Kavya’s India Series Part 2: Snakes and Ladders

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

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)




India is well known for many different things, but did you ever know that one of Britain’s most popular games originated in India?

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!”

6 Responses to Kavya’s India Series Part 2: Snakes and Ladders

  1. Freya November 21, 2017 at 7:48 pm

    Great article Kavya! I never knew that ‘Snakes and Ladders’ came from ancient India and was actually called Mokshapat! I am looking forward to seeing your next article on India and finding out more fascinating facts! Keep up the good work!

  2. Eryn November 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Great article Kavya! I can’t wait for all your others!

  3. Aimee November 22, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I had no clue snakes and ladders was created in ancient India and I really like this article Kavya good job!

  4. Kavya November 22, 2017 at 1:48 pm

    Thanks everyone! The pressure is on! I hope I impress you in my next article as well.

  5. Erin and Katie November 22, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    This article is amazing Kavya, I love how you based it in India where your family lives. Who knew Snakes and Ladders was created in India(except from you!)

  6. Kavya November 22, 2017 at 3:35 pm