Khelo India Youth Games 2021: Know about Kalaripayattu, Gatka, Mallakhamba and Thang-Ta

The Sports Ministry has recently approved the inclusion of four Indigenous Games to be included in Khelo India Youth Games 2021 namely Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba- Know about each of them here
Created On: Dec 22, 2020 13:25 IST
Modified On: Dec 22, 2020 14:14 IST
Khelo India Youth Festival 2021
Khelo India Youth Festival 2021

Why in News?

The Sports Ministry has recently approved the inclusion of four Indigenous Games to be included in Khelo India Youth Games 2021, to be held in Haryana. 

The games include Gatka, Kalaripayattu, Thang-Ta and Mallakhamba. Know about the games and other details below. 

Origin of Games included:

  1. Kalaripayattu shares its roots in Kerala and has practitioners all over the world
  2. Mallakhamba is a well-known sport across India and Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have been the hotspots of this sport. 
  3. Gatka has its origins in the State of Punjab and this traditional fighting style of the Nihang Sikh Warriors is used both as self-defence and as a sport.
  4. Thang-Ta is a Manipur martial art which has passed into oblivion lately. 

These sports would get national recognition again in Khelo India Youth Games 2021.


  1. This move would bring back the lost sports and culture of various parts of India
  2. The effort of Khelo India would help to promote and revive a forgotten Indian traditional martial art having a historical significance.

About the Games:


  1. Also known as Khutka, Gatka is a spiritual practice along with martial arts. This art brings together the physical flamboyance with sacred devotion. 
  2. Gatka is a Punjabi word which means a wooden stick that was used instead of swords. 
  3. Gatka uses the sword as the main weapon, amongst others. 
  4. Nihangs or armed Sikh warriors are the ones who practice it.
  5. From the 16th-17th century, Gatka was used by Sikh warriors to defend themselves from Mughals and their atrocities
  6. Gatka has been divided into the traditional (Rasmi) and sports (Khel) style
  7. Some other Shastras used in Gatka are Khanda (Double-edged Sword), Lathi (Quarterstaff), Gargaj (Mace), Tir Kaman (Bow & Arrow), Chakkar (Wagon wheel with weights at the spoke-ends)



  1. Kalaripayattu was developed in Kerala. It is lauded as the pride of the state.
  2. The training begins with an oil massage of the entire body until it is agile and supple. 
  3. Feats like chattom (jumping), ottam (running) and marichil (somersault) are an integral part of the art. 
  4. There are also lessons in using weapons like swords, daggers, spears, maces, and bows and arrows. 
  5. The main aim is to completely coordinate the mind and body. 
  6. Kalaripayattu is specialisation in indigenous medicinal practices and Kalaris are important centres of religious worship. 



  1. Huyen langlon is an Indian martial art from Manipur which when broken - Huyen means war while langlon means net or knowledge. 
  2. It has two main components namely, thang-ta (armed combat) and Sarit sarak (unarmed fighting). 
  3. Literally broken down, thang means sword and ta means spear. 
  4. The spear is to be used in its non-missile form while can be held close or thrown from afar.
  5. Other weapons include the shield and the axe. 
  6. Thang-Ta can be practised through ritual, demonstration, and combat
  7. It also has a connection with various war dances



  1. The word gets broken into ‘Malla’ which means wrestler and Kamba which means a pole
  2. It is a traditional Indian sport in which athletes perform various types of gymnastics moves and holds various poses on a vertical wooden pole or a rope 
  3. The sport is practised and exclusively in India and especially in the state of Madhya Pradesh where it is declared as the sport of the state
  4. Three main variations of Mallakhamba based on the pole used are:
  • Pole or Fixed: A vertical wooden pole which is fixed to the ground is used
  • Hanging: A wooden pole, similar to that of a fixed pole is used, but it is shorter in length and is suspended using chains in a manner that the pole is hanging and does not touch the ground
  • Rope: using a rope which is suspended to the top and is hanging


India has a rich heritage of indigenous sports, and it is a priority for the Sports Ministry to preserve, promote and popularise these games. There is no better platform than the Khelo India Games where athletes of these games can compete.

GK Quiz on Static and Current Events: 22nd December 2020


Who is the father of Mallakhamb?

Balambhatt Dada Deodhar is called the originator of Indian martial arts Mallakhamb

Who invented Mallakhamb?

Mallakhamb's origins can be traced to the 12th century. It has been mentioned in Manas-Olhas which is a classic by Chalukyas in 1135 A.D.

Where was Khelo India 2020 held?

Khelo India 2020 were held in Guwahati in Assam in the month of January

Where does Gatka originate from?

Gatka is a sport from Punjab initially practised by Sikhs