by Gomathi Rajam
India, a country with 29 states and 7 Union Territories well-known for the numerous diversities it is bound by, possesses a rich culture of sports that was revered and fostered at different parts of the nation. The country often regarded as a “one-sport” country owing to the cricket chauvinistic culture that is predominantly seen, also cherishes other sports such as Football, Badminton and tennis.
Here are sports as loved by each state of the nation.
The “Cultural Hub” of the nation, can certainly be referred to as the Sporting Hub too owing to the diverse Sporting legacy it inherits. The Jam-packed Chepauk stadium chorusing “CSK” maybe the axiomatic choice, but to the most astonishment the state which is also the only Indian state, to host the ATP event from ( 1996-2017) The Chennai Open, boasts a massive number of tennis followers too.
The success of the sport in the state is unquestionable as the ATP event remained immovable to any other state over a long period time. The city is often regarded as the “Mecca of Indian Tennis”, owing to the vast number of players it has produced at the International level. Ramanathan Krishnan, Vijay Amirthraj and Ramesh Krishnan are the legendaries from the state . Leander Paes trained Chennai’s Britannia Amirtraj Tennis Academy, one of the top India’s tennis academies in the Nation. Cricket is another beloved sport by the state that has massive number of fan followers.
Chennai is also known to have a rich legacy in Chess, Hockey, Football and Squash.
Unlike the other Indian states that are filled with Cricket fanatics, Football and Athletics are by far the most popular sport in the state. India’s first professional Football club FC Kerala originated in Kerala. Few parts of the state witness. Crazed up football fans coloring the flags of the countries competing in the Football World Cup on the walls, lamps and roads of the street is and evident sight.
Football is celebrate not any less than a festival and the state is popularly known for hosting 7’s football which is the eye turner attracting Footballers to participate.
I.M Vijayan, V.P.Satyan, C.A.Linston are some of the footballers the state has produced. Kerala was also declared the best athletic state for the 162 medals it has secured at the national level. P.T.Usha, Anjum Bobby George, K.M.Beenamol are some of the World-Class Athletes the state has produced.
The NCA stationed state that holds a record of a number of it’s players who earned their caps for the Blues, is one amongst the Indian states where cricket is worshipped. Cricket is the sport of the state followed by Badminton and Swimming. The six time Ranji winner has a significant number of it’s players who have left traces at the higher levels of the sport. The most renowned former captains Anil Kumble and Rahil Dravid are the progenies of the state.
Badminton followed by cricket is the second favorite sport of the state. Prakash Padukone, one of the most eminent Badminton players who reached the worldNo.1 rankings during his times hails from the state. Swimming is another popular sport in the state.
ANDHRA PRADESH & HYDERABAD
Badminton and Cricket are the most popular Sport in the states. The state has produced a notable number of Badminton players who have performed exceedingly well at the International level including Pullela Gopichand who has reached glory during his times. Andhra is also one of the ardent lovers of Chess.
Hyderabad similar to many other Indian states favors cricket and Football. The state has a remarkable number of players who rose to prominence such as VVS Laxman , M.S.K Prasad, Amol Mazumdar Hyderabad is known to have produced the highest number of Olympians for football. Badminton is another loved sport in Hyderabad. It has produced many Badminton talents such as P.V.Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi.
Football is the revered sport in Goa. Football has surpassed the limits of a sport and traversed to become a culture in Goa. Goa alike Kerala and West Bengal has a massive football following crowd. The eminence of the sport at the state can be accounted to the historic portugal influence at the state and impact of the game spread rapidly and Football became the loved sport of the state.
The first Santhosh Trophy was held at Goa and was also won by them. Dempo, Vasco and Sporting Club De Goa are the popular clubs in Goa. The state has produced four national captains for the country
Maharashtra is the core of cricket in India. Mumabai is a city in which cricket is found in every nook and corner. The state with three cricket teams has 42 Ranji titles to it’s name which is the most by any Indian state. The state pumps in talents into the national side including Sachin Tendulkar who is considered the God of the game. Sunil Gavaskar, Vinod Kambli, Ravi Shastri and Ajinkya Rahane are other cricketers who have noted to have attained fame at the International level. Hockey is another popular sport at the state.
