Shandur Polo Festival

Shandur is the highest polo ground on earth. Shandur is located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which connects Chitral to the Gilgit in Pakistan. Shandur is one of the four major mountain passes to enter Chitral. The other passes are Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Lowari Pass from Dir, and Broghol from the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan. Shandur polo festival held every year in July. This festival continuous for three days. Polo is considered as the game of Kings, and the king of all games are traditionally played in the northern areas of Pakistan and Chitral for over the centuries, it has been played between the small kingdoms villages and rival groups for the deciding of the disputes among them, and the losing team has to be lost of the land, territory, or pay the heavy fine and sometimes death punishment. Passion for Polo is at its highest on the world’s highest Polo ground. Every year the tournament is held at Shandur Pass. Visitors are invited to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit. The festival includes folk music, dancing, a camping village set up at the Pass and numerous other activities to enjoy such as fishing, horseback riding, mountaineering, hiking and exploring. The Polo tournament has some added attractions for visitors; trout fishing at nearby streams and lakes, and a festival of folk music and dancing suggestive of Northern Pakistan culture. The highlight of the festival is the final match a colorful sight and extraordinary extravaganza never to be forgotten. Supporters of both sides travel long distances from the remote parts of Chitral and Gilgit mountain ranges to watch the thrilling game. The event offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the people of this region, their culture, and original customs, a delight to behold for visitors.