Top six ancient Indian board and dice games that are still played today

Back in the days, before internet became rampant, there were plenty of fun board and dice games. Some of these are still played today but may sound strange to kids who were born in the modern-day social media era. This short text goes back in time to discover the top six of such games.

Jhandi Munda

This involves dice betting and has been popular since the 18th century. The game uses 6 dic es which have 6 sides each (represented by a club, diamond, spade, Heart, flag, face) and a gaming board. The rules involve betting on the symbol that’ll appear most after the rolling of the dice. To be the winner, you must rightly predict the number of your chosen symbols which will appear facing-up.

Jhandi Munda is widely played during the Hindu Festivals of Dashain, Dashami and Tihar and also played in other parts of the world, such as Nepal, under other names. This game is today almost equally played online, where it’s known as online Jhandi Munda as it is on the streets.


Invented as far back as the 4th century, Chaupar is a board game commonly played in ancient India. The game was even mentioned in the Mahabharata poem where it was said to have been played by Duryodhan and Yudhisthira.

It is played by two to four players on a chopat board with a cross shaped embroidered cloth. The four arms have three rows, which have 8 squares. The game makes use of 7 cowry shells in form of dice and and wooden pieces, to which each player is entitled to 4. Each player makes use of the cowry shells and pieces to move and win the game. You’ve probably even played its modern version which is popularly known as Ludo.


It is believed that Pallankuzhi had its origins in Tamil Nadu before extending to other locations in and outside India. The game is played by 2 persons with the use of a rectangular shaped board. It makes use of 146 counters and 14 cups on the board. The cowry shells also function as counters.


This game can be played by anyone and any number of persons with 5 pieces of small pebbles. The game is played by spinning a stone in the air and picking the others with a single hand without the former dropping.


This board game was invented as far back as the 6th century. Similar to a chessboard, the board is separated into 8*8 grid of squares, and has some markings known as a “castle” where pieces are immune from being captured. 

In this game, all the players have equal pieces and the aim is getting a piece moved in a clockwise motion round the board, into the castle and finally get the castle back by moving in a counter-clockwise motion in order to get to the centre.

Moksha Patam

Now known as Snakes and Ladders around the world. This game is appreciated not just for its entertainment but also for impartation of morals. In the game, players have to move from consciousness levels to increased levels of being spiritually enlightened and ultimately Moksha.

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