The 10 Best Games Played in Manipur

manipur games

Manipur, a beautiful state in Northern India, is known for its picturesque landscape, rich history and unique range of traditional games. Among these, Ludo stands out as a beloved indoor pastime, appealing to individuals of all ages with its blend of simplicity and strategy. With the advent of Ludo apps, enthusiasts can now enjoy this classic game online and even compete for real cash prizes. This article will review the most famous Manipur indoor and outdoor games, which now constitute an integral part of the local way of life and traditions.

First, let us find out the games to play in Manipur outdoor.

Outdoor Games Played in Manipur

The outdoor games of Manipur are very much traditional in nature & serve as an exhibit of the cultural richness of this state, besides giving importance to physical activity. Here are the best outdoor games played in Manipur:

Sagol Kangjei (Polo) at Mapal Kangjeibung, Imphal

Sagol kangjei played a vital role in Manipur’s history in the past several centuries. This is the traditional precursor for polo played in different regions around the world.  It is one of the most popular games to play in Manipur. Many consider it a play they could die for! It was the Meitei kings’ tradition to play it during their religious events and at some other festivals. The game is interlocked in the festival of Lai Haraoba Haa meukhei ebi phabam seiko and represents the mythical history of the Manipuri creatures.

How to Play:

The game is played on the ponies which are much smaller than the horses that the Western game uses. Every player gets his mallet to hit a ball and the objective is to move it into the opponent’s goal. Every team includes 7 players and ponies, and this game is characterized by the fast speed and tricky horse-riding.

Top 5 Places to Play in Manipur:

  • Mapal Kangjeibung
  • Pologround
  • Manipur Equestrian Association Ground
  • Khurai Polo Ground
  • Ibudhou Marjing Polo Ground

Mukna (Wrestling) at Kangla Fort Grounds

Mukna is an indigenous form of wrestling from the state of Manipur. Also, it becomes apart of Lai Haraoba, the famous festival of the indigenous people of Manipur. Extremely old, this sport has been part of the culture for many years, even after becoming a sport and an art form that people practice every day. Royal authorities’ support ensured its survival.

How to Play:

Mukna is a wrestling sport in which the ultimate goal is to pin an opponent to the ground using as little as possible of the standard techniques such as striking or kicking. Win is registered whenever a wrestler beats his opponent into submission with his back onto the flat surface. Technics and muscular force are some of the key elements of Mukna.

Top 5 Places to Play in Manipur:

  • Kangla Fort Grounds
  • Khuman Lampak Sports Complex
  • Bijoy Govinda Leikai Ground
  • Thangmeiband Athletic Union Ground
  • Ningthoukhong Wrestling Arena

Yubi Lakpi (Rugby) at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex

Yubi Lakpi, literally meaning ‘coconut snatching’, is a traditional game played during the Yaoshang Festival (Holi). It is one of the best games played in Manipur outdoor. It is believed to have mythological origins, associated with the god Nongpok Ningthou, who was fond of the game.

How to Play:

This game is similar to what we know as rugby. However, in this case, we are using a greased coconut without a ball. The player must sprint along the field and put the coconut in the opponent’s goal box or a rectangular area. Players have oil on their bodies, and thus it becomes hard to get the grip. Therefore, competitors are unable to hold each other, making the game more difficult.

Top 5 Places to Play in Manipur:

  • Khuman Lampak Sports Complex
  • Eastern Sporting Union Ground
  • Meitei Traditional Sports Ground
  • Manipur University Sports Complex
  • Leikol Village Ground

Oolaobi at Bijoy Govinda Leikai

Oolaobi, called by Woo-Laobi, is a native game that is mostly for the girls in Manipur. The team sport mostly played during the Meitei cultural festival of Lai Haraoba, can also be a form of social interaction. It showcases both athletic skill and the seasonal pattern particularly where spring comes in.

How to Play:

Oolaobi is a ball sport played on a field with two teams participating. The game offers an interactive combination of running, dodging, and chasing. Trying to hit opponents with the ball while scoring points and striving not to be hit are the opposing objectives of the players. It’s dynamic as it’s spaced and time-based, requiring agility and teamwork.

Top 5 Places to Play in Manipur:

  • Bijoy Govinda Leikai
  • Ibeyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen
  • Thangmeiband Athletic Union Ground
  • Manipur Women’s Association Ground
  • Khurai Polo Ground

Khong Kangjei (Hockey): at Kangla Fort Grounds

Khongkheing-ji is an ancient Manipuree game, which includes the elements of hockey and soccer. It is also believed that the game was played long before the modern-day history began. Being the predecessor to modern field hockey, it is a part of the Manipuri lifestyle and the oldest and the most cherished martial game of Manipur.

How to Play:

Players use a curved bamboo stick to control and drive a ball toward the opponent’s goal. The game is typically played without any goalie, and the field has no specified dimensions, giving a very dynamic nature to the gameplay. Physical endurance and stick skills are crucial.

