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Travel to Chitral: Shandur Polo Festival

Travel to Chitral: Shandur Polo Festival

Travel to Chitral: Shandur Polo Festival


Travel to Chitral: Shandur Polo Festival

The Gilgit and Chitral tribes in Pakistan’s north annually celebrate the magnificent Shandur Polo Festival.

Every year during the summer, the tribes of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral converge at the Shandur pass. Near Shandur, there is a lovely polo field where local teams compete in a free-style, distinctive style of play. With a height of 3,700 metres, this polo field is one of the highest in the entire globe.

Near Shandur Lake is where you’ll find the Shandur Polo Ground. The Hindukush Mountain ranges’ distinctive cultural diversity is portrayed during the Shandur festival.

The Gilgit and Chitral tribes in Pakistan’s north annually celebrate the incredible Shandur Polo Festival.

The history of the equestrian sport of polo dates back to the sixth century BC. Polo was first used as a cavalry unit drill for elite troops like the King’s Guards. It was introduced into South Asia in the 13th century.

The word “polo” comes from the Balti language and means “ball.” In reality, the word “polo” in English is a Balti word that means “ball.” The game was played without any regulations in the past, but it now comprises six players on each side and lasts an hour total with a ten-minute break. It was first performed in 1936.


The Shandur Polo Festival is known for its competitive rivalry between teams. Players are likely to sustain injuries. The Shandur polo field is considerably smaller than a traditional polo pitch, measuring only 200 metres long and 56 metres wide.

Shandur Polo Festival’s significance: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Culture and Tourism Authority conducted the three-day Shandur festival (KPCTA). In addition to thrilling polo matches, the mega event featured spectacular, traditional, and cultural performances like music and dances. The most tranquil region, Chitral, draws a lot of domestic and foreign tourists each year.

The event offers visitors to the Hindukush mountain regions an incredible cultural experience. During the three-day celebration, a lovely tent village is typically built up, offering living and housing options to both domestic and foreign visitors.

Visitors came from all over the nation to the region to take part in the celebration. This polo festival event was attended by a huge number of people as well as important civil and military officials, as well as representatives of the local government.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa administration and Frontier Corps North jointly arrange the event, and during the opening ceremony, the paragliders and paratroopers receive special thanks from the crowds.

The polo teams then typically march past the inaugural event as students from various schools recite the national anthem. To fully revitalise the Kalash and Chitral cultures, local artists also perform Kalash, Chitral, and Khattak dances and songs on this occasion.

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