Are you planning on playing this Deepavali card game? Go back to the 16th Century with a high-profile, hand-printed ganjifa
Artist Banamalli Mohapatra is busy making Deepavali cards, consisting of cotton swabs, squirrel hair brushes and crushed stone colors. Athrangi ganjifa, with 96 handwritten cards by Banamalli, illuminates ganjifa this holiday season. One of the oldest cards in the world, ganjifa comes from the 16th Century. Although originally from Persia, in time, this art harmonized with many Hindu myths in his writings.
Each card is made through a complex and long process using old cotton sari which is dyed with a squirrel hair brush in crushed stone colors. In the past, ganjifa the cards featured images of warriors, athletes, swordsmen, singers, animals and birds. Images, however, have changed today and are now based on dedicated topics.
“It was invented by the Mughals but what was later made was influenced by their culture,” said Neeta Shah, GM of GoCoop from Bangalore, who showed the cards on her page alongside a co-founding organization, Potli. “It brings life, myth, history and culture,” he adds. As card games are popular on Deepavali, businesses are looking at this time of year.
ganjifa cards have become popular in a variety of ways – the most popular being Dashavtar ganjifa. some include mughal ganjifa, rashi ganjifa and Ramayan ganjifa. “When artisans in Odisha began painting them pattachitra styles, they mainly became human myths. For example, the various tribes of Devi, Vishnu and Krishna. Mainly because Odisha is home to Jagannath Puri temple, one of the Vishnu incarnations. Handmade dasavatharam The set depicts every type of Vishnu, “explains Neeta.
Mu Athrangi set (Ath to number eight is in heaven of color), each of the eight suits is depicted with painted birds pattachitra style and print with gold edging. Free-drawn, the birds fly across the card randomly. Each suit reflects the function of the court, such as crowns, treasures, armory, mint, and so on.
Cards are lent to a variety of modern sports such as poker and teen patti; three popular cards in India. Each suit has one king, one wazir, and 10 cards with numbers. After shaking, the cards are placed under a white cloth, then distributed evenly among the players. It also stimulates people’s interest as the cards tell a story. While playing ganjifa the cards are usually round, depending on the artist’s imagination, there are also rectangular decks.
Cards were once used to tell stories, but are now sold as wall panels and coasters. “The davatar The collection did very well during Navratri. The cards are still handwritten, but we are trying to make a profit, because they are highlighting another tradition, “says Neeta.
However, today ganjifa has disappeared from history books, in some pockets throughout the country, people are still making cards and playing these games. These include Sawantwadi in Maharashtra, Bishnupur in West Bengal, Puri in Odisha, Mysore in Karnataka, Nirmal in Andhra Pradesh, and Jaipur and Mewar in Rajasthan. Neeta says, “We’ve created a small revival of the game between museums, art lovers and cultural enthusiasts that help artists make more money.”