Gujarat is a state that promotes all the sports at an equal level. Alike the other Indian states cricket can be noted vividly at the state. The Saurashtra cricket board has brought out world class talents like Pujara, Jadeja abd Parthiv Patel. Anyhow the state follows all the sports unbiased.
Hockey was one of the most played sports in Madhya Pradesh. Bhopal was a city of hockey lovers and was known as the “Nursery of Hockey”. Mallakhmabha also known as Wrestling pole is another profound sport in Madhya Pradesh. In 2013 Madhya Pradesh declared the sport as it’s state sport. Currently cricket and hockey are the predominantly played sport of the state. Mustaq Ali is the famous cricketer from Madhya Pradesh after who the Syed Mustaq Ali Trophy is conducted. Roop Singh and Sher Khan are the famous hockey players from the state.
The capital of the state Bhubaneswar is named the “The sports Capital Of India”. Sports is an integral part of the culture in Odisha. Hockey is one of the most popular sport of the state. The team highly regarded as the most successful team has contributed a large number of players to the national side including Anupa Barla, Sunita Kullu etc. Athletics and football are the other profound sports if the states.
Football is the sport of West Bengal. It can referred to as the Football Hub of India. It comprises many renowned ancient football clubs such as ATK, Mohun Began AC etc. Chess seconds football in West Bengal. It is the only Indian state to have three GM’s.
The Punjabi’s have an affinity for Hockey, Cricket and Kabaddi. Anyhow, Hockey dominates the other sports by a fair margin as there are numerous payers who have made their mark in the national team. Punjab also has a team that performs in World Series Hockey. Cricket is also another popular sport of the Punjab. The state also promotes traditional sports such as Kabaddi and Kushtian.
The capital state enjoys both cricket and football. Delhi bagging the Ranji title 7 times is one of the best domestic teams that has a fair share of producing International talents Such as Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, Virender Sehwag. The state also has a huge football fraternity that enjoys football.
Haryana is the major state attributing India’s medal counts in the world championships and has often been referred to as the traditional powerhouse of games like Wrestling, Boxing, Judo. Sushil Kumar, Vijendar Singh, Seema Punia, Yogeshwar Dutt, Bajrang Punia, Amit Panghal are some of the eminent personalities from the state.
Rajastan often referred to as a princely state has sports embedded in their culture. Adventure Sports are well-known in Rajastan and Polo is one of the most popular sport in Rajastan. The Indian state which also has fan followers for cricket has it’s primary interest in Adventure Sports. Athletics is another profound sport in the state.
Himachal Pradesh is popularly known as the “Paragliding Capital Of India” is well known for trekking, skiing, river rafting and still water Sports.
Uttar Pradesh, the state of the hockey legendary, Dyan Chand who won laurels for the nation at the Olympics is undoubtedly one of the Hockey loving states of the nation. Apart from Hockey, Archery, Boxing are other sports the state is well versed in.
Alike Himachal Pradesh, Uttrakhand is another state that enjoys adventure sports and it is extensively found in the state. Mountaineering, Paragliding, Skiing are some of the prevalent sports in the region.
Though the people of Jharkhand are known for their profound interest in various sports including football, Cricket and Volleyball the Cricket seems to have overshadowed the other sports. Hockey followed by cricket is another popular sport in Jharkhand. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, one of the most successful captains of the Country and Jaipal Singh, whose captaincy saw India winning many hockey tournaments are from the state.
Chhattisgarh is another state in where Hockey is played widely. The state is noted to have produced some of the popular cricketers and Hockey Players. Hockey, Volleyball, Basketball are the other sports played by the state.
Cricket is the popular sport in Bihar though there are a number of sports prevalent at the state. Football and Hockey are also played at the state. The state is also well- known for traditional sports.
NORTH EAST INDIA
Though the population in the part of the nation is comparatively very less most of the salient sporting personalities have noticed to evolve from the region. Wrestling is the popular sport. Volleyball in Nagaland, Mizoram relishes various sports such as Football, Volleyball and motor Racing. Mizoram Volleyball Association is the operator of the Pro-Volleyball league. The region is noted to excels in sports such as Football, Wrestling, cricket, kabaddi, boxing and weightlifting. Mary Kom, Baichang Bhutia, Sarita, Mirabhai Chanu are the sportspersons from the region who have made the nation proud at various occasions.
India the “ Land of Diversities” also possesses a rich culture of diverse sports that are celebrated at various parts of the nation.