Pachisi is a board game that dates back to Ancient India. It is mentioned in the ancient text Mahabharata as “Pasha“. The board game is a direct descendant of Ludo, having the same format of the board and similar rules of movement. It is played on a symmetrical cross-shaped board. The movement of a player’s pieces around the board is determined by a throw of six or seven cowrie shells. The game’s name is taken from the Hindi word for twenty-five- “Pachees” the highest score that one can get by throwing the cowrie shells.
Many versions of this game exist all over the worls such as Chaupar which is played on a woolen board and uses 7 cowrie shells, Parchís which is an adaptation of Pachisi from Spain and Morocco.