When it comes to Polo, few of us would be amazed to know that India is considered as the cradle of modern Polo. Polo is arguably the oldest recorded team sport in history.
The special bond and the unique blending of athletic talents between horse and the rider have helped polo evolve into ‘The Sport of Kings’.
During the battles, while armies swept back and forth conquering and re-conquering, the polo was adopted as the most noble of the pastimes by the Kings AND Emperors and that is why it became known across the lands as the “Game of the Kings” Manipur, India is recognized as the Origin of Modern Polo. Origins of Polo (Sagol Kanjei) Sagol means horse and Kanjei means hockey stick can be traced to 3100 B.C. The Royal Chronicle of Manipur, Cheitharol Kumbaba, gives an account of a Polo match between the friends of Ngonda Lairen Pakhangba who ascended the throne of Manipur in 33 A.D.
British officers re-invented this game in 1862 after seeing a horsemanship exhibition in Manipur, India. The Calcutta polo Club there after came into existence and it remains the oldest polo club in the world. The sport was later introduced in England in 1869 and after few years it was taken to United States. Polo continues, as it has done for so long, to represent the peak of sport, and endorses the special bond between horse and rider.
The feeling of many of its players are epitomized by a famous verse inscribed on a stone tablet next to a polo ground in Gilgit, Pakistan: “Let others play at other things. The king of games is still the game of kings.”
Recently, it was announced that the Eleventh FIP World Polo Championship which will be held from October 17- October 30, 2017 at the Sydney Polo Club in the Hawkesbury region of New South Wales. Polo has always been a part of Indian culture and is now becoming a part of Indian community of Sydney. And Sydney Indian community is enthusiastic about the Polo Championship which is scheduled in 2017.
To add to the enthusiasm, the Australian Polo team just won the 10th Manipur International Tournament on November 29, 2016 at Imphal Polo ground.
Indranil Halder, IABCA Ambassador and a life time social member of the NSW Polo Association is excited about the upcoming Championship as he believes that such events will help in strengthening India –Australia relationship.
Sharing views about his connection with Polo Indranil said, “I am absolutely delighted to learn about such an important event coming up next year. The connection of India and Polo dates back to centuries and I am keenly waiting for the Championship as it will not only add Hawkesbury region to global map but also add multicultural Sydney as polo destination for more 80 countries playing polo across the globe. The history of modern polo has started with the tea planters games in the lush tea gardens of India where everyone enjoyed the game and now this sport has spread across the globe.”