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Saturankam (Siga, Chaturanga)DLP Game   

Period Modern

Region Southern Asia

Category Board, Race, Reach


Saturankam is a race game played in South Asia. It is played by Sinhalese and Tamil people, and is similar to other games throughout the region. Though it is sometimes known as Siga or Chaturanga, it is distinct from the most widely-played games known by these names.


9x9 board, with the central square of each side marked, as well as the central space of the board. Two to four players, each player with two pieces. Played with two four-sided dice, marked 1, 3, 4, 6. Throws may be divided as the players see fit between their pieces. Doubles allow another throw. Players start with their pieces on the marked square on their side of the board. Pieces move along a spiraling track, starting in an anti-clockwise direction around the outer edges of the board, then changing to a clockwise direction when reaching the 32nd space in the track, and continuing in this direction in a spiral pattern until reaching the central square. If a player lands on a space occupied by an opponent's piece, the opponent's piece is removed from the board, and the player must throw a double 1 to enter it again on their starting square. Pieces resting on a marked space are safe from being sent to the start. The goal is to reach the central square with both pieces, which must be reached by an exact throw. If a piece is 1, 3, or 4 spaces from the center, the player must throw doubles of that number to reach the goal.

Parker 1909: 605-607.


South Asia.

Ludeme Description



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Murray 1951: 130.

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Murray, H.J.R. 1951. A History of Board-Games Other Than Chess. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Parker, H. 1909. Ancient Ceylon. New Delhi: Asian Educational Services.

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