Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to Play Goats and Tigers

Adu Huli or Goats and Tigers was once a very popular game as we find this game pattern etched on stone floors of many old and ancient temples. The above game pattern is found on the parapet inside the mahadwara of the Chamundeshwari temple atop Chamundi Betta (hill) in Mysuru.
Following is the design given by the design team at Ramsons Kala Pratishtana for the game board of Adu Huli to be hand woven in Navalgund dhurry.
Adu Huli (Goats & Tigers) is a hunt game played by two players. One player gets three tigers while the other controls the flock of sixteen goats.

How to play:

Pawns (either tigers or goats) should be placed only on intersections of lines (shown by red dots in Fig. 1)

During a turn only one coin has to be played.At the beginning tigers are placed at three points as depicted by T in yellow circles in Fig. 2.

One goat is placed on any open point on the board such that it is safe from tiger’s attack.Next one of the tigers is moved to its adjacent open point. All goats are introduced one by one on the board one each during its turn. (i.e., one goat is placed on a point, next one tiger moves, next one more goat is placed on a point, next a tiger moves, next one more goat is placed on a point and so on).

All goats have to be introduced on the board before a goat starts moving.

If a tiger ‘T’ encounters a lone goat ‘G’ with a open point just behind it, then the tiger jumps over the goat to the open point and takes out the goat from the board as shown in Fig. 3 and Fig. 4 below.

Tiger cannot jump over a goat if there is no open point behind the goat as shown below in Fig. 5 and Fig. 6.

Tiger can jump only once during its turn and does not have multiple jumps during a turn.

A goat that has been taken out of the board by a tiger is permanently out of the game and cannot be reintroduced on the board during that game.

After all goats are introduced on the board, goats start moving.Only one goat can be moved to its adjacent open point during its turn.

Goats cannot jump over anything.

Tigers cannot jump over another tiger.Goats should avoid getting jumped over by tigers and try to surround tigers such that they cannot move as shown below in Fig. 7 and Fig. 8.

Tigers try to take out as many goats as possible and avoid getting tied down by goats.

Goats try to tie down all tigers rendering them immobile.

Lines denote the path of movement. Goats and tigers should always move along the lines. Movement of a pawn between adjacent points is possible only when the points are connected by a line. See Fig.9 and Fig. 10 given below for wrong and correct movements.

Game ends when either tiger takes out more than 6 goats or goats manage to immobilise all tigers.


* Tigers win if they take out a minimum of 6 goats.

* Goats win if they immobilise all three tigers.

Benefits: This helps develop strategy and concept of team work by teaching that even though weak, if united, one can vanquish the stronger enemy as a team.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the details. I have been googling to know the details of this game from last few days. I used to play this game as a kid and had forgotten the rules and structure of the board.. This piece of article was of immense help..

Thanks.. Srinidhi.

Anonymous said...

Dear RG, I am the author of Follow the hindu Moon: a guide to the festivals of south India published by Random House. I am developing a website that will include several aspects of south Indian culture and would like to include, on my site, the games esp. the how to details you have posted. I will give you credit for it of course. Do you have any details for the card games?

satyask said...


Having just paid Rs 1200 for a game called quoridor (of which we are already bored..) it was nice to find games here that we can play with chalkpiece and stones. I remember this game from my childhood now, but I had forgotten it and had never taught it to my son. I am so glad that I found it today.


Anonymous said...

Hi Author,

Thanks for the article.
I was searching for this game from last 1 month.
I use to play this game in village all the time during summer vacations.


ravihara said...

Very nice explanation of the game. Thank you.

Unknown said...

how are stalemates resolved. we seem to get to a position where a goat can move back and forth without hinderence and the tiger can move back and forth without hinderence. essentially repeating the same cycle of moves.

The Techie said...

I bought the game from Ramsons in Mysore, it is good , the directions for playing are also clear.
Raghavendra Sirsi

H.S. Dharmendra said...

@ Nandan: You can have additional rule saying that one cannot repeat a move more than three consecutive times and if so then the person loses.

@ The Techie: Thank you Raghavendra Sirsi. I hope you enjoy playing the game with your family. And keep playing board games.

Unknown said...

Hi and thanks for your great article !

I've seen a lot of different spellings: Adu Huli, Adu Huli Aata, Aadu Puli Aatam, Aadu Puli Attam...

What is the correct one?

Unknown said...

hai dude...

actually i don't know how to play this game ,but now i understud thanqqqqqqq very much ..

@bhu1st said...

You can play slight variant of this game online here:

gokul m said...

Check out the new Goats and Tigers game on the Android Store:

Unknown said...

Its really helpful .

Unknown said...

Its really helpful to my project work

Sudhi said...

I was googling to find out how to play. This version of yours explains it all. Thanks for making an effort to keep the traditional game alive. This game is recently portrayed in a Kannada award winning movie TITHI. I am sure, many will try to explore how to play this game. Instead of paying exorbitant amounts for board games, this can be played at home using bare minimum.

Sudharshan, ISRO

Unknown said...

Are there any place in Bangalore where they tech these traditional board games I am interested in learning them pls let me know on my mail id
Thank you Beena

Unknown said...

Clear explanation n diagrams

vj said...

Simply Superb game. Thanks for the details.

Prasath Kalidas said...

Thanks for sharing the detailed information through a simple blog...I'm sure it will inspire many to play them and revive these ancient yet relevant games to the future generations...

icube47 said...

We used to play this in Chennai. The Tamil version has only 5 goats against 3 tigers. There was even a 70s movie by this name "aadu puli attam featuring both rajnikanth & kamal Haasan. That movie gives a brief explanation about this game.

Unknown said...

I have seen the same game at the rock-cut cave-in Madurai when I had been in my fieldwork

Unknown said...

Aadu Huli and Aadu Huli Aata are Kannada and Aadu Puli Aatam/Attam is Tamil

Anonymous said...

Can I take print out of the pictures to use for playing?

Anonymous said...

Can i take print of the games(pictures given in the blog) to play?