- Chauka Bara - Kannada - Mysuru region
- Katte Mane - Kannada - Rural Mysuru
- Gatta Mane - Kannada - Rural Mysuru
- Chakaara or Chakka - Kannada - North Karnataka
- Ashta Chemma - Telugu
- Daayam or Thaayam - Tamil
- Kavidi Kali - Malayalam - Kerala
Contents: 4 sets of 4 coins (total 16) + 4 cowrie shells. This game can be played by either 2, 3 or 4 players. Each player gets 4 coins of same colour and keeps it in his home.
Throw of four cowrie shells:
1 mouth up - move 1 square
2 mouths up - move 2 squares
3 mouths up - move 3 squares
4 mouths up (chauka) - move 4 squares & play again
No mouths up (baara) - move 8 squares & play again
How to play:
- The board is always kept in the centre during the game.
- Each player has a different starting point and initially keeps all his coins there (marked by X on his side).
- Each player takes turn to throw all four cowrie shells on the floor and moves one of his coins according to the number as indicated by the shells.
- Movement of coins is in anti-clockwise direction in outer squares and then in clockwise direction in inner squares as shown by the arrow in the diagram.
- If a player’s coin lands on a square occupied by opponent’s coin, then the opponent’s coin is cut and the player gets an extra turn to play.
- The cut coin returns to its starting home square and has to go round all over again.
- The crossed squares (home squares) though, are safe places and no coins present here can be cut.
- When a coin reaches the square left of its home square, it further moves up into the inner squares and now moves in clockwise direction. Each coin finishes its race when it manages to get into the innermost crossed square.
- The first player to get all his coins into the innermost square wins the game.
- Whenever a chauka or a baara (four or eight) is got during a throw of cowrie shells, the player gets a bonus turn to throw the cowries.
- When a player cuts opponent’s coin, he gets an extra turn to play.
- During an extra turn, either the same coin or some other coin can be played.
Points to remember:
- A player should cut his opponent in order to move his coins into the inner squares. Otherwise he has to move another coin or forfeit his turn until he cuts the opponent.
- If a player has cut once, all the coins can move into the inner circle, not necessary for every coin to cut opponent.
- No limit for a player to cut opponents’ coins.
- If a player throws either a chauka or a baara three times consecutively during his turn, he is out and cannot use any of the moves.
Optional Rule: One can have an optional rule to make the game a little more challenging wherein each player has to throw either a chauka or a baara before he can start moving his coins, not necessary to throw chauka or baara for each coin.
Benefits: This is primarily a game of chance, but involves thinking and planning. It also helps in developing counting skills. It is an interesting and fun way to develop strategy skills.
Mr. Dhanan Sekhar Edathara, a Senior software engineer and an amateur artist from Tiruvanatapuram, Kerala has designed an online game version of Chauka Bara. Anyone can play the game at http://kavidikali.com.
Thanks Mr. Dhanan for the link.