Kavya’s India Series Part 2: Snakes and Ladders
Kavya, a Year 6 Young Journalist based at Burgh School, has family roots in India and the highlight of her year is when she makes her annual visit to see her relatives based in New Delhi. She has decided to share her love of this vast country with YJA readers!
Click here for Part 1 (Monkey Business)
Well, the board game we call ‘Snakes and Ladders’ actually was brought up in ancient India, where it was called ‘Mokshapat’ or ‘Moksha Patamu’. There is no proof of when or who invented it but it is believed that the game was played as early as the 2nd century BC.
According to some people, the game was invented by Saint Gyandev in the 13th century BC but there is no proof of this.
This game was made to be about karma and the ups and downs in life. It was used to teach children through a game. The squares where a ladder starts were supposed to stands for virtue, but when housing the head of a snake it only meant evil. The snakes outnumbered the ladders in the original Hindu game to show that you need to work for your success in life.
The game was transported to England by the colonial rulers and it is now one of Britain’s most popular board games – all thanks to India!
A Year 6 pupil said: “I always thought that this game was invented in the UK, but surprisingly India invented it instead! Well done India!”