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5 Traditional Indian Games

Here is a compilation of 5 amazing board games that were devised in ancient India and are now available for you to try. Each of these board games comes in sustainably packed boxes and hand-crafted materials.

If you’ve spent your summer afternoons playing a round of Ashta Chamma with your grandma throwing shells across the board, and moving and retrieving your coins, then this hand stitched game in raw silk, will send you on a nostalgic ride to your childhood! Known by names like Chowka Bara (Kannada) and Daaya (Tamil), this board game promotes folklore and culture through fun and entertainment.

This traditional and antique version of Ludo is known by many names across India: Chowka Bara, Katta Mane, Daya, Atthu and Ashta Chamma, among others. It can be played by up to four players and is appropriate for any age above five years. A game of chase and chance, this involves manoeuvring the counters assigned to you as fast as possible to the home square. Played using authentic cowrie shells instead of dice, this game is full of strategy and competition and is sure to take you on a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

A board game that puts your skills in strategy and planning to test! Developed in India, this game is called Navakankari in Sanskrit and Nine Men’s Morris in the Western world. This eco-friendly board is made from hand-stitched raw silk fabric and finished to perfection, making it a beautiful example of Indian tradition and craftsmanship.

Played by 2 players. Suitable for children over 5 and adults. 

Pachisi, known as Chaupad in Hindi, Pagade in Kannada, Sokkattan in Tamil, Pagdi Pat in Marathi is an invention of medieval India, and is said to be the precursor of modern day Ludo. The game has been traditionally played for centuries, and features often in Indian mythology. It’s a game that even captured the attention of Akbar a devoted player of Pachisi!

Extensively played in the Southern part of the Indian sub-continent, Puli Meka has got diverse names from Aadu puliaatam in Tamil, Aadu Huliaata in Kannada and Bagh Chal in Nepali. Played from the times of kings and ministers, this game encapsulates the heritage and culture of the country.

It can create the atmosphere and thrill of a real hunt by sitting just across the table from each other in your living room. The game stirs a power struggle between the hunter and the hunted.

Snakes and Ladders, India’s ancient board game, brings to you 100 squares full of tricks and traps! Rooted in our moral lessons, symbolising the ups and downs in life, this game works on sheer luck. While the snakes send you crawling down, and ladders escalate you to the top, the player who reaches the 100th square first would be proclaimed the winner. While ladders symbolise positive behaviours like organic farming, rainwater harvesting, usage of solar power, reuse and recycle, and sensible paper usage, the negative behaviours which degrade the environment like cutting down forests, melting of glaciers, using plastics and oil spills portray are associated with snakes that push the player backwards in the game.

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