Adventures & Sports
The tradition of sports dates back to the ancient history of Manipur
- a history of small kingdoms which were in keen competition with
one another. Wars among themselves and with Ava (Myanmar) resulted
in a martial tradition which in turn gave due impetus to the development
of indigenous games.
Sagol Kangjei (Polo)
Manipur is considered
as the real home of Polo. The Manipuri Puranas trace it to the mythological
age when it was played by the gods. This game is also believed to
have been played on the occasion of recognising Laishna as the wife
of King Pakhangba of Manipur who ascended the throne in 33 A.D.
The game is played on horse-back with seven players a side. Mounted
players hit the ball to the goal. The stick is made of cane having
a narrow wooden head fixed on it. The ball about 14 inches in circumference
is made of bamboo root and is usually light. The Manipuris play
on ponies which are not more than 4ft.6inches in height. The game
is now played in 2 styles namely Manipuri Style and International
Kang - Sanaba
It is a game played on the mud floor of big out-houses. It consist
of hitting the targets fixed on the floor with hard and smooth oblong
shaped flat instruments known as "kang". The tradition of this game
is very old. It is mentioned in the folk epic of Khamba and Thoibi.
This particular game is said to be 'Panthoibi'
the Manipuri counterpart of Durga the goddess of war and destroyer
of the enemies of the gods.
The game is the Manipuri style of wrestling played between two male
competitors for trial of strength by skill and physical force. Manipuri
wrestlers wear white turbans and customary costumes. The game is
generally played on the day before the Deity as a part of the ceremonial
function and the function cannot be completed without this game.
It is popular in Manipur as a manly and prestigious game. The game
had royal patronage in the past.
This sport still arouses great enthusiasm among the people. The
competing boats, two in number, carry symbols of dragons known as
Chinglai. Seventeen rowers on each boat pull hard at the oars and
the object of the race is to trap the competing boat near the bank
as it moves forward and win the race.
The highly skilled martial art tradition is a direct legacy of Manipur's
prolonged battles with neighbouring kingdoms. Long and incessant
wars motivated the people to their battle-craft into a work of art
during the time of peace. The Manipuri martial art flourished in
the past under the royal patronage of the Maharajas. The Manipuri
martial art of fighting with spears, swords, sticks and axes still
continues to be popular among youths.
Yubi Lakpi (Manipuri Style Rugby)
"Yubi" is the Manipuri word for coconut and "Lakpi" for snatching.
Played on the beautiful green turf of the palace ground, or at the
Bijoy Govinda Temple Ground. Each side has 7 players in a field
that is about 45 x 18 metres in area. One end of the field has a
rectangular box 4.5 x 3 mtrs. One side of which forms the central
portion of the goal line. To score a goal a player has to approach
the goal from the front with his oiled coconut and pass the goal
line. The coconut serves the purpose of a ball and is offered to
the king or the judges who sit just beyond the goal line. However,
in ancient times the teams were not equally matched but the players,
with the coconut had to tackle all the rest of the players.
Info on Adventures, Sports, Trekking, Mountaineering , Water Sports etc. of Manipur - India