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This term refers to a family of card games that originated in Persia and spread to India during the Moghul period. The traditional Ganjifa deck consists of 96 cards divided into eight suits. The cards are typically round and hand-painted with intricate designs. The games played with this pack often involve trick-taking mechanics, and the rules can vary significantly depending on the region and specific variant of the game being played.

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Chitrashala Press 1940

Chitrashala Press

Chitrashala Press produced some charming children's pictorial alphabet cards for early learning purposes in the 1940s.

Dasavatara Ganjifa from India 1950

Dasavatara Ganjifa from India

Chromo-lithograph Ganjifa cards by the Chitrasala Press, around 1950. Ten suits of twelve cards, each suit is based on one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu.

Ganjifa - Playing Cards from India

Ganjifa - Playing Cards from India

Indian playing cards, known as Ganjifa, feature intricate designs with twelve suits and are traditionally hand-painted.

Ganjifa™ 2002


A colourful pack of round cards with Ganjifa designs by Asha Industries, Mumbai, India, 2002.

Guru Ganjifa 2016

Guru Ganjifa

Sunish Chabba is working on an initiative to revive traditional Ganjifa, the card game most popular 17th Century India.

Handmade Ganjifa Birds Playing Cards 1991

Handmade Ganjifa Birds Playing Cards

This set of Ganjifa cards is a beautiful example of traditional cards from India.

Indian Ganjifa Playing Cards

Indian Ganjifa Playing Cards

‘Ganjifa’ playing cards made in Sheopor in the North of Madhya Pradesh province in Central India. The Ganjifa game probably developed from 13th century games played by Mamluk immigrants from China.

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Introduction to Collecting Themes

Playing cards can be broadly categorised into standard and non-standard designs, with collectors appreciating their variety.