Paramapadham – Traditional game of Tamilnadu

Paramapadham otherwise known as Thayam in Tamilnadu is a very popular indoor game, which is believed to be played even by the heavenly beings like angels and sages. This game is played all across the world. In US it is known as Chutes and ladder, in Andhra Pradesh, this game is called Vaikunthapali or Paramapada, Sopana Patam in Telugu and in Hindi, this game is called Saanp aur Seedhi, Saanp Seedhi and Mokshapat.This game is linked with Hindu mythology. According to this game, the grids are personified a man’s life span, ladders as his virtues and snakes as his sins. Everyone starts his life from block one, but who reaches the top position is what matters; this is decided by the amount of virtues one has done in his life. Sins will never bring success rather it will pull him down further. The boards that are designed in India has more number of snakes than ladders, to signify the universal truth that men are easily prone to sins. But in the boards of US has equal number of ladders and snakes, which is a concept of equality and signifies the cultural ideal that for every sin one commits, there exists another chance at redemption. The snakes in India board are named based on the villainous characters of Hindu mythology. The ladders represented virtues such as generosity, faith, and humility, while the snakes represents vices such as lust, anger, murder, and theft.

Things Required:

Paramapadam Board or any Snake and Ladder Board


Markers (Game Pieces)

How to play:

ParamapadhamThe board for Paramapatham consists of totally 100 squares which are marked by ladders ad snakes randomly. If a snakes head starts in a square it will end at few grinds down. Game Pieces may be anything like Seeds, Coins, and Shells, the only requirement is that each coin should be unique and should easily differentiated from each other.

This game can be played by more than two people, and in villages grannies play this game with their grandchildren often to engage their free time. This game is easy to play and has not many strict rules. The game starts, when a player gets one in his dice, he moves in the grind as per the numbers he gets in his dice. On completion of a move, if the player’s coin lands in the lower numbered end of a ladder, he must move up and places his coin where the top of the ladder leads to. If the player’s coins land in the higher numbered grind of the snake, he should come down and ends where the tail of the snake lays.

A player gets an extra turn if he gets 1, 5, 6 numbers on his dice. If the player gets three ‘6’ in a row while rolling, he must return to the starting point and should not move until he gets another 6 on his dice. Reaching the last square (number 100) represents the attainment of Moksha i.e., enlightenment. The winner is the one who reaches this square.


The ultimate theme of this game is that, to attain enlightenment, in life one has to conquer all the vices and goods. For this luck also plays a vital role, luck is nothing but fate. The game also interprets the effects of good deeds versus bad. The board is covered with mystic images, the top featuring gods, angels, and divinely creatures, and the rest of the board is filled with the pictures of animals, flowers and people, who are all part of our life and help us to attain enlightenment.