Who Invented Ludo?

There are several different types of board games, one of which is Ludo. Most of us have played this game when we were young and it continues to fascinate us even today. Ludo is widely popular owing to its simplicity and the unpredictable twists and turns it creates. Winners can become losers quite easily and vice versa, which is one of the main attractions of the game.

Although the roll of dice is the primary determinant of winning or losing, a certain level of strategy is also involved in the game. For example, deciding on which token to move and which to rest can impact your chances of winning.

But have you ever given a thought about who invented Ludo and how and when it began? If you are curious, here are some interesting things to know about the game of Ludo.

Based on Indian game Pachisi

As per historical records, Ludo is said to have been derived from ‘Pachisi’. This was a similar board game played in India many centuries ago. The oldest records are from the Indian epic Mahabharata, where the Pandavas lost their entire belongings to their cousins when they lost the game. At that time, the board game was referred to as Chaupar. Another evidence can be found when we analyze the various rock carvings at the caves of Ellora. Some of these carvings depict a board game that looks similar to modern day Ludo.

Patented in England

Taking inspiration from these Indian board games, the modern day Ludo version was patented by Alfred Collier in England in 1896. While the rules were largely the same, the rectangular dice was replaced with a cubic one. A dice cup was also included, which replaced the earlier practice of using one’s hand to throw the dice. The altered shape of the dice and use of a dice cup reduced the possibility of any type of cheating on part of the players. The smaller sized cubic dice also ensued that the tokens were not disturbed when the dice was thrown on the board.

Ludo variants across the globe

Ludo and its variants are played in several countries. And in most cases, it is known with a different name. For example, it is called Fia in Sweden, Eile mit Weile (Haste makes Pace) in Switzerland, Parchís in Spain, Non t’arrabiare in Italy, Mens Erger Je Niet in Netherlands, Petits Chevaux in France, and Cờ cá ngựa in Vietnam. Some of these games use a single dice whereas others require two dices. Similarly, the rules of the game also vary from region to region.

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