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Pachisi was created in India in the sixth century CE. The earliest evidence of this game’s evolution in India is the depiction of boards on the caves of Ellora. The original version is also described in the Indian epic Mahabharata in which Shakuni uses cursed dice to beat the Pandavas, and at last after losing everything, Yudhisthira puts his wife Draupadi on stake and loses her, too. The Pandavas get all their belongings back, though, after Draupadi vows to curse the whole Kuru lineage, but stops at the intervention of Gandhari, and seeing an opportunity to still Draupadi’s anger, Kuru king Dhritarashtra promises to give back to the Pandavas all that they had lost in the game.
Special areas of the Ludo board are typically coloured bright yellow, green, red, and blue. Each player is assigned a colour and has four tokens in their colour. The board is normally square with a cross-shaped, with each arm of the cross having three columns of squares, usually six per column. The middle columns usually have five squares coloured; these represent a player’s home column. A sixth coloured square not on the home column is a player’s starting square. At the centre of the board is a large finishing square, often composed of coloured triangles atop the players’ home columns (thus depicting “arrows” pointing to the finish).