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Horse and Elephants Polo

Horse Polo RajasthanA Game for Kings and the King of Games; that is the equestrian sport of Polo. Believed to have originated in China and Persia nearly two thousand years back, the name of the game may have come from the word "pholo" meaning 'ball' or 'ballgame' in the Balti language of Tibet.


The Mughals were responsible for bringing the game from Persia to the East. Emperor Babur established it in India. In the 1850s, British tea planters discovered the game in Manipur. They founded the world's first polo club at Silchar, west of Manipur. Other clubs followed and today the oldest in the world is the Calcutta Club which was founded in 1862.


Rajputs being keen equestrians made the game their own during the Mughal period and even gave it several twists. In 1889, the Prime Minister of Jodhpur Sir Partap Singh invited the Bengal Lancers to raise the Jodhpur Lancers; thus Polo was introduced to Jodhpur in its current form. The various Polo teams of Rajasthan have won numerous accolades and there have been several Polo players who have gained international acclaim.


Polo is a part of the heritage of Rajasthan. Here, the game is not just played on horses; there is camel polo, elephant polo and even bicycle Polo! Nepal and Rajasthan are the only two places where polo is played on elephant-back. Though not a serious sport, it is fun to watch because the fast game is played from the backs of pachyderms who can only moving slowly in the confined space of a stadium. Elephant Polo competitions are arranged annually at Jaipur's Chaugan Stadium during Holi (February March).


Camel Polo is organized at various tourist festivals in Rajasthan which is possibly the only place in the world where it is played. A game of Camel Polo can be especially organized on request by your tour operator. Bicycle Polo is pursued more in the Shekhawati region and has the same speed as its equestrian original.


Most luxury hotels of Rajasthan can arrange viewing of and participation in friendly Polo matches that is a great sport for participants as well as spectators.

 
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Taj Mahal, Agra

The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had Taj Mahal constructed in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who is entombed here alongside Shah Jahan (who was buried later).

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