A game quite popular in rural India and called with different names in different states (like Pithoo, Lagori among others) is none other than Sitoliya as we know it in Rajasthan. However, the game so dear to the rural India is now losing its sheen.
Earlier, the kids in both rural areas and urban street corners of Rajasthan played this game with interest but now it is only restricted to Makar Sakranti/January 14th every year and our parents, grandparents, great grandparents or may be earlier generations can vouch for this. In fact, if not in whole of Rajasthan but at least in our Udaipur city, this game was very popular but now not anymore.
So, today, let’s rediscover Sitoliya and learn how to play it along with the rules.
Sitoliya it is!
Do you know that Sitoliya is not only a traditional but one of the most ancient games of India which originated in our country and find its mention in the Bhagwata Purana, a Hindu religious text that is claimed to be written 5000 years ago? Sounds unbelievable? Well, it is a reality. This scripture mentions that Lord Krishna used to play this game with his friends. After that, generations after generations of mankind played this game. In fact, it was a popular rural outdoor game in India as well as Pakistan in the 1990s.
Sitoliya is somewhat similar to Dodgeball but has extra features and is more aggressive than that. Like all the other traditional games that we discussed so far, this too is an inexpensive game that needs only a tennis or rubber ball (not too hard) and seven small flat stones stacked one over the other in an ascending order with smallest on top, in the centre of a small circle.
The best part about this game is that it can be enjoyed by people of all age groups and particularly your child can benefit a lot from this game. It can improve their stamina, concentration and aiming skills. It can also instil team building spirit among the players.
Going step by step
Points to be noted
You will be surprised to know that some organisations in India are trying their best to make the game popular again and organise Sitoliya tournaments. In this line, the Indian Lagori Premier League was organised in 2017 by the Amateur Lagori Federation of India and even plans are to organise Sitoliya World Cup as the game is played by at least 30 nations across the world.
So, a game which the world with India being at the top is trying to revive, can’t ‘we’ Rajasthanis whose traditional game is Sitoliya stand to revive it and introduce it to our kids? Why stick to only Makar Sakranti, when we can play this game whole year? So are you ready to shout out ‘Sitoliya’ this weekend?