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Akṣadyūta (Aksadyuta)DLP Game   


Period Ancient

Region Southern Asia

Category Math


Akṣadyūta is a scoring game that plays a central role in the Indian epic Mahabharata. While the Mahabharata was an oral tradition which was written down much later, one of its key events is a game of Akṣadyūta in which Shakuni won the kingdom from Yudhishthira. Later Indian sources often confuse the game as that of Pachisi or Chaupar, but the text clearly describes a game of a different nature.


Players grasps akṣas (beans). They are thrown on a mat. There are four grasps: krta, kali, dvapara, treta. Krta wins all, kali loses all, treta beats dvapara. With two players, one player can win on their first grasp.

All Rulesets

Scholarly rulesets
Syed Rules for Akṣadyūta as proposed by R. Syed.



Ludeme Description



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Evidence Map

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Syed, R. 2020."The Akṣadyūta in the Mahabharata." In R. Gowri Raghavan and D. Vinayak Kamath (eds.) Playing with the Past: Proceedings of the National Conference on Ancient and Medieval Indian Games, 1 & 2 June, 2019. Mumbai: India Study Centre Trust, 223-230.



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