The all time, worldwide classic board game of Snakes and Ladders is originally an ancient Indian game known as Moksha Patam. It is also known by several other names influenced by regional diversity of the country, e.g. Param Padam in Tamil. The original game was based on the principle of imbibing moral values in children while they enjoy the game play, so it has snakes representing vices, that will downgrade the player. The ladders on the other hand represented virtues (good karma) leading one to a higher level of consciousness. Probably England can be given credit for its worldwide popularity by rebranding it as the Snakes and Ladders, at the same time it can be blamed for watering down the game values by removing the associated moral lessons. Among other games that got through similar plight were Pachisi or Chaupar (or Chaupad), that later became popular as Ludo. The list does not end here, the very building block of any board game, the humble Dice was originated in India. Well, we all know the use of Chaupad and Dice during Mahabharata time. The king Shakuni, notoriously known for his addiction to this game and expertise in Dice handling. Archeologists of Indus Valley also excavated many Dices from Harrapan and Mohenjo-daro sites, that dates back to 1900 BCE to 3300 BCE. Anyways, it’s a matter of believers.
Sometimes back, we were gifted with a modern version of this ancient board game of Param Padam by a close friend. He being connected to ISKCON, knew about this game and thought that we being researching into similar domain will like it. The game is a creation of some ISKCON disciple with a beautiful cover. The snake and ladders are given labels of bad and good qualities respectively. It comes with a mini booklet indexed by the square numbers of snake/ladder steps. Each page includes a picture and short description about the quality or relevant story from scripture. A wonderful game accessory indeed. We are glade to have it in our collection and would like to express our gratitude via this post for our friend and the creator of this game. We are not sure from where to buy it online as he has sourced it directly from the Iskcon, Vrindavan temple store. Here are some pictures to have the idea of the good quality work.
This is for kind attention of our readers, we do not have any commercial direct or indirect interest in promoting this game but definitely we will promote any playthings that are based on scripture and helps one to understand dharma.