When late his Highness Maharaj Rana Sahib of the erstwhile princely state of Dholpur visited princely state Patiala in 1889 he brought along with his ponies and players .There was no game of Polo in Patiala before the visit of Maharaj Rana of Dholpur State. They only practiced the game of Polo during their stay at Patiala. While going back His Highness left two Polo players, Mr. Umrao Singh and Mr. Inderbir Singh in Patiala for the promotion of Polo in Patiala state.
It was late Maharaja Rajinder Singh who authorized Late Raja Gurdit Singh to arrange a Polo game first time in Patiala State. This was how the game of polo started in Patiala with the following players such as Raja Gurdit Singh Of Retgarh, Mr. Umrao Singh, Mr. Inderbir Singh, General Pritam Singh, General Hira Singh Grewal, General Saroop Singh, Sardar Shamsher Singh, Sardar Sewa Singh, and General Chanda Singh Dhillon.
It was in 1894 that the first match of Polo was played in Lahore by Late his Highness Maharaja Sahib Singh of Patiala. The team consists of Raja Gurdit Singh and two players of Dholpur. In year 1895 Polo match was repeated in Lahore by the Lucid Patiala Polo Team. The Dholpur players were replaced by Hari ka Jat Nobles General Hira Singh and Bakshi Pritam Singh.
The Patiala team was joined by young and Dynamic players named General Joginder Singh and Colonel Jaswant Singh. Two pushing young players in the Patiala Polo team came out victorious in 1910 in Simla which was the summer capital of British India. The Patiala Polo team was composed of colonel Jaswant Singh, General Joginder Singh, Captain Thakara Singh and General Chanda Singh Dhillon.
In 1922, in a match between Jodhpur and Patiala (played at the Red Fort), the latter had two +10 goal players, the strongest polo players were Joginder Singh and General Jaswant Singh. In the audience, there were 1,50,000, with 47 maharajas in attendance. Punjab just had to win. They lost, and the Maharaja of Patiala burnt the mallets, declaring Punjab would never play again.
The Grewal family of Village Ajnali near Mandi Gobindgarh is still baking in the glory of their two famous Polo starlets General Hira Singh Grewal and his son General Jaswant Singh Jasso . The record of General Jaswant Singh Grewal of 10 Handicap is still intact as nobody broke it. General Jaswant Singh is popularly known as General Jasso. They played in “The Tigers “Polo team.
Thanks to Captain Amrinder Singh who has revived Polo in Patiala.
Written by :-
- Mrs. Opinder kaur Sekhon