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Royal Elephant Polo

Royal Elephant Polo Description

The Origin:

Elephants have been a part of Indian culture since time immemorial. They are representative of the strength and power of Kings and Emperors. It was therefore natural that polo, the king of sports and the sport of kings, was adapted for play on elephant-back.

Unlike horse polo which is fast paced, elephant polo is more relaxing and leisurely. It is enthralling to watch the enormous pachyderms pursuing the ball at their own majestic pace.

Jaipur, the city of emperors, palaces and forts has had a long and colourful association with elephants. No festival, no occasion, no religious rite, no wedding would be complete without an array of gaily decorated, well caparisoned elephants.

Jaipur is the only place in the world where on can witness this exclusive sport being played throughout the year. Watching it, is an unique and unforgettable experience. The colossal size of the elephant evokes awe yet its docile nature, it's graceful gait and the wisdom of its eyes have always fascinated man.

Basic Rules:
  • Elephants are accompanied by their mahouts who sport brightly coloured safa, representing the two teams.
  • The Game is best enjoyed with three elephants to team and one for the umpire.
  • The game begins with a throw-in from the centre of the field.
  • A player is permitted to take only three taps / hits at the ball, after which he/she has to surrender possession of the ball.
  • Hooking of sticks is not allowed.
  • When the ball goes over the sideline, the team that did not strikes, has a hit-in from where the ball went out.
  • Penalty hits are to be taken from 20 yards from the goal line and in a penalty the opposition elephants must be 15 yards away.
  • Teams change ends only after each "Chukker".
  • Ladies may use two hands to strike the ball, men only one hand.
  • No elephant may lie down between the goal posts.
  • The decision of umpire is final.

Some Interesting Terms :

  • Chukker : One round of seven minutes.
  • Mallet :    The polo stick made of cane with a wooden head. Its average length is between 72" - 90", depending upon the your elephant's height.
  • Mahout :   The Elephant rider who guides the elephant.
  • Safas :     Head gear worn by the mahout, which represents the two teams. Essentially these are in two different colours.
  • Kamar Bandh : A cloth belt worn around the waist, by the mahout.
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