Most Popular Outdoor Sports In India


Outdoor sports are always cool. These sports attract many people from all over the world due to the outdoor games. What’s more, viewers can enjoy the action in the venues with physical and emotional health benefits. Players also love to compete outdoors as it adds energy.

India is one of the leading and most developed countries in Asia and the world in terms of outdoor sports. The variety of sporting events and Indian tastes combined with their deep cultural traditions result in a multitude of outdoor sports to consider and choose from. Let’s take a closer look at the most popular outdoor sports that are loved in India.

1. Cricket

Cricket is the number one sport in all of India and there is no doubt about this statement. Cricket is the most popular sport in India because it has become a part of the life of all Indians. This sport is perceived as a religion or part of the culture of India, thanks to which this country gains self-identification and a significant place on the map of Asia and the world. Everyone from youth to old people knows who the Indian cricket team is. The names of the team members are the prototypes of the heroes.

The passion for cricket would not be so strong if it were not for the IPL (Indian Premier League). It is the most prestigious cricket league in the world. Young men begin to get involved in this sport, dreaming of becoming an IPL player one day. Not surprisingly, cricket is a very common outdoor game. People sometimes play even in the courtyards, and passers-by can join or just watch the exciting process. But nothing compares to the greatness of the IPL.

Every cricketer on earth wants to play an IPL. And this is not an exaggeration. The Indian Premier League welcomes foreigners but is very happy with its local players. This League was founded by the BCCI in 2007-2008 and has gained widespread recognition throughout the country. Then the success story continued and now, despite the quarantine, interest did not subside, but only increased. The IPL is comprised of eight urban franchises, which means that many Indians can be involved in the cricket game as a participant or an interested spectator.

2. Kabaddi


Kabaddi is the second most popular sport in India. To be in the ranking of football and tennis is strong. In a very short period of time, he gained immense popularity among Indians and made them fall in love with this outdoor game. The breakthrough came when the Pro Kabaddi League kicked off in 2014 and it became very common. Almost the entire nation is involved in the PKL surveillance process. Kabaddi is very famous in areas of North India, South India and states like Maharashtra and Karnataka. Most of the players are from Haryana. The Indian national team not only wins the audience’s sympathy, but also wins titles in all Asian cups and World Championships. This game requires a lot of athleticism, reflexes and stamina that are inherent in Indians. And the players are gaining experience first at different levels of the district, state, country, university and zones, then to go to the national, and maybe international level.

Kabaddi is a contact sport native to the Indian subcontinent. It has two variations – Standard Style and Circle Style. The standard version of Kabaddi, which is suitable for an international team, has such rules. Two teams of seven people each occupy opposite halves of the field measuring 10 by 13 meters. Each has three additional players in reserve. The game is played in 20-minute halves, with a 5-minute break between halves, during which teams switch sides. During each raid, a player of the attacking side, known as the “raider”, runs into the opposing team’s side of the field and attempts to tag as many of the seven defending players as possible. In order for the raid to be eligible for points, the raider must cross the withdrawal line in the defending team’s territory and return to his own half of the field without being attacked. At the same time, the raider must also repeat the word “kabaddi”, confirming to the judges that their raid is carried out in a single rhythm.
Additional rules are used in the Pro Kabaddi League. If a team has two empty raids in a row, the next raider must score a point in their raid, otherwise he / she will be eliminated (raid or die). In addition, when the defending team has fewer than four players left, tackles are worth 2 points (“super tackle”).

Circle style provides for four main forms of kabaddi recognized by the Indian Amateur Federation. In Sanjeevani kabaddi, one player spawns against one player of the opposing team who is missing – one out. The game lasts 40 minutes with a break between halves of 5 minutes. There are seven players on each side, and the team that beats all the players on the opposing side receives four additional points. The Amar style resembles the Sanjeevani form in the rule of time frames. But the player declared out of play does not leave the court, but remains inside and play continues. For each opposing player who touches the “out”, the team receives a point. In the Gamini style, seven players are played on both sides, and the disabled player must remain out of the game until all of his team members are out. The team that manages to drive out all the players on the opposing side gets a point. The game continues until five or seven of these points are scored, and has no fixed duration. Punjabi Kabaddi is a variation in which the game is played on a round field 22 meters in diameter).

3. Football

Football is the most popular sport in the world and that’s a fact. The number one sport has spread to India. Strange, but football is only in third place in popularity among other outdoor sports, but only formal lag behind cricket and even more so kabaddi. Football development in the country is hampered by the fact that the national team as well as local clubs, do not achieve much success. Indian footballers also cannot be called world-class athletes as opposed to, for example, the Japanese.

In 2013, India’s current top national football league, the Indian Super League, was formed as an unrecognized professional league with eight teams to promote Indian football in the country. The league began in 2014, and after its third season, it was recognized as the second national football league running parallel to the I-league, making India one of the few countries with two fully recognized football leagues. After the fifth season, it was recognized as the top national football league in India. Also contested is the Santosh Trophy, a knockout competition between states (provinces) and government agencies.

