Cowry Shell Scores | |

= 1 | |

= 2 | |

= 3 | |

= 4 | |

= 8 |

Drag the circular counters onto the game board to play the game.

As this is a very old game there are many slight variations to the rules so here is the Transum version of the rules:

- Each player starts with four counters in the sectors next to squares marked with crosses. The objective is to move the counters through every square on the board finishing in the middle square.
- The counters are moved the numbers of squares determined by the score shown on the cowry shells. For example, if a player rolls a score of eight then either one counter can be moved eight squares or the eight can be split between any number of that player's counters.
- If a counter lands on a square already occupied by another player's counters, then the other player must move their counters back to their starting positions.
- The exact score is required to move a counter onto the finishing square; no overflow ia allowed.

This photograph was taken in August 1996 at a hill temple near Khejarala, Rajesthan, India. Carved into the rock is the board for a game. It is a five by five grid of squares, five of the squares have crosses in them.

The game is called Chowka Bhara and is one of the oldest board games still being played in certain parts of India. There are references of this game in some ancient Indian epics like the Mahabharata.

This game has been traditionally played on a silk cloth-lined board and with 4 cowry shells used as dice.

Click on a link below to explore other parts of the Transum web site:

Fun Maths Home Transum Software Maths Map Times Tables Strategy Games Go Maths

Do you have any comments? It is always useful to receive feedback and helps make this free resource even more useful for those learning Mathematics anywhere in the world. Click here to enter your comments.

Aimee, Malvern St James Girls School

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"It is giant noughts and crosses."

Sarita Hiremath, Reading, UK

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"It is played like LUDO. 2 - 4 players. The squares with crosses in them are the 'home' where each player starts and try to get all 4 counters into the middle square by going all the way around."

Koudi, Tulika Samal

Thursday, December 18, 2014

"This is called as "Koudi" in hindi. and its one of the most played games in remote areas ."

Joe, England

Friday, January 15, 2016

"I think you have to make the corners and center of a square using crosses."