Jain Snakes & Ladders - play online

Snakes and ladders, India, late 19th century. Watercolour on cloth. Museum no. CIRC.324-1972

Snakes and ladders, India, late 19th century. Watercolour on cloth. Museum no. CIRC.324-1972

Snakes and ladders was a popular game in India. This version teaches about Jain beliefs. The board represents a person’s progress in life, with each square representing something about behaviour or the Jain religion. The ladders represent good behaviour that allows people to move to a higher level. The snakes represent bad behaviour leading to descent to a lower level.

Play Snakes and Ladders online

This online game of snakes and ladders is based closely on a Jain board in the V&A's collection. The board is painted in opaque watercolour on cloth. It was made in Rajasthan, perhaps in a city called Bikaner, in the late 19th or the 20th century.

It is not known for certain what counters would have been used with the traditional board as none of the surviving old sets have counters with them.

For this interactive game counters from another game called pachisi have been used, which come from a 19th-century set in the V&A. The dice are cowrie shells, which were commonly used as dice in India.

International Training Course

The Victoria and Albert Museum welcomes applications for ‘Creating Innovative Learning Programmes’, its new one week intensive course. This is a unique training opportunity for museum professionals from overseas who are interested in attracting and programming for a range of museum audiences.

Find out more

Shop online

Snakes & Ladders Game Box||RLCTB

Snakes & Ladders Game Box||RLCTB

Designed by Clifford Richards and produced by The Original Metal Box Company. Now in his 70s, Clifford Richards left his advertising job in the mid 1…

Buy now

Event - Disobedient Objects

Sat 26 July 2014–Sun 01 February 2015

EXHIBITION: The V&A presents the first exhibition to explore the powerful role that objects play in grassroots movements for social change, demonstrating how political activism drives a wealth of design ingenuity.

Book online