Bharata Playing Cards – Series 2 Review: Indian Folklore through Design and Execution

The world of playing cards offers a captivating glimpse into diverse cultures and artistic expressions, like the “Bharata Playing Cards – Series 2,” designed by Sunish Chabba and brought to life by the Guru Playing Card Company (GPCC). This second iteration of the Bharata series promises to immerse players in the vibrant tapestry of Indian folk art, offering not just a deck for games but a gateway to cultural exploration.

This review delves into the details of Bharata playing cards – Series 2, examining its visual identity, gameplay potential, and the printing secrets that contribute to its premium quality.

Basic Factors of Bharata Playing Cards

  • Theme: Indian Folk Art
  • Number of Cards: 54 (Standard deck + 2 Jokers)
  • Card Stock: Premium embossed black core European card stock
  • Finish: Linen Air-cushioned
  • Printing: WJPC
  • Package: Elegant tuck box with embossing & silver foil, inner tuck printing with silver foil

You may hear about Bharata Major Arcana Tarot. The “Bharata Playing Cards – Series 2” is its sequel. It is a limited edition set that has been crafted with attention to detail and quality. The deck consists of the standard 52 cards, along with two Jokers, making it suitable for a variety of card games. The cards are printed on premium paper stock with a smooth finish, ensuring durability and a comfortable handling experience.

Bharata Playing Cards’ Design and Gameplay

A. Visual Feast

Bharata Playing Cards’ Design and Gameplay

The Bharata Series 2 deck is a visual treat, drawing inspiration from various regional folk art styles of India. Each card, from the Aces to the court cards, is adorned with intricate artwork depicting mythological figures, cultural icons, and scenes from folklore. The Aces, for instance, showcase iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort, while the court cards feature characters like Ganesha, Krishna, and Durga. The Jokers are reimagined as whimsical representations of Yakshas, mythical guardians often depicted in Indian art.

This fusion of theme and design extends to the pips and indices. The standard indices are replaced with Devanagari numerals, adding an authentic touch. The pips themselves are transformed into intricate paisley patterns, further emphasizing the cultural connection. The back design features a mesmerizing mandala, adding a touch of symmetry and elegance.

B. Gameplay Considerations

While the artistic merit of the deck is undeniable, its playability is an essential aspect. The air-cushioned finish and high-quality card stock ensure smooth handling and shuffling, making them ideal for various card games. However, the intricate designs on the pips might require some adjustment for players accustomed to standard decks. The use of Devanagari numerals might also pose a minor challenge for players unfamiliar with the script.

Printing Magic of Bharata Playing Cards

A. Premium Cardstock

Printing Magic of Bharata Playing Cards

The card stock is premium-embossed black core European with a linen magic finish, limited to 500 decks. Printed by WJPC, the cards boast incredibly thick stock. If you prefer durable, resilient cards suitable for frequent use, this thick, sturdy stock is an excellent choice.

B. Embossing And Silver Foil

Embossing And Silver Foil

The tuck box boasts stunning embossing and silver foil, while it dazzles with an array of vibrant colors. The turquoise accents truly elevate the overall design. Additionally, intricate ornamentation adorns the inside tuck flap and the two smaller tuck flaps. These silver foil lining inside the tuck adds a luxurious touch.

Summary

The Bharata Playing Cards – Series 2 is a cultural artifact, a conversation starter, and a gateway to exploring the rich tapestry of Indian art and folklore. The visually stunning design, coupled with high-quality printing and thoughtful gameplay considerations, elevates the deck beyond mere functionality.

While the non-standard pips and indices might require some adaptation, the accompanying booklet and the overall immersive experience compensate for it. For collectors, enthusiasts of unique playing cards, and those seeking a glimpse into Indian culture, the Bharata Series 2 is a must-have addition to their collection.

The starting point for the creation of this article comes from an article by EndersGame:
Review: Bharata Playing Cards – Series 2 (July 16, 2018) https://www.playingcardforum.com/index.php?topic=12228

EndersGame is a well-known reviewer of board games and playing cards. He loves card games, card magic, and collecting playing cards.