(THE GIST OF PIB) Sagol Kangjei

(THE GIST OF PIB) Sagol Kangjei


Sagol Kangjei

  • Union Home Minister inaugurated of a 122-foot-tall statue of a polo player astride a Manipur Pony in Imphal, a project that has been in the works for several years now.
  • It is believed that Sagol Kangjei, the modern-day Polo game originated in Manipur. 


  • 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.).
  • There are no goal posts in this game. Goal lines determine the end of the two boundaries of the rectangular field. The ball (kangdrum) is white in colour. To score a goal the ball must cross the line.
  • The traditional attire consists of a chin - strap (khadangchet) and a turban, for protecting the head. Leg - guards (khongyom) are worn below the knee. Since no shoes are worn, the players use khumit - khang
  • A leash of thick leather is held by the index finger of the left hand. This is a seasonal game, and is played in the Manipuri month of Mera (September / October) and ends in the month of Ingen (June/July).



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Courtesy: PIB