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Naalu Malai Thayam

It’s 2021 and every kid in town knows what a tablet is. Reema was in dismay when her kids said they wanted to play candy crush 24/7. She was a millennial who wasn’t exposed to technology in her childhood. She did remember playing snake on her dad’s Nokia phone, but the rest of her sweet memories linger in board games filled with laughter, competition, and happiness.

Her favourite game was Ludo or Naalu Malai Thayam. The proverb “Vithiyai Mathiyal Vellalam” is an ancient Tamil proverb that says you can change your fate with the power of your mind. The dice values in the game are our fate and we march towards our destiny by moving the coins with our intelligence without losing the other coins. Naalu Malai Thayam or Ludo is one of the ancient games believed to increase the players' memory power and concentration skills. 

Naalu Malai Thayam/Four Mountain Thayam/Ludo

The Naalu Malai Thayam/Four Mountain Thayam/Ludo game board has 4 square boxes in different directions with 18 squares on each side. Each square box representing one color and one player. A central box to all four sides is the home location for all four players. The players begin in the central box and end at the same point after having crossed all 4 mountains. Each player is represented by one color and the four mountains are marked appropriately for easy understanding. Squares that are crossed become rest or safe places for all players.

Reema always won Ludo nights so it was her favourite game. Her parents would gift her with her favourite toy that month for winning four consecutive Ludo nights. Ludo is said to increase mathematical skills, memory power, concentration, dynamic thinking, planning skills, and monitoring skills. The original version of the ancient game is described in the Indian epic Mahabharata in which Shakuni uses the cursed dice to beat the Pandavas.

Reema decided it was about time her kids stopped playing with digital devices and played some old-fashioned Ludo. She realized her children will have memories of candy crush and expensive phones when they think back on their childhood. She took out her old Naalu Malai Thayam board and had a fun Ludo night with her sweet family. 

It is time for you to open your eyes to reality and shove those phones to the side and have fun with your family and friends just like Reema. Check out our website for more exciting tradition games to play with your family.

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