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03/06/2013

Elephant polo

 Did you know it?? 

“Polo was probably introduced to India from Persia by the early Mohammedan invaders in the 13th century. From India, the game spread to England through mostly military channels. The first recorded game in England was played in 1869.”

 

Then, since apparently the British military stationed in India was pretty bored, they developed a variant to spice up the sport: At the turn of the 20th century they launched the elephant polo in India.

 

Speaking of (Asian) elephants, its natural habitat is tropical forests rather than the desert of Rajasthan. The first traces of domestication date back to the third millennium BC on the engraved seals of the civilization of the Indus Valley. But the Asian elephants (of which 50% live in India today) have difficulties (and take it as an understatement) to reproduce in captivity so the elephants found today in Rajasthan come from the capture of wild elephants in other regions of India and Asia.

 

That said, I tried in Jaipur  (apparently the only place in the world where the novice can practice) elephant polo (a still too little known sport;)) for you and it is not easy at all! The stick is very heavy and it is difficult to calculate the distance to the ball as well as the strength required to guide the ball in a certain direction. 

Fortunately, the elephants are ready to help and when you need a hand they don’t hesitate to shoot themselves in the ball! (True)

 

india,jaipur,polo,elephant

 

 Sources : 

http://www.elefantasia.org/spip.php?breve48 

http://www.polomuseum.com/history_of_polo.htm 

http://www.aanemane.org/FR/elephant-asie/nation_elephant.php 

http://www.universcience.fr/fr/science-actualites/enquete-as/wl/1248126422766/les-elephants-d-asie-se-reproduisent-en-laboratoire/