Polo, as they say, the game of kings has been there in India since ages. It was just rediscovered by Two Britishers when they saw a local Manipuri game and were fascinated by the aura. History suggests the association of Polo with royal families since the medieval times. Polo has survived different dynasties and the wand has been transferred to one magician to another.
The Britishers established Calcutta Polo Club in the year 1861 and then set ‘The first rule book for Modern Polo’. From Prince of Wales to Maharaja of Jaipur; Calcutta Polo Club has seen it all.
‘What’s it about Kolkata that brings down Gayatri Devi to the city on a Saturday winter evening?’, asked by a newspaper once to Gayatri Devi. To which she replied, ‘during my early years in Kolkata, I would often go horse riding along with my brothers… My brother and even my husband used to be avid polo players too. My mother would throw some of the lavish parties at Woodlands during polo seasons.’
In the days of British Raj, polo was played throughout the year and used to reach its climax in winter. Calcutta became the last word in entertainment during the misty winter to the royal families and the aristocrat British. All the big names in the country’s imperial circuit could be easily found in Calcutta Polo Club’s ground during polo season.
The Maharaja of Burdwan, Maharaja of Cooch Behar, Nizam of Hyderabad, The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince of Wales and Sultan of Brunei are few of them.Indian polo stalwarts like Maharaja Sawai Man Singh of Jaipur, Col Maharaj Prem Singh, Rao Raja Hanut Singh gave birth to some classic battles in the history of Polo Pat Williamson polo grounds of Colonial Calcutta.
Calcutta Polo Club is the birthplace of world’s oldest polo cup i.e the Ezra Cup (1880). Calcutta Polo Club also runs Carmichael Cup (1910) and the Stewarts Cup (1932) along with the Ezra.
Calcutta Polo Club is carrying the royal heritage with responsibility; our history gallery is a witness to it. CPC is spreading words of Polo for the younger generation. Making Ezra global is one of those initiatives CPC has taken since 2017. Come, join us… be a part of royalty, heritage and history. Be a part of Calcutta Polo Club.
(Photo source: ‘Coffee Table Book’ by Calcutta Polo Club)