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Games date back to our mythological books. The Mahabharata, The Ramayana, have a significant narration
of traditional games like chaupar, pachisi, chaturangana, and bambaram.
Games were played both in the king’s palaces and the households. Playing games is one of the oldest and most popular forms of social interaction. They have been an important part of India’s culture and heritage.
The Indian games didn’t only restrict to the boundaries of India, they were welcomed bigheartedly across the globe. The games were given different names and some changes here and there, but the essence of the game remains the same.
The joy of playing these games is inexpressible. Games have been a part of every social gathering from our ancestor’s time, and they continue to be.
Technology has changed the threshold over the years, we have these games close to you on our mobile phones, but people back then used to take out time to go and meet their loved ones to play games with.
Both these are beautiful in their own ways, the comfort of playing games sitting at your home and the feeling of meeting your loves ones to have fun with them. Games have been bringing individuals together in the best way possible.
Be it the pandemic or the long distances between people, online gaming has been a strong string to keep people connected. Online gaming gained a lot of attention, especially during the pandemic.
The fun about playing games online is that you can now earn through it. Real money gaming has become a real thing now.
Various platforms are being developed now to ensure that you get a great gaming experience. These platforms bring to you a variety of games right from our conventional games to some of the newly launched games which are on the road to becoming customary.
Some of these games are carrom, ludo (pachisi), poker, rummy, call break (lakadi wala game), fruit chopper, bottle shooter, quiz, and the list go on.
Are you wondering looking at the word ‘pachisi’ next to ludo what was does it mean? Come let’s get into the ins and outs of our traditional game Pachisi.
Pachisi Game has its roots in India since the time of Mahabharata when it was named Pasha. The game
authentically was played on a board shaped like a symmetrical cross with 2-4 players.
The name of this game comes from the Hindi word ‘Pachis’ which means the number 25 which is the largest score that can be made by cowrie shells.
Alternate names of Pachisi Game in India?
With the Pachisi game reaching different parts of the world, the names of the game have changed as per the change in the language.
Like chaupar, the game has various variants across the globe. Barjis in Syria, Parchis in Spain and northern Morocco, Parqués in Columbia, and Ludo in many countries.
Pachisi game also to led to the evolution of a Korean board game, Yunnori.
Pachisi Game in Mahabharata
The game roots in the mythological pages of Mahabharata. Pachisi is the smaller version of the game Chaupar. As per the texts of Mahabharata, the character Shakuni used Chaupar to defeat his enemy, Yudhisthira, that is where the game became popular from.
According to historians, the game originated in India in the 4th Century and was carried by the British East India Company to England in 1860. It later traveled to Europe in the 1890s.
The English then changed the name of the game to Ludo which became very popular amongst the kids. Chaupar was the most played gambling sport by the Mughals and the chaupar court still prevails in Fatehpur Sikri, Agra.
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The ancient Pachisi game is also known as the national game of India. The game is played with 4
opponents in teams of two facing each other with the cross-shaped track being placed in the middle.
Traditionally people used to use cowrie shells (kaurii in Hindi) with dice taking place now. The pachisi board contains a large square in the middle which is also known as Charkoni along with 4 arms having 24 squares each.
These squares are arranged in 3 columns, so the board has a total of 96 squares. Some of the squares are marked with a cross and those squares, also known as castles, have a special power.
Players must throw 6 cowrie shells together and the value will be calculated by the number of shells that face upwards.
Cowries facing upwards:
0 - Value will be 25
1 - Value will be 10
2 - Value will be 2
3 - Value will be 3
4 - Value will be 4
5 - Value will be 5
6 - Value will be 6
You also get another turn if you get 0,1 and 6. The players decide amongst themselves who will go first
and then they move counterclockwise.
The pieces/pawns cannot move until you get 2, 3, or 4. If you get 6,10 or 25 then you get the chance to bring on your pieces from the charkoni to the board.
The players have to slide their pawns down the center column of their chosen arms and then move them counter-clockwise around the outside columns. A player can have several pieces on the board.
Pachisi game is played by 4 players who can play as partners sitting opposite each other. For instance,
red and green are playing against yellow and black. Initially, the pieces are resting in the charkoni,
the players have to throw the cowries and bring them out.
The objective of all the players is to pull their four pieces down from the Charkoni and put them back as soon as possible in order to win. If you play in teams, you will have to bring back 8 of your pieces in order to win.
The opponents can capture the other opponent’s pieces whenever possible.
The cross-marked squares are safe, and no opponent can capture the other opponent’s pieces there. If one piece is already there and the second one comes, then the two of them will sit there together.
A player can move his/her piece 20 boxes from the box where he/she has captured the other player’s piece. (In some of the variations).
Players have the option of not rolling their dice.
Player must play all the numbers in one turn or let go of the turn completely.
Players get another turn if they capture their opponent’s piece.
Is pachisi game same as ludo?
Both the games, pachisi game, and ludo are like each other. They are similar in terms of objectives, nature, and gameplay. These two games are often confused with each other. The objective of both games is to move your pieces across the line the fastest.
What is the difference between Pachisi and Ludo?
As mentioned earlier, Ludo was the name given to Pachisi by the English. But a few things have also changed about the game. The setup of both games is a little different.
The rules of the Ludo are easier than those of Pachisi. Ludo uses a single dice to play the game, unlike Pachisi. The usage of colors in Ludo is informative and appealing enough.
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