Ganjapa: The Indigenous Playing Cards Games Of Odisha


Bhubaneswar: Traditional games of Odisha once were the identity of Odia culture. Earlier, Banati Khela, Badi Khela, Jaga ghara Kushti were used by the warriors of the Gajapati kingdom in Odisha to protect Lord Jagannath Temple.

There were a lot of Indoor games, which eventually lost their identity. Ganjapa game is one of them.

“Ganjapa” are the traditional playing cards of the Puri district. It can also refer to the trick-taking card game that they are used for. It is played with circular-shaped Pattachitra painted cards.

Originated in the 16th century, Ganjapa is a recreational game for male members of the Odia society, primarily villagers, kings, and their courtmen.

Ganjapa is played as “Charirangi” (cards of 4 colors), “Atharangi” (cards of 8 colors), “Dasarangi” (cards of 10 colors), “Bararangi” (cards of 12 colors), “Chaudarangi” (cards of 14 colors) and “Sohalarangi” (cards of 16 colors).

The variation of this game influenced by the Persian card game Ganjifeh is known as “Mughal Ganjifa”. The game is also popular in the Puri and the Ganjam district of Odisha.

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