Shandur polo festival is one of the biggest festivals in Pakistan which is celebrated every year. The 2019 festival will be celebrated from 07 – 09 July, 2019 at Shandur Polo Ground, highest polo ground, at shandur pass in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The final match will begin in the morning. Organized and financed by the Tourism Corporation of KPK, the tournament is held on Shandur Top, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters(the pass itself is at 3,800 meters).

Passion for polo will be the highest on the world’s highest Polo ground. Every year, Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo Festival in which the matches are between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit from 7 to 9 July. Shandur polo festival also includes folk music, folk dance, traditional sports and a camping village is set up on the pass.

Polo being played at shandur polo festival
Image Credit: hunzaguidespakistan

Free-styled mountain polo is arguably polo in its purest form. Game played at Shandur-Top has attained legendary status and is of great interest to international and domestic adventure tourists. There are no umpires and holds barred.  Each team has six members with 2-4 reserve players in case of injury etc. The match duration is usually one hour. Match consists of two halves, with a 10 minutes interval. During intervals the locals enthrall the audiences with traditional and cultural performances. The game decided in favor of the team scoring more goals. Players rarely wear helmets. The horses’ legs often have no bandages and mallets often have no grips or straps.

The Balti Raja of Skardu Ali Sher Khan Anchan initiated Polo in Shandur and built the polo ground of Shandur. Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament which since 1936 has been held annually and is famous among the locals and tourists as Shandur Festival.

shandur polo festival
Image Credit: Khilari.com

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