Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Nepal


As sports gain increasing popularity in Nepal, the curiosity surrounding the country’s most favored athletic endeavors continues to grow. In Nepal, sporting enthusiasm spans from traditional games like Kho Kho and Dandi Biyo to modern sports such as Football and Cricket, with individuals constantly striving to determine who possesses the swiftest or mightiest prowess. So, let’s know about the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Nepal. Although Nepal’s sports culture may not be as mature as that of some other nations, there exists a collection of sports that have captured the hearts of the Nepalese population. Thus, let’s explore the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Nepal. This article is your gateway to a comprehensive understanding of Nepal’s most cherished sports.

This blog post delves into ten of Nepal’s most beloved sports and dissects the reasons behind their widespread popularity across the nation. Many may be unaware of the diverse array of sports played in Nepal, as well as the multitude of athletes participating in these various pursuits. This list offers insight into the nation’s top ten most esteemed sports, allowing you to explore the rich tapestry of athletic options that Nepal has to offer. Let’s embark on this exciting journey into Nepal’s sporting landscape!

Interesting fact of the Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Nepal

01. The Nepalese play many sports at national as well as at international level. The most popular sport played in Nepal is cricket followed by football.

02. Futsal is the fastest growing sports in Nepal today. Many people have realized this and there is numerous futsal today. 

03. Dandi biyo (Nepali: [[:ne:डन्डी बियो] pronounced [ˈɖʌɳɖi ˈbijo]) is a game played in Nepal which was considered the de facto national game until 23 May 2017, when volleyball was declared as the national sport.

04. Elephant Polo in Nepal and Thailand is played under the auspices of the World Elephant Polo Association. WEPA enforces strict rules regarding elephant welfare and game play.

05. held only in Nepal is Elephant polo. Elephant polo is the correct answer. Nepal

List of Top 10 Most Popular Sports in Nepal

01. Cricket

Cricket has grown in popularity in South Asian countries over the last few decades, and it is now one of the most popular sports in Nepal. Many people in the country play it, and it is notably popular in the Terai region of Nepal than in other parts of the country. Lt.General Madan Shumsher JBR introduced cricket to Nepal for the first time in the early 1920s, when it was still considered “the gentlemen’s game.”As a result, it was restricted to the governing Rana family and a few Nepalese elites. Cricket, on the other hand, has blossomed in Nepal and has become the country’s most popular sport.Nepal has its own National Cricket Team, which has produced many outstanding cricketers such as Paras Khadka, Bindo Das, Shakti Gauchan, Sandeep Lamichhane, and many others, who have inspired and continue to inspire many Nepalese youngsters to become cricketers and play for their country.

02. Football

Football has long been one of the most popular and significant sports in Nepal. Football was the most popular sport in Nepal before to the rise of cricket. Nonetheless, it is the most popular sport in the country.It is played at various domestic levels throughout the country, and the country has a Nepal National Football Team that is administered by the All Nepal Football Association (ANFA) for international matches. Despite being the country’s second most popular sport, it has the most events in a year than any other sport in Nepal.Football is played by people of various ages. Football was also brought to Nepal in the early 1920s by a group of young players who had learnt the sport in other nations. It quickly gained popularity among the general public after its debut into the country.

03. Volleyball

It might come as a surprise, but volleyball holds the distinction of being Nepal’s national sport. This recognition was bestowed upon volleyball on May 23, 2017, signifying its widespread popularity and appeal throughout the country. From the towering Himalayas to the flat Terai region, volleyball is a sport cherished and played by people across Nepal.

The Nepal Volleyball Association serves as the governing body for volleyball in Nepal, representing the nation in international bodies like the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball and the Asian Volleyball Confederation. Furthermore, it plays a pivotal role in overseeing volleyball within the National Sports Council of Nepal. With such institutional support and grassroots enthusiasm, volleyball’s status as Nepal’s national sport reflects its significance in the country’s sports culture.

04. Badminton/Tennis

Despite being often perceived as an elite sport, badminton and tennis have garnered significant popularity among the Nepalese population. These sports are embraced by individuals of all age groups throughout Nepal, with a notable presence in schools and colleges across the nation. The allure of these games is such that they are frequently observed being played enthusiastically during the brisk winter mornings in Nepal.

Nepal’s affinity for badminton and tennis transcends economic boundaries, with people from diverse backgrounds engaging in these sports. This widespread participation reflects the inclusive nature of these games, making them accessible to a broad spectrum of the population. Whether enjoyed as a leisurely pastime or pursued with competitive zeal, badminton and tennis hold a special place in the hearts of Nepalese sports enthusiasts, fostering both physical activity and camaraderie among participants.

