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From cards that call out social prejudice to Snakes and Ladders with karmic philosophy, these India-centric board games made their debut during the pandemic

Roll the dice, step back in time (Bharata 600 BC)

Caprisoned elephants, turbanned rajahs, shining swords, a quiver full of arrows, messenger pigeons and the glorious promise of war — you don’t need a magic carpet to travel back in time. Bharata 600 BC, a board game, will take you back to ancient India where many a kingdom’s fate was sealed by behind-the-scenes puppet masters.

Conceptualised by Cristina Maiorescu, ideated by Pallavi Nopany and illustrated by Ishan Trivedi, Bharata 600 BC takes players through a time in India where territories were enlarged via alliances, trade or battle. Played on a board that depicts the map of India in 600 BC, it shows the country at the end of the Vedic period, when 16 independent kingdoms were in power. Each player is assigned a kingdom and has to expand territory as the game progresses. Players choose their leadership persona and are then granted abilities to complement their personality.

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