List of Traditional Board Games of India

Games played indoor and in outdoor usually under trees in villages using board or the board drawn in the ground using Chalk piece (Pencil made of chalk powder used to write in Black Board in schools and in some colleges)

  • Aadu Puli Attam (ஆடு புலி ஆட்டம் )
  • Paramapadham (பரமபதம்) [Thayam (தாயம்)]
  • Langa Kattai (லங்கா கட்டை)
  • Sozhi Urutturadhu (சோழி உருட்டுறது)

Aadu Puli aatam (goat and tiger game) is a strategic, two-player (or 2 teams) board game originated in Tamil Nadu and is also played in Karnataka(Huli gatta) and Andhra Pradesh(Puli Joodam or Puli – Meka). The game is asymmetric in that one player controls three tigers and the other player controls up to 15 goats. The tigers ‘hunt’ the goats while the goats attempt to block the tigers’ movements.

Things Needed to Play:

  • Board with the game chart or Chart drawn on a floor (See Picture for chart)

  • 2 or more players

  • 3 Pulli’s & 15 Aadu’s

How to play:

  • Draw the chart as in the picture in a paper or on the ground with chalk powder

  • Start the game with 3 Pulis (tigers) are one placed on the apex, and 2 in the inner place closest to the apex. All aadus (goats) start off the board.

  • The pieces must be put at the intersections of the board lines and moves should follow these lines.

  • The player controlling the aadus’ moves first by placing an aadu onto a free intersection on the board.

  • Then it is the puli’s turn. One puli is then moved to an adjacent position along the lines that indicate the valid moves. Moves alternate between players.

  • A puli captures an aadu by jumping over it to an adjacent free position (as in checkers). Aadus can not move until all 15 have been put on the board.


The pulis must move according to these rules:

  • They can start capturing aadus any moment after the match has started.

  • They can capture only one aadu at a time.

  • They can jump over a goat in any direction, but it must be to an adjacent intersection following any of the lines drawn on the board.

  • A Puli cannot jump over another Puli.

The Aadus must move according to these rules:

  • They must leave the board when captured.

  • They cannot jump over the Pulis or other aadus.

  • They can only move after all 15 have been put on the board.

Objective of the Game:

  • Aadu’s objective is to encircle Pulis so that none of the Pulis can move. Puli’s objective is to kill 5 Aadus.

  • Puli wins if all the aadus are captured and Aadu wins if all Pulis are blocked from movement.


Paramapadham (Thayam) is Snakes and Ladders in
English; it was created in ancient India before 1892.
It is also known as Parama Pada Sopanam means
Steps to the Highest Place (where Parama Pada
means highest place and Sopanam means steps).
Paramapadham was inspired by religion; and was
believed to be symbolic of a man’s attempt to reach
God. The ladders represent virtues and the snakes
represent vices. The snakes carry names linking them
to stories from our epics.

Things Required:

  • Paramapadam Board or any Snake and Ladder Board

  • Dice

  • Markers (Game Pieces)

How to play:

  • Parama Pada Sopanam board and the dice used to play will be
    available in shops around Permual temple’s during vaikunda
    yekadesi as people used to play Parama Padam on vaikunda
    yekadesi day as they will not sleep on that day. Or you can even
    download by clicking here

  • Game Pieces may be anything like Seeds, Coins, Shells, etc the
    only requirement is each has to be different to identify which
    belongs to the respective player

  • Players place their game pieces on the space on the board labeled
    “0” and can start only when they get 1 (Thayam) when they roll the
    dice. The dice is rolled in clockwise direction or may also decide by
    all the players rolling the dice and the one who get the largest
    resulting number will take the first turn.

  • The first player rolls the dice and mark off the number rolled starting
    on the “1” spot on the board. All players take turns rolling the dice
    and moving their markers.

  • If the marker reaches the number which has bottom of the ladder he
    climbs the ladder and go to the top of the ladder and continue from
    there, and If the marker reaches the number which has the face of
    the snake then he needs to go down to the box where it has its tail
    and continue from there.

  • A player gets an extra turn if he gets 1, 5, 6 while rolling but he
    needs to move the marker each time he rolls the dice as he needs
    to follow the ladder or snake for each turn. If the player gets three
    ‘6’ in a row while rolling he must return to ‘0’ that is the beginning of
    the board and should not move until he roll’s another 6 on his turn.

  • In some boards there will be directions written on the boxes For example, if it says “go back three spaces” Follow the directions and go back 3 boxes.

The winner of the game is the one who first reaches the “100” box on the board.

Langa Kattai

Langa Katta is one of the famous and simple traditional
game played in villages by adults betting money. A
dealer hosts this game. The money lost by the players
while playing go to him, and he is responsible for giving
the winners their price money. Kids also play this game
without betting


Specialized Board and Dice with a container to roll
the dice.


The board is a specially made square board divided into 4 as shown in the figure, and then any Pictures or playing card symbols are drawn on the board.


Three Dices specially made with the faces having the pictures or symbols as in board. The dealers make tricks in designing the Dice.


  • The betters need to bet money on the pictures/symbols in the board.

  • The dealer will have three dices with the same pictures / symbols on the
    face of the dice

  • The dealer will roll the dice.

  • The picture that faces up after rolling the dice is the winner.

  • Since three dices are there is a probability of all the dices showing same picture or showing two similar pictures or three different pictures.

  • The Players who betted money on the picture that did not turn up will go to the dealer and they are the losers

  • If a picture comes in 1 dice then the player gets 50% extra of the money he betted on that picture

  • If a picture comes in 2 dice then the player gets 75% extra of the money he betted on that picture

  • If a picture comes all the 3 dice then the player gets 100% extra of the money he betted on that picture

The Adult Game

  • The dealer will sit under a tree and make noise by putting the dice in the tin container and will invite the players to play the game.

  • The dealer will first throw the dice and will make the player win for 2 to 3 round and tempt him to bet more money.

  • Once the player gets confidence in winning then the dealer will start playing trick on rolling the game and make the player lose all his money to him.

The Kids Game

All the kids playing the game gets a chance to roll the dice. The kids play by betting Tamarind seeds or by just noting down the points they betted. The kid with more tamarind seeds or with maximum pot is the winner of the game.

Sozhi Urutturadhu

Sozhi Urutturadhu is a traditional game played using Sozhi (சோழி) that is
kauri shells. Lot of games are played using Sozhi. Sozhi is a replacement for
dice in Paramapada. Sozhi has two side’s one is the top which is fully covered
while the bottom has a opening in it. When the shells are rolled and thrown
on ground, some will have the fully covered part on the top and some with the
opening part on the top. The number of shells with the fully coved covered
part on top is counted or vice –versa. The count is considered as we do it in

Sozhi is also used to play othaya retiya (Odd or Even). Around 5 to 6 shells
are rolled by asking the players whether they want an odd number or even
number before throwing the shells on ground.  Once the players choose their
option, the rolled shells are thrown on the ground and counted for open and close shells on top. If the open shells are odd in number, then the players who opted for odd will get a point and the players who opted for even will lose. They play this game and note the point in a paper and will continue to play until they are tired, the player with maximum mark at the end is the winner.

Some people used to judge future using sozhi. Sozhi plays a vital role in the life of people in TamilNadu Villages.