HISTORY OF POLO – MANIPUR , THE JERUSALEM OF POLO

Manipur Polo

WHERE IT ALL STARTED

HISTORY OF POLO

There is no denial of the fact that Argentina is the world leader of modern polo. Similarly, when it comes to the invention of the game, India's claim to be the Jerusalem of the game of kings is quite irrefutable. This is where the history of polo begins.

 

ORIGIN OF THE WORD POLO

As per Britannica Encyclopedia while elaborating on history of polo the word 'polo' is derived from Tibetan word Pulu, which means Ball. Game of ball & stick on a horse back was played in Persia during the time of King Derius (486-522BC). From Tibet it spread to North and to East. They called it "Chaughan" in Persia. Along with Britannica Encyclopedia mention of words like Choughan and Pulu is also found in work of travelers like Marco Polo and Anthony Shirley.

POLO IN THE MUGAL ERA

In India, first mention of the word Polo involves Emperor Kutub Uddin Aibak's death while playing the game. Emperor Akbar, an accomplished player himself, is credited as the one "who gave first set of rules " to the sport. During those times Polo was a logical way of celebrating success. Any thing on foot would have been too common and hunting would have been too isolated. Polo on the other hand was enjoyed by players and spectators alike and was also considered best form of training when it comes to battle on horse back. Thus it didn't  come as surprise when on 3rd March 1566 Akbar celebrated suppression of Khan Azam's revolt  by playing a polo match. Alex Rutherford, in his series "Raiders from the North" mentions  Mughals playing polo to dissolve time, as they lay siege and wait for the enemy's patience to run thin. The fact that  Polo was  an integral part of life in the era also gets reinforced by  numerous  paintings based on the game.

MANIPUR - THE BIRTH PLACE OF POLO

Journey of this game from India to the rest of the world started in a hilly  state of India called Manipur. Here polo is Known as Sagol Kangjei  and it is believed that it  started  in the time of King Kangba , who ruled Manipur before Christ.  In Manipur  British tea planters  got bitten by the polo bug during a game in Silchar in the year 1859. These tea planters had enough ponies , were used to club culture and were living in isolation that comes as baggage of being a tea planter. These were the ideal conditions for a new sport like polo to get recognized and restructured for global fans.

Calcutta (now known as Kolkata), being British headquarters then, soon saw a polo match  being played by manipur polo players in 1860. With in no time most of the British businessmen, who were also a part of Calcutta Light Horse (An irregular cavalry raise by Robert Clive) along with other Army Officers stationed in an around Calcutta started playing this game regularly.   Polo ground inside Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) which became functional during this time, boasts of being the oldest functional polo ground in the world. It still  hosts polo season every year in the month of December.

Having reached Calcutta, it was only a matter of time for Polo to claim its admirers in England. It was a match between   10 Hussar & 9 Lancer in the year 1871 which became  the first ever polo match that took place in England. Rest, as they say, is history.

News & Views

MOTHERHOOD & POLO

MOTHERHOOD AND POLO

They say that you can force a person out of polo, but you can’t force polo out of a person. Something similar happened with Susanna Håkansson, a Swedish citizen, who […]

 EQUINE LOCK DOWN IN BELGIUM

When it comes to the mounted sports, Belgium undoubtedly emerges as one of the world leaders. A casual look at the statistics reveals that a lot about the equestrian world […]

LEGENDARY HORSES OF ACHILLES

Art of the day Achilles’s Legendary Horses – Xanthos and Balios – painting by Henri Regnault Achilles’s Legendary Horses – Xanthos and Balios – Painting by Henri Regnault This painting […]

Estelle Wagner @ Ashva Sports .com

ESTELLE WAGNER

Discovering Polo Until Estelle was 14 years old she had no clue that within 6 years or so she will be galloping down various polo fields of Europe, making that […]

Fouaad Mirza with Hasnain

VISIONARY BEHIND INDIA’S INDIVIDUAL EVENTING SILVER

Every achiever knows  what legendary boxer Mohammad Ali said once,” Fight is won or lost far away from witness. Long before I dance under those lights.”  For every glamorous 45 […]

BUCEPHALUS – THE HORSE WHO DECLARED ALEXANDER’S ARRIVAL

BUCEPHALUS – THE HORSE WHO DECLARED ALEXANDER’S ARRIVAL

Alexander’s Dramatic Meeting with Bucephalus Bucephalus was Alexander the Great’s horse and is arguably  the most famous horse in history. It was this horse who declare Alexanders arrival. Alexander and […]

MEMO GRACIDA BREAKS HIS SILENCE

Also see  – Whose Line is It Any Way , Polo Rules, Polo has never been an easy game. Played by life sitting on another life is in itself complicated enough to […]

MARENGO – THE LEGENDARY HORSE OF NAPOLEON

MARENGO – THE LEGENDARY HORSE

When it comes to legendary horses, it is difficult not to start the series with Marengo. The famous War Mount of Napoleon, whom French painter & politician Jacques Louis David […]

LOGICAL TRAIL TO PENALTIES

Penalties in the Game of Polo No , it is not mandatory for  players to know what is the correct nomenclature of a 60 yard Penalty . YES . It […]

Garrie Renucci @ ASHVA SPORTS

‘POLO POST COVID’ With GARRIE RENUCCI

Almost ten months down in the post COVID 19 world, most of us have adjusted to the new normal. From working from home to considering grocery shopping as the substitute […]

Polo in Delhi post Covid - Bhopal Pataudi Polo Cup

‘BHOPAL PATAUDI POLO CUP’ BRINGS POLO BACK TO DELHI

Polo is finally back in ‘Dilwalon ki Dilli’ with one of the most anticipated event of the polo calendar, “Bhopal Pataudi Polo Cup 2020”. It was in the month of […]

4 thoughts on “HISTORY OF POLO – MANIPUR , THE JERUSALEM OF POLO

Leave a Reply