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Karachi Gymkhana Club in 1890. Gymkhana (, , ) is a typical Anglo-Indian expression, which is derived from the Hindi-Urdu word for "racket court," [1] is an Indian term which originally referred to a place where sporting events take place. The meaning then altered to denote a place where skill-based contests were held. Most gymkhanas have a Gymkhana Club associated with it, a term coined during British Raj for gentlemen's club.

In India, the term gymkhana is commonly used to refer to a gymnasium. More generally, gymkhana referred (and still refers) to a social and sporting club in the Indian subcontinent, and in other Asian countries including Malaysia, Thailand, Burma and Singapore, as well as in East Africa.

In English-speaking countries, a gymkhana refers to a multi-game equestrian event performed to display the training and talents of horses and their riders. The plot of the children's story "The Mystery of the Invisible Thief" by Enid Blyton begins at a gymkhana held at an English village, testifying to its being a common institution in English society at the time of writing (the 1940s).

The term is also used as the name of a timed automotive obstacle course, see Gymkhana (motorsport).



Bombay Gymkhana or Bombay Gym
Bombay Gymkhana or Bombay Gym
The first element of gymkhana comes from gend meaning ball in Hindi/Hindustani/Khariboli. This element is distinct from English word gym, short for gymnasium and gymnastics which has Greek and Latin roots.[2] The second element, kh n is Indo-Aryan ( ) for place or compartment and Persian ( ) term for dwelling, house.[3]

Types of events

The main events of equestrian gymkhana include barrel racing, pole bending, flag race, key hole, and stake race. Some organizations even include ride and run, musical mats, egg stomp, $5 bill race, and sack race. All of these events challenge the horses and riders ability to work together, and demonstrate many skills such as speed, flying lead changes,sliding stops and more. It is suitable for all ages of people including the very young and very old.


See also

  • Gym
  • Bombay Gymkhana
  • Delhi Gymkhana
  • Hindu Gymkhana
  • Jamalpur Gymkhana
  • Karachi Gymkhana Club
  • Chennai Gymkhana Club
  • Nairobi Gymkhana Club
  • List of India's gentlemen's clubs
  • Jorhat Gymkhana Club

External links

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