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Photographer's Note

Polo, the traditional sport of Ladakh is indigenous to the western Himalayas, especially to Baltistan and Gilgit. It was probably introduced into Ladakh in the mid-17th century by King Singge Namgyal, whose mother was a Balti princess. The game played here differs in many respects from the international game, which is adapted from what British travellers saw in the western Himalayas and Manipur in the 19th century. Each team consists of six players, and the game lasts for an hour with a ten-minute break. Altitude notwithstanding, the hardy local ponies - the best of which come from Zanskar – scarcely seem to suffer, though play can be fast and furious. Each goal is greeted by a burst of music from surna and daman, and the players often show extraordinary skill. Unlike the international game, polo in Ladakh is not exclusively for the rich.
Traditionally, almost every major village had its polo-ground, and even today it is played with verve in many places besides Leh, especially in Dras and Chushot near Leh. In Leh town itself, it has been partly institutionalised with regular tournaments and occasional exhibition matches being played on the polo-ground. The local crowd takes a keen interest, especially in those matches in which a civilian team takes on that of the army. Altogether, polo adds a unique kind of colour and excitement to the summer in Leh.
The image has been scanned from Print. I wish I had NeatImage to clear this up a bit. But then probably someone ud help me out with a WS :)

fserajian, dhurjati, gelor, sayan, sabyasachi1212, cunejo200, gaurav31dec has marked this note useful

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Additional Photos by Anjan Mitra (anjan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 126 W: 0 N: 189] (1086)
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