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Tower of Hanoi in Data Structures

Amit Kumar Ghosh  3 min read
19 Jun 2023


The Tower of Hanoi is an ancient Chinese puzzle game that has been widely known for hundreds of years. This game provides an interesting and stimulating challenge, as it consists of a set of three rods and several discs in ascending size. The objective is to move all the pieces from one rod to another, following specific rules about which piece can be moved on top of another one. Moving the entire stack without breaking any rules requires great skill, problem-solving abilities, strategy formulation, and creative thinking making it an exciting mental exercise no matter your age! Whether you're a young child just starting out learning logic and puzzles or an experienced adult trying to find a way to pass time while improving their cognitive function, this simple but complex game promises endless fun with its unique challenges. So brush up on your strategy skills and take your brain power for a spin let's start exploring the Tower of Hanoi!

What is the Tower of Hanoi

The Tower of Hanoi might sound like a place straight out of a fantasy novel, but it is actually a fascinating mathematical puzzle that has captivated the minds of thinkers and problem-solvers for centuries. Originally invented by a mathematician named Edouard Lucas in 1883, the Tower of Hanoi consists of a series of disks of different sizes that are stacked on top of one another in descending order, with the largest disk on the bottom and the smallest on top. The goal is to move all of the disks from the starting peg to the target peg, using only one additional peg to help shuffle them around but there is a catch. The user can only move one disk at a time, and they can never place a larger disk on top of a smaller one. As the developer can imagine, the puzzle quickly becomes increasingly challenging as the number of disks grows.

Tower of Hanoi Rules

The Tower of Hanoi is a classic mathematical puzzle that involves moving a stack of disks from one peg to another. Tower of Hanoi rules are,

  1. The game consists of three pegs and a number of disks of different sizes, which can slide onto any peg.
  2. The disks are initially placed on one peg in order of decreasing size so that the smallest disk is at the top and the largest disk is at the bottom.
  3. The objective of the game is to move the entire stack to another peg, obeying the following rules:
    • Only one disk can be moved at a time.
    • Each move consists of taking the upper disk from one of the stacks and placing it on top of another stack or on an empty peg.
    • No disk may be placed on top of a smaller disk.
  4. The puzzle can be solved in the minimum number of moves, which is (2^n)-1, where n is the number of disks.
  5. These rules apply to any version of the Tower of Hanoi puzzle, regardless of the number of pegs or disks used.

The Tower of Hanoi is a fascinating brainteaser that can offer endless hours of fun and exercise for the mind. It presents both a mathematical challenge as well as an interesting strategy game requiring thought and planning to reach the end goal. While it may seem intimidating at first, it's not hard to understand the basic logic behind it, and with practice, many people have mastered this puzzle. If you're looking for a way to spice up your cognitive skills in a fun way, why not give the Tower of Hanoi a go? It's easy enough to pick up but satisfyingly challenging. And if you get really good at it (which you can), then don't be surprised if you find yourself hooked as countless people around the world already are! And who knows? Maybe one day, you too can win the coveted "Tower of Champions"! So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start solving towers today!

About Author
Amit Kumar Ghosh (SDE and Mentor)

A passionate professional with over 6 years of experience in development and training. He is passionate about learning new technologies and sharing his experience with professionals. He is an expert in C/C++, Java, Python and DSA.
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