It’s one of the most popular board games across the world and chances are that you would have played at some time or other. But did you know that Ludo traces its roots to the ancient Indian game of Pachisi going back to 6th century CE! The game of Pachisi was extremely popular in ancient and medieval India and a version of the game called Chaupar or Chausar, is central to the story of Mahabharata when Yudhisthir lost his kingdom, wife and brothers to the Kauravas in this game.
The earliest reference to board games in India comes from excavations carried out in Harappan sites, and go back all the way to 2500 BCE. Dice and counters have been found in Harappan sites like Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Lothal. The popularity of these games can also be seen in the Rig Veda. In Book 10, verse 34, there is a ‘Gambler’s Hymn’’ which warns of the dire consequences of gambling.