Top 5 Places to Play in Manipur:

  • Kangla Fort Grounds
  • Mapal Kangjeibung
  • Polo Ground
  • Manipur University Sports Ground
  • Eastern Sporting Union Ground

These are some of the top games to play in Manipur outdoor. Now, let us look at the indoor games in Manipur. 

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Indoor Games Played in Manipur

Indoor games in Manipur provide a rich cultural experience and an opportunity for families and friends to bond over strategic and entertaining gameplay. Here are the best indoor games played in Manipur: 


Ludo, has become a beloved pastime in Manipur, transcending simple household entertainment to become a staple of community interaction. Over generations, it has been a favorite during leisure times, allowing players of all ages to engage in its simple yet strategic gameplay. 

With the rise of digital technology, Ludo board game has seamlessly transitioned into the online world, reflecting a broader trend of traditional games moving into the digital arena. This transformation allows players from Manipur to connect with a global audience, competing against opponents from around the world. 

Online platforms like Zupee have not only preserved the essence of Ludo but have also introduced innovative features like multiplayer options, various gameplay modes, winning real cash, making it more accessible and engaging for Ludo players

Ludo games online to play in Manipur

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Kei-Yen (Tiger-Rooter)

Kei-Yen is a strategic board game traditional to Manipur, representing the battle between tigers and goats. It reflects the natural wildlife and the agricultural lifestyle of the region, symbolizing the interaction between predators and prey.

How to Play:

The game is played on a square board with two players: one controls three tigers, and the other controls up to fifteen goats. The tigers ‘hunt’ by jumping over the goats and capturing them. In contrast, the goats aim to block the tigers’ movements to win.

Places to Play:

Kei-Yen is primarily played in households and during community gatherings throughout Manipur, especially during festivals and leisure times.

Kang Shanaba

Kang Shanaba is a traditional dice game that involves strategic placement and movement of tokens on a board, reflecting the influence of astrological concepts in Manipuri culture.

How to Play:

Played with three or four flat stones as dice, players throw them and move their tokens based on the outcome. The goal is to navigate tokens around the board to reach the center, simulating a journey of fate and fortune.

Places to Play:

This game is mainly played in homes and during social gatherings in Manipur.


Carrom board game is a popular indoor game in Manipur, enjoyed across South Asia. It has become a staple in households for its easy setup and engaging gameplay.

How to Play:

The game involves sliding wooden disks on a smooth board, aiming to sink them into one of four corner pockets. Players strike the striker disk to shoot their carrom men, incorporating angles and rebounds for tactical advantage.

Places to Play:

Carrom is played in homes, clubs, and various community halls across Manipur.


Scrabble has gained popularity as a mind-enhancing game that challenges players in vocabulary and strategy. It’s a recent addition compared to traditional games but has been embraced for its educational value. Take a look at other brain games to play! 

How to Play:

Players use lettered tiles to create words on a game board marked with premium scoring squares. The objective is accumulating the highest score through word placement and multiplier squares.

Places to Play:

Scrabble is commonly found in schools, libraries, and literary events in Manipur.


Playing cards has been a part of leisure activities in Manipur for generations, with various games evolving over time to suit local tastes and social gatherings.

How to Play:

There are numerous card games played in Manipur, ranging from trick-taking games to those based on matching suits and sequences. Rules and objectives vary widely, allowing for a rich diversity of gameplay.

Places to Play:

Card games are popular in social clubs, homes, and during festive occasions across the state.

The traditional Manipur games, ranging from the physically demanding Sagol Kangjei to the intellectually stimulating Scrabble, showcase the diverse cultural heritage of the state. These indoor and outdoor games played in Manipur not only offer insight into the communal and competitive spirit of Manipur but also contribute to preserving and promoting the rich traditions of this unique region. Whether played in the lush fields under the open sky or within the cozy confines of a home, each game is a testament to the vibrant cultural tapestry of Manipur.

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Manipur games: FAQs

What are some traditional games played in Manipur?

Some traditional games played in Manipur include Sagol Kangjei (Polo), Mukna (wrestling), Yubi Lakpi (similar to rugby), Oolaobi (a game played mainly by women), and Khong Kangjei (traditional hockey).

Can I play Ludo online in Manipur?

Yes, you can play Ludo online in Manipur through various platforms like Zupee that host multiplayer Ludo games, allowing you to connect with players locally and globally. Toh Khelo Ludo Zupee par aur Jeeto Lakho Takh Real Cash

Where can I watch a polo match in Manipur?

You can watch a polo match in Manipur at Mapal Kangjeibung in Imphal, which is recognized as the oldest living polo ground in the world and hosts regular matches and tournaments.

Are there opportunities to play games and win cash in Manipur?

Yes, there are opportunities to play games and win cash in Manipur, especially in events like local tournaments and competitions in sports like carrom, chess, and cards, which often have cash prizes for winners.

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