Barcelona 2002 Colloquium

--{ Barcelona 2002 }--

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Board Games in Academia V



Board games from the city of Vijayanagara (Hampi) (1336-1565). A survey and study

The City of Vijayanagara offers unique opportunities to investigate Indian Board games in the pre modern era, spread over more than 25 sq.kms. Archaeological and Architectural evidence provides a remarkable record of board games of various categories, in the place, Hampi, which was probably the most extensive of any Hindu capital in India. The contemporary literary works in Kannada, Sanskrit and Telugu, as well as the graphic description of contemporary foreign visitors help in unearthing the varieties of board games found in the ruined structures, un-cleared rubble piles and numerous overgrown mounds.

The Vijayanagara site has never been subjected to a thorough investigation; earlier and hence my documentation is vital. Very interestingly, the regional literatures classify the board games, of the period into four categories as

  1. Games played by the royalty
  2. Games played for the royalty
  3. Games played by the masses (as folk games)
  4. Games played by the ladies
contrary to the classification made by Murray as war games, hunt games, race games, games of alignment etc.

My paper investigates and illustrates the details of all available board games, their contents, and rules and how they are played. Also illustrate both living games and games not in practice, wherever possible living games are directly recorded from individuals by personal interview, observation, and over the board demonstration.

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