A kind of hybrid of pool, marbles and draughts (checkers), carrom is played throughout Sri Lanka. The game’s origins are obscure: some say that it was invented by the maharajas of India, although many Indians claim that it was actually introduced by the British, while Burma, Egypt and Ethiopia are also touted as possible sources.

The game is played using a square wooden board with a pocket at each corner; the aim is to flick all your pieces (which are very similar to draughtsmen) into one of the pockets, using the heavier “striker” piece. Carrom can be played by either four or (more usually) two people. If you get hooked, a carrom board makes an unusual, if bulky, souvenir.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Sri Lanka features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: 5 reasons to visit Sri Lanka

Video: 5 reasons to visit Sri Lanka

From remote, palm-dotted beaches to ancient temples and some of Asia's best wildlife-watching opportunities, Sri Lanka has something to offer every kind of trav…

19 Jan 2018 • Olivia Rawes videocam Video
Your Sri Lanka itinerary: 5 trip ideas to explore the country

Your Sri Lanka itinerary: 5 trip ideas to explore the country

Sri Lanka is deceptive. On a map of the world it appears to be tiny, but the moment you arrive you’ll realise that within its diminutive borders it packs in a…

18 Jan 2018 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
10 Sri Lankan foods you need to try

10 Sri Lankan foods you need to try

The tear-shaped Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka is a true culinary treat. Through years of colonisation and trade, many cultures have influenced its cuisine, c…

17 Jan 2018 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right