Sunday, April 20, 2008


History of traditional board games in India is very well known. Our mythology is replete with examples of board games being played. In the Rg Veda, a group of 14 verses called as Aksha Sukta is dedicated to dice game; the main event which can be called a turning point in the epic Mahabharata happens during a game.

Game boards inscribed on temple floors are a clue to the wide spread popularity of games. In times gone by variety of board games were played by a whole cross section of population. If Chaduranga was a game of royal court, common man’s favourite was the simple Adu Huli Ata. The game of Sixteen Sepoys played on a beautiful geometric pattern as a board was a pastime of common soldier.

Many popular games of today like Chess, Pachisi or Ludo and Snakes and Ladders have originated in India. The modern day 64 squared chess played by two persons is a simplified version of 144 squared four handed ‘Chaduranga’ played by four with complex moves.

The range of games played have an astonishing variety and variations. These can be broadly classified as...
  • Counting game - Aliguli Mane (Mancala)
  • War game - Chaduranga & Sixteen Sepoys
  • Race game - Pagade, Chauka Bara & Panchi
  • Alignment game - Nava Kankari & Kattam Vilayattu
  • Hunt game - Adu Huli Ata & Ane Kattu
  • Solitary game - Nakshatra Ata & Seethadevi Ata
  • Morality game - Paramapada & Devi Sayujya Ata


Krishna Vattam said...

Jneswar.True to your name you are genius.Your inborn creative genius, your interest in our paramapare, in its varied facets, are the unique traits about which we should all be proud.May Your tribe increase.krishna vattam

Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the ancient board games of India. I, too, believe that games of various kinds will help keep one from slipping into the various mental disorders that can so terribly trouble us as we age. Keep up the good work.

Unknown said...

hi, I really enjoyed this site.I recently bought pagade (four-sided) game with long dice for my child in Kaveri (Mysore).I have forgotten the rules and how to play.Can you help me out please?

H.S. Dharmendra said...

Ms. Usha, thank you for your comment. I will upload the ruels of playing 'pagade' within a couple of days please revisit the blog again.

Unknown said...

Thank you