Back in the game!

Back in the game!

There was a time when board games such as huli-kuri aata and chowkabara were popular among people of all generations. However, in the last few decades, these traditional board games  were replaced by modern gadgets and plastic toys.

Of late, there is a renewed interest in these games and many efforts are working towards reviving the tradition. One such initiative is Bengaluru-based Kavade led by Shreeranjini G S. “Most of today’s children have very little exposure to the games that we once played as children. We often see them engrossed in video games,” reveals Shreeranjini. She felt a need to give a contemporary touch to these games while exposing them to the current generation.

Deriving its name from the Kannada word for cowrie shells, Kavade promotes traditional games that are on the verge of extinction. “The games that we are bringing back are virtually unheard of,” says  Shreeranjini. In fact, many of these games can be found to be etched on the grounds of historical monuments in places such as Helebidu. Some of the games that are popularised by Kavade include chowkivada,  hasu-chirate aata and navakankari.

Shreeranjini had noticed that many adults do not play these board-based games as they think the games are meant for children. “This is not true. The games are for all age groups,” believes Shreeranjini. Traditional board games have the ability to bring together different generations and allow them to connect with each other.

As the effort strives to revive value rich games that are strongly entrenched in history, culture and tradition, it also works with self-help groups and artisans across the country. Shreeranjini creates the games in a collaborative manner with the groups and much of them are designed on a trial and error process. “This is because we need to get the colours, design and textures right as the product needs to create the right first impression,” she reveals. She also works with kids to create awareness about these games and make the games interesting for kids.

Eco-friendly raw materials like palm leaves, grass, shells and wood are used to make the board games. All are handmade and take anywhere between 10 to 20 days to design. The consumers include people who are looking for aesthetic gifts and grandparents who want to share these games with their grandchildren. The games are priced between Rs 200 to Rs 2,000. For more information about the effort, visit

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