Manipuri Polo as a symbol of the immense cultural heritage of the state

December 15th, 2014 is glad to inform that India Post issued a set of stamps dedicated to Manipuri Polo. The stamp was released on the occasion of 150th anniversary of the Sagol-Kangjei team's first visit to Calcutta. The Stamp was put into circulation by Shri K. K. Paul, Governor of Manipur on the 29th of November, just before the start of the final match of the Manipur Polo International 2014 between India B (Manipur) and South Africa.

Origins of Polo can be traced to origins in Manipur State c. 3100 B.C. when it was played as Sagol Kangjei. Sagol means pony / horse, kang means a ball or round object, and jei is a stick used for hitting. The game is played between two teams with 7 players on each side mounted on Ponies which are often not more than 4/5 feet in height. Each player is equipped with a polo stick made of cane having a narrow angled wooden head fixed at the striking end. The ball is made from bamboo root. The mounted players hit the ball into the goal. Manipuri polo symbolizes the immense cultural heritage of the state, and great efforts have been put made to raise the standard of this popular game.

British Army Officer Lt Joseph Ford Sherer had taken one Manipuri Polo Team to Calcutta (now Kolkata) on 30th January, 1864 for an exhibition match for the first time and a full fledged first polo match was played by British officers and after refinement; it was adopted by the International Community and is now played worldwide as Polo.

This year is the 150th anniversary of the Manipuri Sagol-Kangjei or polo team's first visit to Calcutta in 1864, an event which was responsible for the evolution of the game of Polo from Sagol Kangjei. On the occasion the Manipur Horse Ridding & Polo Association (MHRPA) organized 8th Manipur Polo International 2014 tournament at Mapal Kangjeibung, Imphal from 22nd to 29th November 2014, as part of the Manipur Sangai Festival, the biggest tourism festival of the state. Two Indian teams along with seven foreign teams from Poland, Thailand, United Sates, South Africa, England, Mongolia and France took part in the tournament.

Manipuri Polo as a symbol of the immense cultural heritage of the state – Block of 4 stamps


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