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Ganjifa Cards Based on Hinduism Gods – Goddesses – Epics - Puranas

Ganjifa was a traditional palace game of cards. It has today evolved into an art form. Ganjifa uses images from Hinduism especially gods and goddesses. There are also Ganjifa cards based on the stories from Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas.

Ganjifa, originally called Ganjifey, survived primarily due to royal patronage and was famous mainly in Odisha.

Today the cards are no longer used to play but are valued by collectors.

The main schools of Ganjifa in India are:
  • Sawantwadi Ganjifa from Maharashtra
  • Pune Ganjifa Maharashtra
  • Navadurga Ganjifa from Odisha – it is known as Ganjapa in Odisha
  • Bishnupur Ganjifa from West Bengal
  • Mysuru Ganjifa from Karnataka.
Ganjifa cards are mostly round in shape in all regions but the pictures vary depending on the cultural inclination of the region. There are also rectangular cards in Odisha.

Various Types of Ganjifa Cards Based on Hindu Religious Theme

Navgraha Pictures on Ganjifa Cards

Ashta Dikpalas Pictures on Ganjifa Cards

Dashavatar Ganjifa Cards

Ramayana Paintings on Ganjifa Cards

Pictures of Navagunjara and Arjuna in Orissa Ganjifa Cards

Dasamahavidya Pictures on Ganjifa Cards

Other popular Hindu themes in Ganjifa are Nakshatra, Rashi, Marriage, Krishna-Radha, Sri Rama Pattabhishekam, Mahabharata, Srimad Bhagavatam, Arundhati and Saptarishis, various forms of Goddess Lakshmi, attributes of Vishnu, musical instruments etc.

If you wish to have a look at the various types of Ganjifa cards then you can visit the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Website of Ministry of Culture, Government of India.