The Indian tradition of playing board games goes back to 600 AD. It has been a popular pastime in their culture that has lasted through time. Here's a selection of board games that may perk your interest.
Six Challenging Games from India
Maharaja: Palace Building in India
This city building board game is fit for 2-5 players ages 12 and up. It is published by Phalanx Games. You play an Indian prince who must build houses and buildings for the great Maharaja. Travel from city to city finding ways to earn money to fulfill your quest. The first person to build 7 palaces is the winner.
Buy this game at Board Game Geeks.
The Global Business
The Global Business appears to be India's variation on the classic Monopoly game. Learn a business or trade by buying and selling properties. It also has their version of chance and community chest cards. The winner is the wealthiest player at the end of the game and is honored as a Business Tycoon.
This ancient board game from India dates back to 600AD. It is thought to be the ancestor of Chess, Shogi and Myakruk. Chaturanga translated means "having four limbs" which is symbolic for the 4-fold division of the ancient Indian army. Unlike the game of chess today, the game board had an 8x8 uncheckered layout known as the Astapada. The game pieces also varied a bit from chess. There was a king (Raja), General (Mantri), Camel, Horse (Ashiva), foot soldiers (Padati), Chariot (Ratha) and War Elephants. The object of the game is to defeat your opponent by strategically moving your pieces appropriately. Unfortunately, all of the exact rules to Chaturanga are unknown, but it is a fascinating piece of game history.
Parcheesi originated in 4th century AD. It is considered the national game of India, it is also known by the following names: Pachisi, Parchisi and Parchesi. Although the board itself has many variations, the general rules stay the same. The game is a race between 2 to four players who must move all of their game pieces around the board to the ending central location. Parcheesi can be found at most retail and online stores. Here are a few places you can get your own copy:
Ashte-Kashte is thought to be the ancestor of Parcheesi. The object of the game is to move your pieces through the spiral pattern layed out on the board and be the first to get to the center. Shells were used as dice for movement. It was played with 2 to 4 players.
Pallanguzhi is a simple two player board game involving seeds and 14 cups. The object of the game is to be the player with the most seeds in their cups by the end of the game. It is done by having the players move clockwise and putting seeds into their 7 cups. The loser is the one who could not place seeds into all of their cups.
Give These Games a Try
From strategy games to city building and simple traditional titles, there's bound to be at least one Indian board game that appeals to you. Start out with something familiar like Parcheesi, and then branch out and try a few of the others. With a little luck, you'll find a new game you'll love.
Contributed by Sheila Robinson