24 January 2017
Sagol Kangjei ( Polo ) 29.11.2014
Sagol Kangjei is the name of the game of polo played in Manipur. Sagol means pony / horse, kang means a ball or round object, and jei is a stick used for hitting. Polo has, for time immemorial, been a game patronised by the royalty and the upper crust of society, not only in India but abroad. However in the state of Manipur, it has always been a game for the common man. It is a seven - a - side game, the players mounted on ponies.
According to a renowned Sanskrit scholar, Pandit Sharma, Manipuri polo goes back to the year 3100 B.C. Other Manipuri scholars trace the game chronologically to many centuries before Christ ( 2000 - 1500 B.C. ), while some place it around 34 A.D. According to Kangjeiron Purana, which is really the history of hockey in the state, polo was first played in Manipur, and therefore, it got the name Sagol Kangjei - sagol ( horse ) and kangjei (hockey).
Manipuri polo symbolises the immense cultural heritage of the state, and great efforts have been put made to raise the standard of this popular game. The prominent patrons of the game were King Kyamba and King Khagemba ( 1597-1672 A.D.), and King Chandra Kirti ( 1850 - 1886 A.D.). The latter, especially, is to be credited with popularising the sport in other parts of the world.