Manipur’s horse hockey to modern polo

Manipur’s equine hockey to contemporary polo : The Tribune India

RK Nimai Singh

IN 2019, England commemorated 150 years of modern polo. While the video game is prominent worldwide, little is learnt about its link with India as a whole and also Manipur specifically. Throughout the 7 years’ destruction of Manipur after the intrusion by Burma in 1819, several Manipuris took off to Cachar and also Sylhet of the after that Assam. They frequently played sagol kangjei (equine hockey) as a leisure activity. In 1854, Lt Joseph Sherer, that was published with the Sylhet Light Infantry, saw the video game being played. He was excited by the guts, ability, horsemanship and also clearheadedness in the video game. Together With Capt Robert Guardian, assistant replacement commissioner of Cachar, and also British tea planters, he would certainly play the video game with some Manipuris. Both are considered the initial Englishmen to play sagol kangjei. In 1859, Guardian was selected the replacement commissioner of Cachar and also Sherer the aide replacement commissioner. Under their effort, the Silchar Kangjei Club was developed in the very same year. Quickly, the video game got to Calcutta, the resources of British India, and also in 1862, the Calcutta Polo Club was developed. Today, it is the earliest living polo club on the planet.

Given that the Manipuris played the video game in what is referred to as “Leibak Macha Tana Sannaba” (Play in a Cultured Fashion), the British taken on written policies in a conference of the Silchar Kangjei Club in 1863. The video game got to England in 1869. The initial videotaped suit happened in between the 9th Lancers and also 10th Hussars at Hounslow Health in 1871. The British located the term ‘sagol kangjei’ a tongue tornado, they took on the easier word ‘polo’ from Balti term ‘pulu’, which suggests a sphere. The policies were ultimately changed in 1887, resulting in the birth of modern polo.

In the four-player polo, there are no goalposts. However in the seven-player sagol kangjei, there are no goalposts and also when the sphere goes across the objective line, it is counted as an objective. The video game is split right into 4 chukkers with certain time in polo, however in sagol kangjei, it is based upon the variety of objectives, claim 13, or 15, or 17.

The initial reference of the video game was made in 1606 throughout the power of Meidingu Khagemba (1597-1652) in ‘Cheitharol Kumbaba’ (‘CK’), the imperial chronicle of Manipur. ‘CK’ discussed that the video game was preferred throughout the power of Meidingu Kiyamba (1467-1508). ‘Kangjeirol’, a writing, states that the video game was begun by King Kangba, that ruled throughout the pre-Christian period. According to prominent dental practice, the video game was played in between the good friends of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba in 33 CE when he was presenting Queen Laisna to the imperial group. The names of the gamers then were Marjing (currently considered the administering divine being of sagol kangjei), Khamlangba, Irum Ningthou, Ikop Ningthou, Irong Ningthou, Nongshaba and also Pureilomba on one side and also Thangjing, Khoriphaba, Wangbren, Yangoi Ningthou, Mayokpa, Oknarel and also Loyalakpa on the various other. They are currently all worshiped.

Unlike in other places where polo is an elitist video game, in Manipur, it is egalitarian. In his publication ‘Manipur and also Naga Hills’, Sir James Johnstone composed, “In between the residency ground, the Sana Keithel and also the terrific roadway was the renowned polo ground, where the very best play on the planet may be seen. There was a grand represent the royal household on the western side, and also one for myself on the north. Sunday night was the preferred day and afterwards the Princess showed up and also in the earlier day, the Maharaja. In my time, among the Maharaja’s kids, Pucca Sana, and also the weapons guys were the champ gamers.”

An access in ‘CK’ states that the British policemans posted in Manipur left for Cachar to play polo on October 29, 1854, and also returned on November 3, 1854. An additional entrance writes a suit in between Empress Victoria’s military and also the Manipur Levy on January 29, 1855, at Imphal, most likely the initial global suit, though the suit in between the United States and also the British in 1876 is identified worldwide. In 1869, a Manipuri interplay in Calcutta where in the initial suit for 13 objectives, the British might not rack up also when. It was repeated repeatedly by including even more gamers on the British side however still they shed. The following day, the seven-player Manipuri group handled the 9 British gamers for a 17-goal suit. The British racked up just one objective. This can additionally be considered the initial global polo suit, if the 1855 suit is marked down because it consisted of just armymen. Throughout the check out of the Royal prince of Wales in 1901, a group from Manipur mosted likely to play event suits at Calcutta and also Delhi.

In submission to the Manipuri horses, which stand regarding 12 hands high, all pets in polo, consisting of those over 14 hands high, are called horse. Concerning the Manipuri horse, an acknowledged type in India, TC Hudson, in his publication ‘The Meitheis’, composed, “Manipuri horse are solid, wiry animals, seldom greater than 12 hands in elevation, and also are preyed on turf, the saddle is big, it came to a head both ahead and also back and also one of the most interested function regarding the saddle is the enhancement to it of a set of natural leather flaps which predict around the legs of the motorcyclist and also pay for some security from an impact…”

Throughout the yearly Sangai celebration from November 21 to 30, a global polo competition is hung on Manipuri horses, while in January, a global females’s competition is held that finishes on January 21 in the Manipur Statehood Polo Event. In November in 2015, the initial Principal Priest’s Sagol Kangjei Champion was held throughout the Sangai celebration to guarantee the survival of this native video game. The variety of horses in Manipur has actually been irreversibly diminishing because of the absence of grazing premises. Initiatives are on to raise the variety of initial polo horses, which are semi-feral in nature. The federal government and also fanatics are doing their little bit, however extra requires to be done. 


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