India, rich in diversity and culture, has different traditions, sports and an identity that goes across boundaries. It is the land of the many and out of this, we also have traditions that have been with us for ages. So today, we are going to be talking about one such tradition called Thoda.

It is the traditional or as we say Himachal style of Martial Arts that is certainly worth exploring. So go ahead and learn all about the same.

Thoda – Bows and Arrows  

Thoda is a sport that requires you to excel in archery because as weapons, you will be using bows and arrows. The game, which is heavily followed in Himachal Pradesh, brings in two groups wherein the main target for all is to hit the opponent’s legs, right below the knees. 

The two groups, called Saathi and Pashi, consist of nearly 500 people each and most of them act as cheerleaders for the players who are bound to get into action. Once the event is set to take place, both groups reach the village and dance to songs that are related to warfare. 

Both groups will also be waiving their swords high up in the air as a sign of mocking the opponent. In terms of formations, the Pashi group steps forward to create the chakravyuh, which sees people being circled, in a bid to block players from the opposite team. 

In response to that, the defenders from the Saathi team will look to invite through the circle and get into the middle of the ground. Both teams will be standing at least 10 metres apart from each other and then prepare to start attacking. 

The only form of defence that comes to a player’s rescue is lightning movements that are mostly conducted with the help of live music. While the rules and the formations sound complicated, they will seem easy once you start following it or watching them.

Moving away from modern games such as 3Patti, Ludo and whatnot, here is a traditional sport that will always teach you about values, culture and more. So take a break from the modern frenzy of games and spend a little time with Thoda. 

The Significance Behind Thoda 

One can draw various conclusions about Thoda. The traditional martial art form, which has been around for ages, is widely followed in Himachal Pradesh and some consider it to be sacred to their culture. 

In terms of its significance, the entire concept takes shape with the sole purpose of creating a highly engaging atmosphere, one that is filled with the pace of lively music. You may never see people standing idle at these events because the rhythm is bound to get you.

As a blend of culture, sports and martial arts, Thoda hardly lacks anything and its significance can also be felt when you witness its effects on people. Thoda, which is played during the festival day of Baisakhi, sees the entire community pray to Durga and Goddess Mashoo.

As a community event, Thoda witnesses complete support and participation, which certainly adds more charm to this mega event. The energetic event is made more engaging, thanks to the crowd that comes to witness it.

So don’t miss out on such traditionally rich sports because they have a lot to showcase and a lot to teach you. The cultural significance that a sport like Thoda holds is second to none and it is something that you ought to witness.