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Popular Board Games India: Which Popular Board Game Was Invented in India?

Let's dive into the fascinating world of popular board games that were invented in India. or Which popular board game was invented in India?
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When it comes to board games, most of us immediately think of classics like Chess, Monopoly, or Scrabble. However, did you know that India has also given birth to some incredibly popular and engaging board games? These games have been enjoyed by generations of Indians and have even gained international recognition for their unique gameplay and cultural significance. Let's dive into the fascinating world of popular board games that were invented in India. or Which Popular Board Game Was Invented in India?
Popular Board Games India

Popular Board Games That Were Invented in India Or Which popular board game was invented in India?:

Many people are unaware that India is also the source of some of the most well-liked board games in the world, even though it is famed for its extensive history and traditional culture. The most well-known games are chess, chaturanga, and pachisi. A different Indian leader or inventor created each game, which embodies aspects of that person's culture and ideals and spreads around the globe.
Many popular board games were invented in India, but some of the most well-known include:

Snakes and Ladders:

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders is a game that has been delighting children and adults alike for centuries. Also known as "Moksha Patam" in ancient India, it is believed to have originated around the 13th century. The game board depicts a series of numbered squares connected by ladders and snakes, symbolizing virtue and vice, respectively. Players roll dice and move their tokens accordingly, aiming to reach the final square first. It's a game of chance and teaches important moral lessons, making it an all-time favorite.



Pachisi is another classic Indian board game that has stood the test of time. With its roots dating back to the 4th century, this game has a rich history and is often regarded as the ancestor of modern-day Ludo. Pachisi is played on a cross-shaped board with four arms, and each player has four pawns. The objective is to race all four pawns around the board and enter the center square. Pachisi is a game of strategy, luck, and rivalry, providing hours of entertainment to players of all ages.



Carrom is a highly popular tabletop game that originated in the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century. It is often referred to as the "strike and pocket" game, similar to pool or billiards. The game board features pockets in the corners and players use a striker to flick disks, aiming to pocket them into the corners. Carrom requires skill, precision, and strategic thinking. It has gained immense popularity worldwide and even has competitive tournaments where skilled players showcase their abilities.



Shatranj, which means "game of kings" in Persian, is the ancient predecessor of Chess. Its origins can be traced back to the Gupta Empire in the 6th century. Shatranj is played on an 8x8 board with different pieces representing various military units. The objective is to capture the opponent's king while protecting your own. This intellectually challenging game has had a profound impact on the development of Chess in many countries. Its strategic depth and timeless appeal continue to captivate players worldwide.

Historic Evolution of Indian Board Games:

Let's take a journey through time to explore the fascinating history of Indian board games. These games have been played for centuries, evolving alongside the rich and diverse culture of India. So, let's dive in and discover how these games have changed over time.

Ancient Origins:

Long, long ago, in ancient times, people in the Indus Valley Civilization loved playing board games. Archaeologists have found ancient artifacts that resemble game boards and dice, showing that gaming was a part of their lives even back then.

Vedic Era:

As time went on, during the Vedic era, board games became even more important. In sacred rituals called "Pancha-Jnana," people played a game called "Ashtapada." It was a racing game where players moved their pawns based on the throw of dice, trying to get ahead.

Gupta Empire:

When the Gupta Empire ruled, from the 4th to the 6th century CE, a game called Pachisi became really popular. Pachisi was a game of strategy and tactics. It later transformed into Chaupar, which eventually led to the modern game of Ludo that many of us enjoy today.

Medieval Period:

During the medieval period, a game called Chaturanga took center stage. It was a strategic battle game played on an 8x8 board. The game pieces represented different units of the Indian army, like elephants, cavalry, infantry, and chariots. Chaturanga later evolved into Chess, which is played worldwide.

Mughal Influence:

When the Mughal Empire arrived in India, they brought their own influence to board games. Emperor Akbar the Great loved games and introduced some new ones. Games like Gul-Bakawali and Bara Atari blended elements of hunting and strategy, and they became quite popular.

Colonial Era and Modern Times:

With the arrival of European colonizers, Indian board games went through even more changes. Games like Snakes and Ladders, brought by the British, became favorites among both children and adults. Card games and indoor sports from the West also gained popularity during this time.
Board Games

In more recent times, technology and globalization have played a role in the evolution of Indian board games. Traditional games like Carrom and Snakes and Ladders have adapted to digital formats, becoming available online and on mobile devices.

Thankfully, there has been a renewed interest in preserving and promoting traditional Indian board games. Cultural organizations and enthusiasts are working hard to ensure that these games continue to be enjoyed and cherished for generations to come.


The history of Indian board games is a testament to the rich and diverse culture of India. These games have entertained and connected people for centuries, and they continue to do so today. So, gather your friends and family, roll the dice, and enjoy the timeless pleasure of playing these wonderful games that have stood the test of time.

These are just a few examples of the many popular board games that originated in India. Each game carries a piece of India's cultural heritage and has brought joy to countless households. Whether you're seeking strategic challenges or simple fun with family and friends, these games offer a wonderful way to spend quality time together. So gather around, roll the dice, flick the disks, and explore the enchanting world of Indian board games.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Board Games:

Q: Which popular board game was invented in India?

A: Some popular board games that originated in India include Snakes and Ladders, Pachisi, Carrom, and Shatranj (the precursor to Chess).

Q: What makes Snakes and Ladders a beloved game?

A: Snakes and Ladders is loved for its simplicity and the moral lessons it imparts. It teaches players about the consequences of their actions and the unpredictable nature of life's ups and downs.

Q: Why is Pachisi known for its strategic elements?

A: Pachisi requires players to make strategic decisions about moving their pawns and anticipating their opponents' moves. The combination of luck and skill keeps players engaged and eager to outwit their opponents.

Q: What makes Carrom such a popular choice for social gatherings?

A: Carrom is a highly social game that brings people together. Its blend of precision, skill, and friendly competition creates an exciting atmosphere and promotes interaction among players.

Q: How is Shatranj connected to Chess?

A: Shatranj, an ancient Indian game, played a crucial role in the development of modern Chess. Many of the strategies and rules of Shatranj were incorporated into Chess, which has become one of the most popular board games globally.

Q: Is Kabbadi a board game?

A: No, Kabbadi is not strictly a board game. It is a traditional Indian sport that combines athleticism, strategy, and teamwork. However, Kabbadi deserves recognition for its cultural significance and its growth as an internationally recognized sport.

Q: Are these games still popular in India today?

A: Absolutely! These games continue to be widely enjoyed in India. Snakes and Ladders, Pachisi, Carrom, Chess, and Kabbadi have enduring popularity and are played by people of all ages across the country.

Q: Can I find digital versions of these games?

A: Yes, many of these traditional Indian board games have been adapted to digital formats. You can find mobile apps and online platforms that offer digital versions of Snakes and Ladders, Carrom, Chess, and more.

Q: Are there organized tournaments or competitions for these games?

A: Yes, there are organized tournaments and competitions for several of these games. Carrom and Chess, in particular, have dedicated communities and host local, national, and international competitions where players can showcase their skills.

Q: How can I learn and play these games?

A: You can learn and play these games by purchasing board game sets or by accessing digital versions available on mobile apps or online platforms. There are also tutorial videos and guides available to help you understand the rules and strategies of each game.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Narayan Kir Known as Mack the founder of Gamingsalt. I dropped out in 2012 to pursue my passion in blogging, digital marketing and training. I help people like you to learn blogging …

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