3 Indian Indoor Games to reminisce from the good old days

Siblings playing at home.

I met a few of my childhood friends last weekend and we got to talking about the many games we used to play as kids. Be it during summer vacation with grandparents or playtime in the evening, we couldn’t resist playing these games day in and day out.

So, I‘ve created a 2-part series – one with indoor games and another with Indian outdoor games all of us played growing up. Read up about them, reminisce about the good old days, and teach your kids these games too!

1. Chopat 

Popularly known as ‘Chopat’ or ‘Cahupar’, this traditional Indian game is also known as ‘Chowkabaara’ or ‘Kavde’ in the southern states. It’s basically an Indian version of the game Ludo where players have to move their pawns (which can be anything from beads to fruits seeds) through the maze until they reach the final destination. The first one to move all the pawns to the destination wins! The game can be played in teams of 2 too.

A game of Chopat being played.

This game would last for hours together when we used to play because each time someone replaces your pawn in the maze, you would have to start over. We’ve had the best time and the worst fights over this game!

2. Ali Guli Mane

This game, too, has many names like ‘Pallankuzhi’ in Tamil, ‘Vamana Guntalu’ in Telugu and ‘Ali Guli Mane’ in Kannada. This game is played on a wooden board of sorts with 14 compartments – 7 for each player. We mostly played this game with tamarind seeds in each compartment.

A game of Ali Guli Mane.

All you have to do is choose a compartment and empty the tamarind seeds by dropping them one at a time in every compartment that follows. Once you’re done, you will have to pick up the seeds from the next compartment and repeat the same until you reach an empty compartment.

This game, too, will go on for a long time until someone wins with the least number of seeds. I frankly don’t remember any of us ever winning at this game. We would play until we got bored or our parents called us for dinner!

3. Carrom

Carrom is essentially a table-top game with different coloured pawns and a striker. The aim of the game is to use the striker to push the pawns into the pouches placed at the four corners. The game goes on until one player wins all the pawns for himself or herself!

I’m sure all of you have played and remember carrom very well! It doesn’t need much explaining, does it?

A person arranging the pawns on a carrom board.

Are there any other Indian games you would play as a kid? I’d love to know! Do share them in the comments section below!


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