Paramapadham – the Steps to Heaven

Snakes and Ladders: where are the snakes?

Paramapadam is a popular traditional Indian board game, also known as Snakes and Ladders. It is based on Indian spirituality of attaining heaven through performing many virtuous acts. The ladders representing the virtues take the players closer to the Ultimate Goal of Vaikuntha while the snakes or the sins pull one down. The traditional game is played with rudimentary counters and dice or cowrie shells which are commonly available. https://www.tamilnadutourism.com/traditions/games/paramapadham.php

This casual sight of two ladders leaning against the wall of a subsidiary shrine in Pavala vanna Perumal temple, Kanchi reminded me of this game. You may ask, “Where are the snakes?” Let us hope for an ideal life filled with only virtues!

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