Traditional Board Games of Karnataka

Traditional Board Games of Karnataka

Annual summer vacations in my grandparentsí home, in Gobichettipalayam, a small town in Tamil Nadu, to which my paternal kannadiga ancestors had migrated was a world, completely apart, from our normal convent-school-centered childhood. Walking barefoot in the theruvus, streets, swimming in the vaykal, canal, making cow-dung cakes and playing traditional games, were new experiences. In contrast to hockey, basketball and seven tiles, the games we were accustomed to, we learnt the nuances of eidu kallinnna atta (five stones) kunte bille ( hopscotch) and board games like alugulimanne (also known as pallanguli in Tamil). My sister and I counted tamarind seeds in the seven pits of a double rowed, beautifully carved, folding wooden board. Substituting for the seeds, were sometimes, cowrie shells or orange colored annatto seeds. Visits to relatives in Nanjangud and Bangalore introduced us to other traditional board games, like huli kuriatta (tigers and goats) and chowkabara, a race game. These were and are, in the predominantly agrarian societies of India, leisure pastimes, played by young and old.

World over, board games were as significant as trade and religion, for transmitting cultural forms and ideas. As objects of art, they were treasured possessions and status symbols, often finely crafted and elaborately decorated to reflect the aspirations of their owners.

     Share on Facebook

NOW available addresses of over 60,000 weavers & craftspeople working in more than 1000 crafts categories across India

Updated Weekly



The Asia Inch Encyclopedia is building a permanent, long-term archive of writings that have enduring cultural, historic and evidentiary value. Read the collected writings of -
Ashoke Chatterjee,
Judy Frater,
Paula Manfredi,
Carolyn Jongeward,

And others


Bookmark and Share


By Crafts


By States


To view a list of all the crafts, click on search.