A cross-and-circle board game that originated in ancient India, chausar
(also known as ‘pachisi
’) is played on a cross surface. Cowrie shells are thrown which allow players to play certain moves. The game is called pachisi
because the largest number than can be thrown by the cowrie shells is 25.
The word ‘chausar’ comes from the word ‘cauper’; in Sanskrit it was called ‘catus pada’ meaning “he who has four legs”. Western games like ‘Ludo’, ‘Sorry!’ and ‘Parcheesi’ are versions of chausar.
These men were seen playing chausar
at the Gujari Mahal museum in Gwalior. The palace was built by Raja Man Singh for his Gujar wife Mrignayani when she asked for a separate palace with a regular water supply from the nearby River Rai.
The palace now serves as a museum. And history can be seen not only in the artifacts inside the museum but also in the daily lives of those who live near it.