Mancala World
Raja Pasu
First Description: Alexander
Johan de Voogt, 2000
Cycles: One
Ranks: Two
Sowing: Pussa Kanawa
Region: India, Sri Lanka

Raja Pasu ("king [and] cow") is a mancala game played in India and Sri Lanka. The game was first described by Alexander Johan de Voogt in 2000, who found it during a brief visit of the Colombo area. The game was mostly played by women, although some men also knew it.


The board has 14 holes arranged in two rows.

Initially there are seven counters in each hole.


Initial Position

On his turn a player distributes the contents of one of his holes, one at a time, counterclockwise into the ensuing holes.

After the last counter was sown into a hole, the contents of the next hole following are picked up and are distributed in another lap ("Indian style sowing").

If the next hole is empty, the move ends.

If the last seed is dropped into a hole, which is followed by an empty one that is followed by an occupied hole, the contents of the latter hole are captured. The captures, which can be effected on either side, are won by the player who was playing.

Another way to capture is to get a hole containing four counters. These are captured by the player on which row the hole is located, while the move continues.

The game ends when a player has no legal move and the remaining counters are captured by his adversary. The player who has captured most counters is the winner.

The next round is started by the player who captured the remaining counters.

Holes that cannot be filled from the winnings are left empty. These unoccupied holes, which be be on the left end of the row, are "closed", that is not used in the play.

A game, which is played in rounds, ends, when a player isn't able to fill even a single hole, because he had captured less than seven counters in the last round.

See also[]


Voogt, A. J. de.
Mancala Boards (Olinda Keliya) in the National Museums of Colombo. In: Board Game Studies 2000; 3: 90-99.


© Ralf Gering
Under the CC by-sa 2.5 license.