Who invented Ludo? – Ludo History, Origin and Variations

Who invented Ludo

Ludo is a classic board game played for centuries by people of all ages. The game we call Ludo was patented by Alfred Collier in England in 1896. However, its origin traces back to a dice game called Chaupar, played by Indian maharajas. In fact, people played different variants of Ludo in India for centuries at family gatherings and festivals.

Ludo is now famous worldwide due to its simplicity and unpredictable twists and turns (i.e., winners can easily become losers and vice versa).

This article traces the timeline of Ludo’s invention and highlights unknown and fascinating facts about the history of Ludo in India. So, let’s get started.

First let us find out Ludo game information from its ancient times.

History of Ludo

The ludo game origin, which can be traced back to ancient India, highlight its significance not just as a means of entertainment but also as a component of ceremonial practices and royal leisure. Historical records and archaeological evidence suggest that Ludo’s precursor was a game called Pachisi, which emerged in India around the 6th century C.E. It is within this historical context that the question of “who invented Ludo” gains relevance, pointing towards the transformation of Pachisi, known by various names such as Chaupar and Chausar, into the modern Ludo game. Pachisi was played on a cross-shaped board, often constructed from cloth or leather, with dice dictating the movement of pieces across the Ludo board, laying the foundational elements for what would become Ludo.

Ludo India - ancient references

History of Ludo (Chausar) in the Mahabharata

The Mahabharata, the great Indian epic, presents the earliest narrative association of Ludo through the dice game Chaupar, hinting at the origins of who invented Ludo. This intense game between the Pandavas and the Kauravas, involving King Duryodhan and Yudhishthir, led to the Pandavas losing their kingdom and fortune. The depiction of Chaupar in this epic underscores the game’s importance in ancient Indian society, highlighting its potential to both entertain and cause profound loss.

History of Ludo (Chaupar) in Hindu Mythology

Beyond the Mahabharata, Chaupar holds significance in broader Hindu mythology as a symbol of life’s unpredictability and the role of fate. The game, with its reliance on the roll of Ludo dice, was seen as a reflection of the cosmic play of karma and dharma, where human lives are moved by forces beyond their control. Considering who invented Ludo, it’s fascinating to see how this game encapsulates ancient philosophical ideas, transforming them into a board game that has endured through the ages.

Ludo in History as Chaupar: The Game of Kings

Tracing back to its roots, the origin of ludo game is deeply intertwined with Chaupar, which is evolved to become a sophisticated pastime among Indian royalty and nobility. Its presence in the courts of Mughal emperors underscores its status as a game of strategy and intellect. Historical accounts, including those by the historian Abul Fazl, highlight how Chaupar or Pachisi was central to royal entertainment, especially under the reign of Emperor Akbar. The game was played with lavish sets, often with pieces moved on boards of exquisite materials and design.

History of Ludo (Chaupar) in Legends

As we trace the Ludo origins we discover a deep connection to Chaupar form, an ancient Indian game that is woven into the fabric of Indian folklore, demonstrating the game’s penetration into the cultural psyche. These stories often explore themes of destiny, intelligence, and morality, with the game serving as a metaphor for the larger battles of life.

Ludo (Pachisi) in Fatehpur Sikri

Delving into the Ludo origin, it becomes evident that the game’s adaptability and capacity to entertain on a grand scale has historical roots, exemplified by Mughal Emperor Akbar’s fondness for Pachisi. This connection is further highlighted by the grand version of the game played at Fatehpur Sikri, where the emperor engaged in Chaupar on a giant board, with slaves dressed in colorful attire serving as the game pieces, thereby offering a vivid illustration of Ludo’s enduring appeal and its cultural significance over the centuries.

Ludo’s Evolution Through History

References to the ludo game history, under its various names, appear in early literary sources like the ‘Rig-Veda’ and ‘Atharva Veda,’ highlighting its long-standing presence in Indian culture. Archaeological findings from Harappan sites such as Harappa, Mohenjodaro, and Lothal have unearthed dice that date back to the second millennium B.C., suggesting that the precursors to Ludo were played even in ancient times.

The earliest visual reference to Ludo was found carved in the caves of Ellora, indicating its popularity and cultural significance between the 6th and 8th centuries C.E. These carvings, along with historical texts, demonstrate Ludo’s enduring presence in the Indian subcontinent, evolving from a game of kings to a beloved family pastime that continues to be enjoyed worldwide.

This is the ludo game information and who discovered ludo game from its ancient time. Let us find out the ancient dice in Ludo game. 

Ancient dice in Ludo

Cubical dice were evidently common in the Indus Valley (Harappan) sites around 2300 B.C., with oblong dice slightly more common. However, these were generally rectangular, occasionally triangular, and numbered in various ways. For example, all sides could be marked differently, or two sides could be marked similarly.

During the 16th century, Mughal emperor Akbar played Chaupar on grand courts made of inlaid marble. The court is divided into red and white squares, the board, and an enormous four-foot-high dais, representing the central point. Akbar would sit at the center with the red and white squares around him, and 16 beautiful women from the harem would move around according to his commands. It is said that Akbar loved the game so much that he used people instead of shells or cowry to play it.

Now let us find out who invented ludo game.

