A Deep Dive Into the History of the Snakes & Ladders Game

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With the advancement in technology, numerous outlets are readily available for individuals to spend their leisure time. However, one of the favorite pastimes of people, even in today’s technology-driven age, is indulging in board games. Post the invention of the first board game called Dice in the prehistoric periods, the genre’s popularity has steadily increased. Currently, board games are immensely popular all around the globe. Millions of people of all age groups play different types of board games every day with their friends or family members. The trend of indulging in board games increased exponentially in the past decade, especially during the pandemic. According to a Medium article, numerous major outlets have called the last decade “A Golden Age for Board Games.” Some popular board games include ludo, chess, carrom, etc.

Even though ludo is deemed the king of board games thanks to its massive fanbase, its fellow counterpart, i.e., the snakes and ladders board game, is still in popularity. Like ludo, snakes and ladders’ popularity has also increased for numerous reasons. For instance, some of the major ones are its close association with ludo, easy accessibility, and the availability of online snakes and ladders games. Even though the game is popularly known as “Snakes and Ladders” today, it was not always like this. The classic board game’s rich, intriguing history will surely surprise enthusiasts. This article will cover how enthusiasts can indulge in online snakes and ladders matches and shed light on the history of the classic board game that has millions of fans all around the globe. Let us dive right into it:

How Can Enthusiasts Indulge in Online Snakes and Ladders Matches?

The popularity of the classic board game is not restricted to the conventional offline method, which is played using physical snakes and a ladder board, tokens, and a die. Enthusiasts of the game can quickly start indulging in virtual snakes, and ladders match with their friends or family members by downloading and installing a top-tier online snakes and ladders game on their smartphones. All they need to do is find reliable online snakes and ladders app, download and install it on their respective smartphone, register on the platform, and start playing. Thanks to the game’s popularity, many online games are readily available for snakes and ladders enthusiasts. Indulging in online snakes and ladders match help in bringing people closer and facilitates individuals to blow off steam after a long and turning day or week.

A Detailed Look at the History of Snakes and Ladders:

The classic board game of snakes and ladders originated as an integral portion of a specific family of Indian dice board games. The collection of games included popular ones like Gyan Chauper and pachisi, which later evolved into the game of ludo, deemed the most popular board game of all time. The classic board game reached the English subcontinent and was sold under the label “Snakes and Ladders.” From England, the board game travelled to the United States and was sold to the masses as a game called “Chutes and Ladders.”

The game was initially named “Moksha Patam” in ancient India, and its concept was vastly different from what it is today. Back then, the game was synonymous with postulates of the traditional Hindu philosophy, i.e., it contrasted other virtues like karma and kama, or destiny and desire. It focused on destiny, which was entirely different from modern board games like pachisi, which generally focused on human life as a mix of skill and luck.

The underlying ideals that the game featured inspired numerous iterations. One of the most popular ones was introduced in Victorian England in 1892. Besides being a virtue-focused game, snakes and ladder, or Moksha Patam, was used to teach individuals the different effects of good deeds versus bad ones. Back then, the snakes and ladder board featured different types of symbolic images, including ones of gods, angels, animals, flowers, and people. The ladders featured on the snakes and ladders board represented numerous virtues, including generosity, goodness, humility, etc.

On the other hand, the snakes represented vices of humanity, including lust, anger, theft, etc. The game had a morality lesson, which stated that any person could attain liberation or moksha by performing good deeds. In contrast, by doing evil, they will be reborn as lower beings. The number of ladders present on a physical snakes and ladders board was less than the number of snakes, which served as a reminder that following a good and decent life is more complex than following a sinful path.

Another popular variant of the snakes and ladders game in the Muslim world, called Shatranj al-’urafa, is prevalent in numerous countries like India, Iran, and Turkey. As opposed to the version popular in ancient India, this version represents the dervish’s journey or quest to let go of the trappings that worldly life offers and achieve union with the almighty God. Besides this, the snakes and ladders game is known by different names in different regions. For instance, the game is called “Shap Shiri” or “Shapludu” in places where most of the public speaks Bengali.

The snakes and ladders game is a classic board game that has millions of fans all around the globe. Anyone who wishes to know all about the board game’s history can refer to the previous section.

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