-Rajasthan has 2 horse polo grounds..
-Overall, there are just 4 cities in India with horse polo-Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Jodhpur.
Udaipur city has a lot of talent. People have varied interests and a lot of talented players, too, have their roots in Udaipur. We have had ladies doing us proud by winning in some or the other way in beauty pageants on both Indian and international level. We have child stars born in Udaipur, there are other actors, doctors, dance teachers, musicians and the list of talent bringing glory to Udaipur is long.
Recently we were talking about cricket and it is quite a known fact that the Indian cricket team has players who hail from Udaipur and have done proud to this city. But the only point is that we still need to search for talents in various fields and the field of sports is one of them. This search takes us to the area of horse-polo but sadly Udaipur does not have any ground for this marvellous sport.
Some time back, Rajasthan Sports Minister Ashok Chandana mentioned about his intention of developing horse-polo in Udaipur. In India, there are just 4 cities where horse-polo is played; Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Jodhpur. These cities have a good space for keeping horses and vast grounds for staging tournaments. Horse-polo is still an untouched area in Udaipur despite having a culture of breeding horses and talented players.
The minister also said that Udaipur has good polo players after Jaipur and Jodhpur and this sport needs to be developed here. Once the ground for horse-polo is developed, fresh talent will also start pouring in and can be trained for international games. The commencement of horse-polo is also quite likely to become a source of livelihood for many. He also mentioned that a similar development must be done in Hadoti as well. Incidentally Sports Minister Ashok Chandana is a polo player himself, a sport which he started playing only in 2011.
Hoping that Udaipur gets another gift in the form of horse-polo.
History says that polo was first introduced to India by the Muslim conquerors in the 13th century. India is also the birthplace of modern polo. The game is derived from Manipur where it was known as Sagol Kangjei or Pulu. Polo is the anglicised form of pulu which refers to the wooden ball that was used. The first polo club in India was established in 1834 in Assam. The Indian Polo Association was founded in 1892.
From 1800-1910, Indian teams from Alwar, Bhopal, Bikaner, Jaipur, Patiala, Hyderabad, Jodhpur, Kishangarh and Kashmir dominated the international polo scene. The Jaipur team won all open tournaments in Britain and the Indian Championship in 1933. This record is likely to be unbroken. The Jaipur team also won Indian Open Championship every year from 1930-1938.
The outbreak of II World War resulted in a decline in interest for polo in Indians. The Calcutta Polo Club was the 1st polo club to resume hosting tournaments post independence. The Indian Polo Association invited Argentine polo team to visit India in 1950 to play exhibition games so as to revive the interest of the Indian players in this sport. The IPA also revived the Indian Polo Championship in 1956 after 17 years and thereafter won the 1957 World Championship in France. Indian polo received more encouragement after Indian Army officially adopted polo as a sport.
Whether Udaipur will get its own polo grounds is yet to be decided and we are finger-crossed over this. The hidden talent in Udaipur must come out.