On a hill round Heingang village, on the outskirts of Imphal, there’s a pony shrine to Lord Marjing, the god of polo, where the Meitei (most people ethnic organization of Manipur) come to worship, and where the neighborhood polo gamers visit mild candles before a sport. There is mystical strength at the shrine as prayers are presented to Sanamahi, the client god of each Meitei family, who created the Samadon Ayangba—a quick and fierce pony with wings.
The mythical Manipuri Pony is symbolic of a way of life that has struggled in lots of ways to ride forward. L Somi Roy, the grandson of Manipur’s former monarch Maharaja Churachandra, left Manipur for USA inside the ’80s and on his go back two many years later, observed the horse listlessly ambling the streets of Imphal feeding on plastic. Despite its mythological and ancient importance, the semi-feral animal’s grazing areas had been misplaced because of negligent urbanisation. Today, the Manipuri Pony is an endangered species with an predicted populace of fewer than 500.
Roy, who’s a conservationist and a custodian of subculture, realised that the simplest way to preserve the horse alive might be to help build up Sagol Kangjei (Manipuri polo) by using bringing worldwide attention to it. Manipur is taken into consideration the birthplace of current polo—the British later exported the sport to the relaxation of the world. Mapal Kangjeibung polo floor, located within the coronary heart of Imphal and surrounded via city buildings, is one of the oldest extant grounds in the international. It dates to the early 17th century, with references that pass back to the primary century AD at some stage in the reign of King Kangba.