Dariabandha | Bangladesh

Name in Original Language


Area Where Played



According to some references Daria means who row the boat/vassal and Bandha means obstacle or blockage. Behind this game there is a strange social reflection of a story that was all about the business, smuggling and seizing salt but this story is not historically indentified yet. It is told that, in the river based southern part of Bangladesh Salt merchant would transport their salt by the river and that time very often Salt-vassal would hijacked by the local robber. Basically, this social problem linked with salt trading is reflected in this game – Dariabandha. In this game one team take part as the representation of salt smuggler to protect salt trading while other team represents of salt merchant.          

Detailed Description

Dariabandha is a physio-tactical game mostly played in village/rural areas in Bangladesh. It is played on the plain ground after cutting paddy or any other crops and rural courtyard or school play ground or any other open space also used to play this game. It is an outdoor game usually played by young boys and adults. Dariabandha is playing by male. Possession and defense are the main strength that ensures competitive excitement of this game. To win the game, player’s physical strategy, technique, improvisation quality and spontaneity are much more important rather than showing muscular power.


The play ground of Dariabandha consists of 8/10 courts, square in shape. Each court is 6/8 feet in size. Two square courts are placed alongside order which is called Aagh cout or Front Court and Pich cout or Back Court and other 4/6 courts are placed in vertical order followed by first two courts. In between the square courts there is a vertical row-line followed by front to back courts. One player called Sikka who is the captain/leader of a team. He has the power to move through this vertical walk-way row-line. The play ground of Dariabandha finally, turned into a big court rectangular in shape after placing of 6/8 square box or court. This rectangular shape is divided into two column-lines and three/four row-lines. According to the number of participants, courts can be more or less. The central column-line and each four horizontal row-line are used as a walk-way for the players to move. As a part of the court plan these lines of walk-way consist of double-line keeping one feet gap for walk or move by the players. Central column-line or vertical walk-way is refereed to use vertically by the captain (Sikka) only and row walk-way line is refereed to use horizontally by the other players of the team. Finally, the captain along with his team member take position inside the column and row-line respectively and opposite team take position outside of the front court to start the game.


Selecting group or team:

The group or team can be divided In many ways, such as between married and unmarried, east-west or north-south ghetto, neighborhood villages senior or younger, or random selection using local funny techniques. A referee toes with a coin and decided which team will represents salt trader and salt smuggler.

Deciding the game plan:

Symbolically move from front side to back all boxes are considered as immature court or Kancha cout in Bangla. Again the move from Back side to Front court all immature boxes have to be mature or Paka in Bangla by the players. The main objective of the team salt trader is to cross and pass all square boxes which are immature from front court to back court and return back to front court again to mature all immature boxes one by one. In this movement the players must be remain untouched by the opposite players who are staying on the walk-way row-lines and Sikka on column line to make obstacle. Player can apply any kind of physical technique while crossing or passing the boxes. To make a successful move to cross a single court player’s body even can move from outside the court-line only keeping a direct hand or leg contact on sideline of the box. Players can apply jumping, rolling, and dragging or more other innovative physical techniques to pass or cross the row-lines and box-lines without being touched by the opponents. As the game plan both teams decide how many set they will play. Mostly it is 3/5 set and if a team takes 2 sets in 3 then they will win the game.

Players position:

Before start the game sikka the captain takes his position on column line. The captain got the power to move through the long vertical walk-way column line while other players take position on the walkway row-line. On the other hand opposite team takes their position outside the front court to move in.


Make your move success to become ‘mature’:

To start the game captain speak out with loud voice sikka-shoi means game on. Players of the opposite team start the move to pass all boxes from front side to back side will be identified as ‘immature’ player kancha in Bengali. The target of the ‘immature’ players is to pass and cross all the boxes from front side to back side to become mature player or paka in Bengali. During this ‘immature’ stage if anyone is touched by the opponents on the walk-way the whole team will be dead or mora in Bengali and the opponent team then start the game as salt trader followed by same rules and conditions. There should be more than one ‘immature’ player crossed the last row line to become ‘mature’ or paka to take final move from back to front court. The most exciting part of the game happened here and that is face to face confrontation between a ‘mature’ player and a salt smuggler. This time ‘mature’ player faces strong challenge by the opposition to make a successful move to enter into the box again.  


Make your final move to win:

Finally, if any of the matured players can enter successfully into last two immature courts one by one, they will win the game and if any matured players are being touched by the opponent (salt smuggler) team traders will lost the game. And this is how first set of game is completed.