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Phanjika DLP Game   

Period Medieval

Region Southern Asia

Category Reconstruction, Pending, Board, Race, Reach


Phanjika is a game mentioned in the Manasollasa, a medieval Sanskrit text. It is thought to have been a precursor to the game Pachisi.


Four 6x6 grids, arranged in a cross around a central empty square. Five, six, seven, eight, nine, or sixteen players. Five pieces per player, which begin off the board. Seven cowries, used as dice. The value of a throw is equal to the number of cowries that land face-down; all cowries face-up equals 14 and there is a special rule attached to it. A throw of five ("phanjika") allows the player to enter a piece on the board. A piece that lands on a space occupied by an opponent's piece is removed from the board and must re-enter. Safe squares exist on the board. The first player to remove all of their pieces from the board wins.



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Schmidt-Madsen, J. 2021. "The Crux of the Cruciform: Retracing the Early History of Chaupar and Pachisi." Board Game Studies Journal 15(1): 29-77.



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