Where Did the Game of Badminton Originate in India?

Badminton is a sport that is widely enjoyed by people all over the world, with its roots stretching back centuries. It is a racquet sport that is played by either two players (singles) or four players (doubles) and is characterized by fast-paced action and skillful rallies. While the game is now largely associated with other countries in Asia, such as China, Japan, and Korea, its origins can be traced back to India. This article will explore the history of badminton in India, from the game’s beginnings to its current popularity.

History of Badminton in India

The earliest known reference to badminton in India can be found in the Sangam Literature, which dates back to the 3rd century BC. At that time, the game was referred to as “poona” and was played with a wooden racquet, a shuttlecock, and a net. It is believed that poona was played by the ancient Indian warriors for exercise and leisure, and was seen as a way to practice hand-eye coordination and agility.

The modern game of badminton, however, was not invented in India. Instead, it was developed in British India during the 19th century. The game was initially known as “poona” and was popular among British military officers stationed in India. In 1873, the game was brought to England and was renamed “badminton” after the ancestral home of the Duke of Beaufort in Gloucestershire.

The Growth of Badminton in India

Despite the fact that the game of badminton did not originate in India, it quickly gained popularity in the country. In 1934, the All India Badminton Federation (AIBF) was formed and it began organizing tournaments and promoting the sport. In 1936, the first All India Badminton Championships were held in Bombay and the tournament continues to be held annually.

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The growth of badminton in India continued to increase in the decades that followed. In 1966, the first Indian Open Badminton Tournament was held in Mumbai. In the 1970s, the Indian National Badminton Championships were established and the country began to produce some of the world’s top badminton players.

Today, badminton is one of the most popular sports in India. The country boasts some of the world’s best players, such as Prakash Padukone, Saina Nehwal, and Kidambi Srikanth, who have all won major international tournaments. The sport is widely played in schools and colleges throughout the country, and there are several professional badminton leagues, such as the Premier Badminton League, which attract top players from around the world.


Badminton is a sport that has been enjoyed in India for centuries, even if it did not originate there. From its humble beginnings as a pastime for ancient warriors to its current status as one of the country’s most popular sports, badminton has come a long way in India. The sport continues to grow in popularity and attract players from all over the world, proving that the game of badminton has truly come a long way since its origins in India.