Jaipur Polo – Royal Game
Rajasthan Polo Club : Bhawani Singh Rd, Rambagh, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Polo is a sport that is played by riding on the back of a horse. Polo is compared to hockey or football but players are on foot in these games and try and push the ball towards the goal whereas in polo the player riding the horse uses a stick to strike the ball into the goal. The best stick for polo is bought from Argentina in five to ten thousand rupees. This worldwide famous sport is called a gift of Jaipur.
The fame that polo has got can be attributed to the king Sawai Mansingh of Jaipur. Mansingh was an international polo player. Even Akbar used to acknowledge his skill at the sport. Mansingh took the sport to its peak in 1950-60. Such is its glory that even today polo is regarded as a royal game and is seen as a formula one event. Jaipur can be called home to Indian polo. Polo was started in Jaipur with the help of Rajputana state in the form of Rajputana club. Later the club was registered in the same name. The World Cup for polo was started in Jaipur which is called ‘The Jaipur World Cup Trophy' as well.
In India from September to April the main centres of polo are Jaipur and Jodhpur. Cities like Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai also take part in the city tournament. From May to August the polo season is held out of the country and the Indian players take part in the tournaments held in South Africa, England, Argentina and America.
The strongest part of polo is the horses used in the game to play. These horses are bought from strong breeds from all over the world and become very loyal to their masters while playing with them. The good thing is that these horses understand their masters' minds and the game as well. The polo player Vishal Singh Rathore's horse is with him since ten years. These horses are very well taken care of, they are fed maize, barley, eggs, carrots, ghee and oil. From time to time, they are given massages and are taken for medical check ups. These horses are priced in lakhs of rupees. English, Arabic and Marwari horses are the favourites amongst players.
In Jaipur's City Palace's Mubarak Mahal, you can see the royal polo clothing of the royal family. Such was the madness for the game that the royal family and Akbar got a iron maze ball made to play at night. A burning torch was put inside this ball for visibility at night. Then the royal family sat on elephants and grandly played polo during the night.