Pre Independence Story : Ludo in India


During the 19th century, an increased interest in Indian board games was observed in the west.  It was “Pachisi”, a four-player race game, particularly popular in India and received some attention in England. Pachisi is a strategic partnership game, and therefore some simplification was apparently needed for the children. The result of the simplification of Pachisi was Ludo.

Much of the complexities of pachisi were removed in Ludo. The usage of cowries to control movement, with their respective scoring rules, was discarded in Ludo, and a single six-sided dice used instead. Partnership rules were also forgotten, however, many people play it in partnership also. In Ludo, each player is simply racing to reach the finish point i.e., Home. The two-way travel to and from the middle was also simplified, pieces beginning on the outside of the cross. And finally, the rules of protective castles were also eliminated. Hence, almost all the complexities were removed and the game was simplified for the interest of a larger number of people.

From its inception, Ludo’s simple nature made it ideal children’s game, but less entertaining to adults. However, it is considered one of the simplest and interesting indoor games. The game maintained its popularity during the twentieth century and remains in popularity list as a must have indoor game.



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