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Tourism of India —› Adventures in India —› Polo in India

Adventures in India

Polo in India

It is to the survival of the game in the remote north-eastern state of Manipur, that the world owes the genesis of modern polo, as it is universally played today.

In India, the popularity of polo has waned and risen many time. However, it has never lost its regal status. In the last few decades, the emergence of privately owned teams has ensured a renaissance in Indian polo.

Today, polo is not just restricted to the royalty and the Indian Army, many companies and firms too patronise the sport. Polo facilities are on the rise and polo holidays in India too are in vogue.

One of the legacies left behind by the British -much like cricket and hockey - is Polo.

Much like these two games. Polo owes its origin to the British, even though it was first played in India.

An erstwhile passion of the royal families - some, like the former ruler of Udaipur, still patronise it - the game is now largely a preserve of the men in uniform, played in metres and cantonment lawns.

Matches are usually organised in the winter season, details of which can be obtained from local dailies or race courses.

India is considered the cradle of modern polo. It is here that this game of kings was rediscovered and nurtured since the medieval times. Babar, the founder of the Mughal dynasty in the 15th century, firmly established its popularity.

The period between the decline of the Mughal dynasty and the upsurgence of the British Imperial rule, Polo almost vanished from the mainland India. Fortunately for the world, the game survived in a few remote mountainous enclaves of the subcontinent, notably Gilgit, Chitral, Ladakh and Manipur.

Far removed from the tumult and political turmoil of the plains and secure in their mountain fastness, life continued much the same as it ever had. Polo continued to be played in the traditional manner in these areas.



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