Pachisi- the Game Emperors Play

Do you want to feel like royalty, playing an ancient Indian Game?

A game for which emperor Akbar built a huge courtyard in his palace at Fatehpur Sikri to depict the squares of the board. Akbar is believed to have used women from his harem as game pieces.

Pachisi Courtyard at Fatehpur Sikri
Pachisi Courtyard at Fatehpur Sikri
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri in front of Panch mahal
Chaupad squares at Fatehpur Sikri

I have also seen the board carved on granite floors of ancient temples and monuments.

Yes, I am referring to Pachisi. The game that is also known as Dayakattam, Chokkattam, Chaupad, Chaupar etc. The Western versions of this game, go by many names like Parchisi, Ludo, The Game of India etc.

Now you can buy an authentic version of this game online at Amazon and Flipkart. The game board is made of hand embroidered cotton and comes with cowrie shells, wooden pieces, cotton pouch, instructions etc.

For Amazon click here.

For Flipkart click here.

Ludo made out of recycled elephant dung is available at www.golisodastore.com

Pachisi Indian Board game
Pachisi authentic Hand embroidered game board
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Newspapers in Sri Lanka

 

Newspaper vendor in Colombo
Newspaper vendor in Colombo

Unlike Chennai, Colombo wakes up late, especially on a Sunday morning. There was only a handful of shops open. This newspaper vendor was one of them. He gladly posed for the photo. There were only two English papers – Sunday Observer and another. They cost LKR 60 on Sundays (INR 25- 30) There were several Sinhala publications

 

Dhaba

Dhaba Jim Corbett - Ranikhet road
Dhaba Jim Corbett – Ranikhet road

Driving around in Uttarakhand or anywhere in North India, you can be assured of tasty treat of hot parathas in the wayside eateries for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Though the taste is not uniform, you can be sure it is palatable and wholesome. Dahi and pickles are the standard accompaniments. You can get a variety of vegetable curries too.

This is a dhaba we stopped at soon after leaving the tony resorts of Jim Corbett National park for Kausani, via Ranikhet. The fact that we were hungry made us ignore the ambiance and enjoy the food.

 

It is real: not all bull

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Nonchalant Nandi  in a shop

In January 2015 on a visit to Varanasi, a curious sight caught our eyes. It was a bull squatting non chalantly in a textile showroom under a Shiva idol  while the  customers and the staff went about their business uninterrupted. We captured the image and moved on.

Only later we learnt that the bull visits the shop every day without fail. The locals attribute this to the Siva idol in the shop. Maybe the shopkeeper feeds the bull too. On holidays, the bull just hangs around outside. The shop is called Chikan House – Exclusive.

I have seen many social media posts of this bull and the shop. This post is only to assure that the bull’s visit is real and not all bull like many social media forwards. These images are taken by me. I can not, of course, vouch for the regularity  of the bull’s visit as I was there only for two days.

shiva's bull
Bull in a textile showroom
Nandi in a kurta shop
Chikan House – Exclusive. Kurta, pyjama,sarees, salwar suits, tops, and materials

There are episodes where the Nandi hides darshan of Shiva, but here is a situation where the Nandi provides not only unhindered darshan from the street but  uninterrupted business too.

There are a couple of YouTube videos  taken in 2011 and 2014. You may watch those too if you wish.