed in a hole while Danda is ready to strike it


There should be at least a group of two players to play Gilli Danda. The players are divided into two equal member teams. After a coin toss, the team which wins the toss decides whether they will bat first or go for fielding. The team which bats is called the hitter team and the second one is the opponent team.

As mentioned above, two sticks are required to play this game. The short one is known as Gilli, while the long one is called Danda. 

Gilli is lobbed up in the air using the Danda by a striker (batsman), and while it’s in the air, the striker strikes it again using the Danda. The goal of the striker is to hit the Gilli as hard as it can travel to a maximum distance from the striking point.

A striker is trying to hit the Gilli

The striker is ruled out if a fielder of the opponent’s team catches the Gilli while it’s in the air. If the Gilli lands safely to somewhere in the ground, the distance between the Gilli and the striking area (or striking circle) is measured by using the Danda. The length of Danda is considered to be equivalent to one run. So the striker scores the same number of runs as the occasions it takes to cover the distance with the Danda.

If the hitting player (striker) is unable to strike the Gilli, then he/she will get two more chances to hit the Gilli and make it travel a reasonable distance. If the striker is unable to hit the Gilli in these three successive attempts, he/she is considered out, and the next striker of the same team comes in (if any).

Striker is going to hit the Gilli to lob it up in the air

When all the strikers of the first teams get out, the second (opponent) team comes in to chase the score of the first team as strikers.


Following are the basic rules one needs to know while playing Gilli Danda:

  • Gilli Danda can be played by two teams of equal members (could be one on one play as well).
  • During the game, two teams play with equal members. The team which wins the toss decides whether they should bat first or go for fielding.
  • The hitter is considered to be out if he/she misses hitting the Gilli in three successive attempts, or the Gilli is caught by a fielder while it’s in the air.


The team that scores more runs wins. Therefore, every team player tries to hit the Gilli as farthest as he/she can to earn more runs in its innings. 

Nakoa Davis