Reviving Traditional Games – Aadu puli attam (ஆடு புலி ஆட்டம் )

Aadu Puli aatam (goat and tiger game) is a strategic, two-player (or 2 teams) board game originated in Tamil Nadu and is also played in Karnataka(Huli gatta) and Andhra Pradesh(Puli Joodam or Puli – Meka). The game is asymmetric in that one player controls three tigers and the other player controls up to 15 goats. The tigers ‘hunt’ the goats while the goats attempt to block the tigers’ movements.

Things Needed to Play:

  • Board with the game chart or Chart drawn on a floor (See Picture for chart)
  • 2 or more players
  • 3 Tiger’s & 15 Goat’s


How to play:

  1. Draw the chart as in the picture in a paper or on the ground with chalk powder
  2. Start the game with 3 Tigers are one placed on the apex and 2 in the inner place closest to the apex. All Goats start off the board.
  3. The pieces must be put at the intersections of the board lines and moves should follow these lines.
  4. The player controlling the Goats’ moves first by placing a Goat onto a free intersection on the board.
  5. Then it is the Tiger’s turn. One Tiger is then moved to an adjacent position along the lines that indicate the valid moves. Moves alternate between players.
  6. A Tiger captures a Goat by jumping over it to an adjacent free position (as in checkers). Goats cannot move until all 15 have been put on the board.


The Tigers must move according to these rules:

  • They can start capturing Goats any moment after the match has started.
  • They can capture only one Goat at a time.
  • They can jump over a goat in any direction, but it must be to an adjacent intersection following any of the lines drawn on the board.
  • A Tiger cannot jump over another Tiger.

The Goats must move according to these rules:

  • They must leave the board when captured.
  • They cannot jump over the Tigers or other Goats.
  • They can only move after all 15 have been put on the board.

Objective of the Game:

  • Goat’s objective is to encircle Tigers so that none of the Tigers can move. Tiger’s objective is to kill 5 Goats.
  • Tiger wins if all the Goats are captured and Goat wins if all Tigers are blocked from movement.


Courtesy :  Traditional Games

Posted on February 17, 2012, in Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. This is one game that I have not played. I love traditional games having been introduced to it by my maternal paati. I inherited her Pallankuzhi set, which may be considered as an antique now. I also have a Parama Pada Sopanam game board from Kreeda. Both these games helped me hone my mathematics skils and I had learnt basic mathematics before I had even enrolled in school formally thanks to these games. I have written about both these games on my blog as well.

    I play both these games with my niece and we enjoy our time over these games.

    • Yes, these games helped a lot in developing motor skills, quick thinking, reflex, strategy and what not in a playful way. Thinking of it, we cannot stop wondering if we are losing out on the precious knowledge and experience left to us by our ancestors in the process of pseudo westernization. It is very nice to know you are sharing your time with your niece and I am sure she is really lucky to get such an aunt.

      Thanks for commenting

      • My niece is now 18 and we still play the games as it is very relaxing and great way for bonding. Plus she hopes to inherit my Pallankuzhi set one day 😛

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