Games & Sports


Indigenous 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 Awa (Myanmar) resulted in a martial tradition which in turn gave due impetus to the development of indigenous games.

Sagol Kangjei (POLO)

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Pic: Manipur Polo (Sagol Kangjei)

Manipur is the place of origin of modern game of Polo.The Manipuri Sagol Kangjei has been adopted by the International Community as Polo and is now being played worldwide. The 'PUYAS' trace it to the mythological age when the game was played by Gods. The game is played with 7 players on each side mounted on Ponies which are often not more than 4/5 feet height. Each player is outfitted with a polo stick made of cane having a narrow angled wooden head fixed at the striking end. The ball is made of bamboo root. The mounted players hit the ball into the goal. Extremely vigorous and exhilarating, the game is now played in two styles - the PANA or original Manipuri style and the International style i.e. Polo. It is exhilarating to see the Manipuri players in their sixties riding ponies at full gallop and playing Sagol Kangjei with gusto. The ponies are also decorated fully with various guards protecting the eyes, forehead, flanks etc. The British learned the game of Sagol Kangjei in the 19th Century from Manipur and after refinement it was transplanted to the world as Polo.

Thang Ta & Sarit Sarak (Manipuri Martial Arts)

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Pic: Thang Ta (Martial Arts Of Manipur)


These are the Manipuri Martial Arts, the traditions of which had been passed down over the centuries. It is a very energetic and skillful art and is a way to hone one's battle craft during the peace time in the olden days when every Manipuri was a warrior and required to serve his country at the time of war. Now-a-days, this art is being performed widely by women and children alike.

Khong Kangjei (Manipuri Hockey)

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Pic: Khong Kangjei


Like polo, Khong Kangjei, is also a very popular game for the Manipuris. The game is played with seven players on either side and each player is equipped with a bamboo stick about 4 ft. in length made in the form of modern hockey stick. The game is started with a throw of the ball made of bamboo root in the field of 200 X 80 yards in area. A player may carry the ball in any manner to the goal, he may even kick it but he has to score the goal only by hitting the ball with his stick. There is no goal post and a goal is scored when the ball crosses the goal line fully. A player often encounters with an opponent in his attempt at carrying or hitting the ball towards the goal. The encounter may develop into a trial of strength which is indigenously known as Mukna. The game requires much physical stamina, speed and agility.

Yubi Lakpi (Manipuri Style of Rugby)

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Pic:Yubi Lakpi

"Yubi" means a coconut and "Lakpi" means snatching in the Manipuri Language. Here each side has 7 players in a field 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.

Mukna (Manipuri Wrestling)

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Pic: Mukna


The game is the Manipuri style of wrestling played between two male rivals for trial of strength by sheer physical strength and skill. Athletes of the same or approximately the same physical built, weight or age are made to fight with each other. Mukna is a highly popular and prestigious game. In the olden days, the game enjoyed royal patronage.

Kang

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Pic:Kang Sanaba

Played on the mud floor of a big out-house, fixed targets are hit with the "Kang" which is a flat and oblong object made of either ivory or lac. Normally each team has 7 male partners. The game is also played as a mixeddoubles ontest. Played strictly during the period between 'Cheiraoba' and the Rath Yatra festival, Manipuri religiously adhere to its time-frame as popular beliefs hold that if the game is played beyond its given limit, evil spirits invade the mind of players and spectators.

Hiyang Tannaba (Boat Race)

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Pic:Hiyang Tannaba (Boat Race)

It is generally held in the month of November at Thangapat and Loktak lake. The boats called Hiyang Hiren is believed to be invested with spiritual powers and the game is associated with religious rites. The Meiteis believe that worship of the Hiyang Hiren will negate evil omens. The rowers wear traditional dresses and head gears. The game is also conducted during the times of natural calamity.

Sagol Kangjei (POLO)

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Pic: Manipur Polo (Sagol Kangjei)

The Manipuri Sagol Kangjei has been adopted by the International Community as Polo and is now being played worldwide. The 'PUYAS' trace it to the mythological age when the game was played by Gods. The game is played with 7 players on each side mounted on Ponies which are often not more than 4/5 feet height. Each player is outfitted with a polo stick made of cane having a narrow angled wooden head fixed at the striking end. The ball is made of bamboo root. The mounted players hit the ball into the goal. Extremely vigorous and exhilarating, the game is now played in two styles - the PANA or original Manipuri style and the International style i.e. Polo. It is exhilarating to see the Manipuri players in their sixties riding ponies at full gallop and playing Sagol Kangjei with gusto. The ponies are also decorated fully with various guards protecting the eyes, forehead, flanks etc. The British learned the game of Sagol Kangjei in the 19th Century from Manipur and after refinement it was transplanted to the world as Polo.

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