05. Kabaddi

Kabaddi is Nepal’s most popular traditional sport. Kabaddi is one of the oldest ancient sports, dating back to the vedic period of ancient India. It is now popular all over the world. It is a game in which two teams of seven players each compete. The goal of the game is for a single offensive player, known as a “raider,” to sprint into the opposing team’s half of the court, touch out as many of their defenders as possible, then return to their own half of the court in a single breath, all without being tackled by the defenders.Kabaddi is a popular sport in Nepal, particularly in rural areas. It is a sport that practically every Nepalese youngster must have participated in as a child. However, as the game’s global popularity grows, it is now being played professionally in Nepal.

06. Kho Kho

Kho Kho, following Kabaddi, stands as one of Nepal’s most beloved traditional sports. This lively tag game pits two teams of 12 players, chosen from a total of 15 in each squad, against each other in a manner reminiscent of Kabaddi. Out of these dozen players, 9 from one team, known as the chasing team, enter the field on their knees, while the other three form the defending team and aim to evade being touched by the opposition.

The exact origins of Kho Kho are shrouded in history, but many historians and pieces of evidence trace its roots back to ancient India. It holds significant popularity in the rural regions of Nepal, and the country boasts both male and female national Kho Kho teams that actively participate in international competitions, adding to the sport’s cultural and sporting significance in Nepal.

07. Kushti

Kushti, alternatively known as Pehlwani, is a beloved sport in Nepal, finding its stronghold in the rural landscapes of the Terai region. This style of wrestling emerged through the fusion of Persian Koshti Pahlevani with the ancient Indian Malla-Yuddha traditions. Kushti stands as a contemporary wrestling discipline that has left a lasting influence on various forms of the sport, including catch wrestling, freestyle wrestling, and mixed martial arts.

In Nepal, particularly in the Terai region, numerous local tournaments dedicated to Kushti are organized, often coinciding with festive occasions. These events attract participants and wrestlers from not only Nepal but also neighboring India, fostering a spirit of competition and tradition that has been preserved and celebrated for generations. Kushti represents a cultural and sporting heritage that continues to thrive, uniting enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds in the shared pursuit of wrestling excellence.

08. Dandi Biyo

Dandi Biyo, an age-old game deeply rooted in Nepalese tradition, holds a special place in the hearts of many Nepali people. Until May 23, 2017, when it was officially declared Nepal’s national sport, volleyball enjoyed the status of the de facto national game. Dandi Biyo is a captivating two-player game that involves the use of a 2-foot-long stick known as “dandi” and a 6-inch wooden pin called “biyo,” featuring pointed ends for gameplay.

In the realm of traditional sports, Dandi Biyo stands as a testament to the ingenuity of rural communities, which crafted local games using indigenous equipment and skills. In contemporary times, Dandi Biyo draws parallels with cricket, with one player assuming the role of the “batsman” and the others acting as “fielders.” This game not only reflects Nepal’s rich heritage but also continues to be a source of joy and recreation for its people.

09. Boxing/Karate

Boxing and karate are the two predominant martial arts sports in Nepal, witnessing a significant surge in popularity over recent decades. Nepal has seen the emergence of numerous institutes and training centers dedicated to nurturing young talent in both boxing and karate disciplines, all operating under the vigilant guidance of regulatory bodies like the Nepal Boxing Association. These training hubs have played a pivotal role in honing the skills of aspiring athletes, resulting in the development of a formidable contingent of boxing and karate practitioners.

Nepal’s commitment to these martial arts is demonstrated on the international stage, where accomplished boxers and karateka proudly represent the nation. Their success not only brings glory to Nepal but also inspires a new generation of sports enthusiasts, fostering the growth and perpetuation of these disciplines across the country.

10. Swimming

Swimming has grown in popularity in Nepal in recent years as professional swimmers have achieved new national and world records for the country. Swimmers like Gaurika Singh have set numerous records throughout their careers, including capturing four gold medals at the 2019 South Asian Games in Nepal. Swimming is Nepal’s national sport, with both men’s and women’s national teams administered by the Nepal Swimming Association (NSA).

Nepal may not be at the top of your list when it comes to sports, but there are a number of popular sports loved here. In Nepal, there are numerous well-known and popular sports. Some are modern, while others are very traditional and date back many years. These are the most popular sports played in Nepal, according to our research. Tell us what you think about sports in Nepal!

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