PallanKulli Attam

Games are not only played solely for entertainment, but to sharpen our aptitude knowledge. In this modern era, it’s rare to see children playing in the streets, as gadgets had occupied them completely. Some decades ego, streets of Tamilnadu can been seen with small children playing lots of games after finishing their school. Some of the famous games are Adu Puli Attam, Pallanguli, snake and ladder, Kannampoochi, Kichu Kichu thambalam, Nondi, Kalla manna (stone or sand) and lot more. Through these games children learn many things including team spirit, unity, leadership, exercise, swiftness, smart tactics, more than fun and entertainment. One such prominent games of Tamilnadu, exclusively played my women is Pallankuli. Pallankuli is widely played by the women of Tamilnadu, Srilanka, and Malaysia.

How it is played

This is basically a memory game, in ancient days women are not sent to schools or for any education, so they learnt mathematics and sharpen their aptitude skills through games like this. Pallankuli is an indoor game, which is played by two sometimes four. This game needs a board engraved with shallow cups. The board is divided into two columns and each consists of seven cups. Like chess, in this game also coins are used, coins may be of anything smooth small and round (seed, pebbles, and small shells). In each cup six seeds are present and the players sit opposite to each other. They start by scooping seeds from one cup and dropping each seeds in one cup; at the place where the seeds end, they scoop the seeds from the next cup and start to repeat the process, till the point where there is nothing left to scoop in the cup next to where the seeds end. 

At this point the player can take whatever left in the cup next to the empty one, this is the reward for the player. The games goes like this till the opponent losses all her seeds. There are lots more unique regulations in the game, the cups containing four seeds belong to the owner, she can them.


The games goes like this till the opponent losses all her seeds. There are lots more unique regulations in the game, the cups containing four seeds belong to the owner, she can them. 

There are many forms of this game: 

  • Kattattam
  • 6 seeds game and
  • 12 seeds game
Credits of this game

This game helps to make women become adept in using their fingers, as most of their works include fingers. It increases their mathematical intelligence, memory power, thinking and help them to spend their leisure time in an efficient way. During festivals, like Shiva rathiri, Vaikunda Ekadesi Ekadesi and new moon day, many women wake up whole night, to seek the blessings of God, in that time games like this will keep their mind busy and hold them from falling asleep.


The game has fascinated researchers keen on unraveling its many anthropological and social aspects. Scholars have conducted researches on the game to find out the various skills of students at various levels. This game is even mentioned in many literary works including Ramayana, one such is below. 

” O Ruler of Ayodhya, of the inestimable form! I have the desire to listen To my hearts fill and my ears delight, your sweet speech That you and Sita and spoke with true love and understanding, Gazing at each other, when you played a game of Pallanguzhi With her and won, which was heard by Bharata and Hanuman “

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