So it turns out that football is slowly but surely developing in India. The Indian Super League is growing every year, but still the Indians are looking at global competitions like the Champions League in Europe, MLS in the USA, Chinese Super League in Asia. India will strive to make football a more popular and stronger form of controversy, but this requires the right system to nurture football talent and the overwhelming support of football in India by local authorities. There is a lot of talent in India, but young footballers need to point the right path and direction to budding talent to make Messi or Pele out of them.

4. Wrestling


Wrestling has earned India a number of medals in many major tournaments and is a popular sport among Indians. In this aspect, there is a comparison with kabaddi in the subtext that the best fighters come from rural India. Wrestling for Indians is synonymous with ahadd style sport. Although professional wrestling is very different from the traditional Indian style of wrestling, the foundations of the sport remain consistently the same.
Wrestling has become India’s forte and wrestlers have brought home medals at each of the last three Olympics. This means that the culture of this sport is capable of growing further. In addition, many Indian films play a critical role in educating the general public about a sport they know little about. This also applies to wrestling, so it is not surprising to see scenes with elements of martial arts in films. While surpassing the popularity of cricket may seem far-fetched, building a sports culture in a country is critical to future success in major tournaments.

5. Hockey


Hockey is still trying to return to its golden years, when it brought gold medals from every Olympic Games that took place as a national sport. Perhaps many will get along with this statement, but hockey is really highly regarded within India. This was due to, among other things, a rule change that included the introduction of field hockey. But recently the change from grass to artificial turf has been a bad turn for Indian players accustomed to playing on conventional turf. This problem was compounded by the incessant struggles within the hockey federation, which led to the gradual decline of Indian hockey as other countries caught up with Indian dominance.

And although the decline of hockey is becoming a thing to consider, but progress is also visible. Certain upsurges when the hockey process really shows signs of revival and high level and demonstrates the zeal to revive the cult of hockey in India. In this aspect, it is necessary to suppress huge systemic problems and develop internal competitions such as its own league. There is one and it is based on the IPL model. The Hockey League of India (HIL) began operations in 2013 with the aim of bringing hockey to the attention of the general public. The tournament was recognized by the International Ice Hockey Federation (FIH) and was granted a 30-day window for the best players from all countries.


Other popular outdoor sports include a number of exciting games such as tennis, golf, badminton, baseball and horse racing. The latter are also approaching the status of a national sport at the level of cricket. Horse racing has been interesting for Indians for two centuries. The story began with the racetrack in Madras, where horse racing was born as a sport that is now in great demand among fans. India has nine racetracks operated by six Indian racecourse authorities. Racetracks are located in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Otakamund.

It is worth noting the eagerness of the Indians to bet on outdoor sports. An entire industry is really developing in India. Many international bookmakers enter the local market because they know that Indians love to bet on their favorite cricket, football and kabaddi teams and players. In addition, the platforms provide good conditions as bonus offers and translation of sites into Hindi. If some Indians don’t like sports, then they are happy to pay attention to the casino options. Many sites like 4rabet provide their services in the field of live casinos with a variety of games like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, slots, video poker and so on.

In addition to the familiar outdoor sports in India, alternative outdoor activities are being developed. Due to India’s immense geographic diversity, the country offers a wide range of sport-like adventure activities that can be considered a component. With the growing popularity of adventure sports among the Indian population, India has a list of insane possibilities when it comes to exciting entertainment. Let’s take a look at the most popular and bizarre outdoor sports that Indians are attracted to.

  • Mountain biking

Mountain biking is the perfect activity for Indians who are tired of the usual adventure or sports. Thrill-seekers get a true pleasure of cycling off-road cross-country. Ladakh, with its dry, rocky high altitude trails and cold climate, is one of the best mountain biking destinations in the Indian Himalayas. This region offers many cycling routes that will challenge even the most trained and experienced bikers. Cycling along these tiny and narrow passages with the wind in your hair next to stunning scenery leaves memories of a lifetime.

  • Parasailing

Parasailing is one of the best sports for those who love speed and the feeling of flying. Goa is one of the best places in India to go on a parachute trip. Offering breathtaking aerial views of the Arabian Sea and Goa’s stunning beaches, parasailing is definitely a highlight for tourists and a good way to get active for the locals.

  • Skydiving

Skydiving is a popular adventure sport that is on the list of most adventure seekers around the world, including India. In this dynamic sport, Indians are drawn to the feeling and process of falling thousands of feet and landing safely with a parachute. The Ambi Valley in Maharashtra is a truly worthy place in India, offering skydiving packages all year round. The aerial view of the region is breathtaking. Before falling, people are required to be trained by professional instructors and provide all protective gear for a safe experience.

Caving, banja jumping, flyboarding and even skiing can attract Indians who are inclined to exciting adventures. Reinforcing this all with the usual familiar to all outdoor sports such as cricket, kabaddi, football, horse racing makes active recreation and the athletic spirit of the Indians is at a progressively high level.