Pieces for the game of chaupar

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Chaupar or pachisi, the ancestor of the much simplified English ‘Ludo’, was one of the most popular Indian board games during the Mughal period. The emperor Akbar himself was a devotee and compelled his courtiers to play in tournaments which could last for months. The game was most often played by four players, each racing a set of four coloured pieces around a cruciform board according to the throw of dice. This full set of sixteen pieces is painted with courtly scenes, including princes on horseback and riding elephants, camels or chariots. It was evidently made for a royal court in Rajasthan, possibly Udaipur.

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