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Saturday, October 08, 2011

‘Chess’ from the Chola Era

Have you ever wondered how the game of chess was played in the Chola era? May be in wood, may be in ivory, but definitely not plastic, like these days. But, did it even cross your mind that the chess pieces were given a true depiction during the yester years.

Let's play Chess from the Chola era

For example, the rook is depicted like an elephant, the knight is depicted sitting on a horse or a camel, the queen ornately decorated on an elephant, the king on a larger elephant and foot soldiers for pawns. I got a sense of this when I was scouring the shops near the Brihadeeshwara Temple in Thanjavur. It was during this visit that I spotted such a rare collection. All the pieces were ornately designed and looked brilliant. I would have bought the set, but for two reasons. One, it was very expensive and second, it was too bulky for a game of chess. May be, the people of the Chola era were used to such large size and weight while playing their game of Chess!



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