How and Who Invented Ludo Game?

Ludo was invented in which country? The game, as known today, traces its origins to England in the late 19th century. Alfred Collier played a crucial role in its modernization and commercialization by filing a patent in 1896 for a simplified version of the traditional Indian game Pachisi, naming it “Royal Ludo.” This marked the ludo game origin global journey as a board game. This moment is crucial in understanding where and when Ludo was invented, as well as who made Ludo what it is today.

The patented version of Ludo introduced by Collier was designed to appeal to the sensibilities and preferences of the Western audience. It included innovations such as cubical dice with a cup and distinct tokens for players, elements that have remained integral to the game’s design to this day. Collier’s Royal Ludo, complete with a rules leaflet bearing the patent number 14636, quickly gained popularity, leading to widespread distribution and sale across the world.

The Royal Navy’s adaptation of Ludo into the board game Uckers further exemplifies the game’s versatility and enduring appeal. This adaptation highlighted the game’s capacity to be modified and integrated into various cultural contexts, extending its reach beyond civilian entertainment to become a pastime for sailors.

The ludo game history, dating back to its ancestral games Chaupar and Pachisi, reveals a rich tapestry of cultural exchange and adaptation. Chaupar, played with long dice or quaternary lots on a cloth board, and Pachisi, played with cowry shells, reflect the diverse gaming traditions of ancient India. These games, once central to royal entertainment and popular among the masses in different forms, laid the groundwork for what would become one of the most beloved board games worldwide.

Through Alfred Collier’s efforts, Ludo invention from an ancient Indian game into a modern board game classic, illustrating the dynamic evolution of cultural practices and leisure activities over centuries. Today, Ludo continues to be celebrated across the globe, a testament to its universal appeal and the timeless joy of gameplay it offers to people of all ages.

With this understanding of who invented Ludo and where was Ludo invented, we can now explore the international variants of Ludo that have emerged, further attesting to its widespread popularity and adaptability.

List of International Variants of Ludo

Ludo’s global popularity has given rise to various international variants, each with its unique Ludo game rules and gameplay. These versions reflect the cultural diversity and creativity of people around the world, adapting the classic game to local traditions and preferences. Let’s explore some of these fascinating international variants:

  • The Indian Pachisi
  • The British Uckers
  • The German Brändi Dog
  • The Chinese Aeroplane Chess
  • The Spanish Parchís
  • The Swiss Eile mit Weile
  • The Colombian Parques
  • The Vietnamese Cờ cá ngựa

Now you got to know about ludo game history in ancient time. Let us find out the modern version of Ludo.

Modern Version of Ludo

In recent years, the game has become even more popular thanks to digital versions that allow us to play Ludo online. Today, many different versions of Ludo are available as mobile apps or on online platforms like Zupee’s Ludo Supreme which is also known as Ludo Supreme gold, Ludo Ninja, and Ludo Turbo, each with its own unique set of rules and regulations. You can also in cash upto 10 Lakhs by playing these real money ludo games

Regardless of the three Zupee Ludo versions you play, the game’s goal remains the same – to be race tokens to reach the finish line, according to the dice roll. With its simple rules and easy-to-understand online gameplay, it’s no wonder Ludo continues to be one of the most popular board games in the world.

Zupee Ludo Download for Android and iOS here

Have a look at the relevant articles on Ludo:

History of Ludo – FAQs

Where does ludo come from?

Ludo is thought to be a derivative of an ancient Indian game called Pachisi. Pachisi is mentioned in ancient texts dating back to the 6th century, and the game of ludo may have evolved from this ancient game.

How did ludo become popular in India?

Ludo became increasingly popular in India thanks to its simple rules, easy-to-learn gameplay, does not require a lot of equipment or space, and can be played by people of all ages. The popularity of ludo has also been boosted with mobile gaming, as we can easily play ludo on smartphones anytime and anywhere.

Which country made Ludo?

Ludo was developed in England in the late 19th century. It is derived from the Indian game Pachisi, but Ludo as we know it today was patented under the name “Ludo” in England in 1896 by Alfred Collier.

Is Ludo invented in India?

While Ludo itself was not invented in India, it is heavily based on the Indian game Pachisi. Pachisi is an ancient Indian game that dates back several centuries and is considered a precursor to Ludo. The modern Ludo game, with its distinct rules and board design, was developed and patented in England.

What is Ludo called in India?

In India, Ludo is also called “Ludo” itself, following its popular global nomenclature. However, it is important to note that Ludo is inspired by the ancient Indian game Pachisi, which is sometimes referred to in a cultural context. Pachisi is known by various names across different regions in India, but when referring to the modern board game played today, it is commonly known as Ludo.

How many countries play Ludo?

Ludo is played worldwide, spanning numerous countries across different continents. Given its simple rules and engaging gameplay, Ludo has become a popular family board game in many parts of the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. While it’s challenging to specify an exact number of countries where Ludo is played, it’s safe to say that it enjoys global popularity and is known in virtually every part of the world where board games are played.

When was ludo invented in India?

Ludo, as it is known today, originated from the ancient Indian game Pachisi, which dates back to the 6th century AD. The modern version of Ludo was adapted and popularized in the late 19th century. It has since become a beloved board game in India and around the world.

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