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(1) Write about the history of sports equipment and toys in ancient India.
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The history of sports equipment and toys dates back to epic age. The ancient Indian literature and epics mention various games such as games of dice, wrestling, horse and chariot race. Sports are of two types ‘Indoor Games’ and ‘Outdoor Games’. Indoor games such as chess, card games, dice, carrom, kachkavadya or Indian ludo, Bhatukli were very popular. It can be noted that all of them required equipment to play. Cards to play card games, dice to play game of dice, a board and pieces to play chess, bunch of seeds or stones to play sagargote; (playing house) to play Bhatukli. Likewise, Outdoor games like marbles, lagori (seven stones), vitti-dandu, bhavare (tops) all require material like marbles, stones, tops, a small and large stick to play. A Sanskrit play by Shudraka is named as Mrichchhakatika. It means a clay cart. A clay cart was a toy used to play during Harappan period. Kathasaritsagara has very interesting descriptions of games and toys. There are descriptions of flying dolls. There is a mention that on pressing a key some dolls used to fly, some used to dance and some used to make sounds.
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