Gilgit Baltistan B team handed an upsetting defeat to Chitral B team in a thrilling encounter witnessed by hundreds and thousands of cheering spectators present on this occasion on the second day of the Shandur Polo Festival on Saturday.
DG Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts Arslan Asrar Mirza opened the match by throwing the ball, followed by the two teams raided on each other’s defence with some out busted horses. The riders exhibited their classes in a free for all match without rules, throwing the full force balls from one end to the others.
Gilgit-Baltistan team defeated Chitral Body Guard team by five goals to two goals. The closing ceremony of the festival will be held on Sunday. As usual, the teams of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan will compete in the match’s awaited final with a good supportive crowd also turned up from both Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
A large number of tourists came to enjoy the festival. The three-day Shandur Polo Festival con-tinued for the second day amid joy and jubilation, with a large number of local and international tourists thronging to the scenic Chitral area to witness the Polo matches played on the highest altitude Polo ground famous as the world rooftop.
The second day’s festivities were inaugurated by Brigadier Arsalan Israr Mirza, Director General GB scouts, who threw the Polo ball to start the match. Secretary of Tourism Sohail Khan was also present on the occasion.
A significant number of local and foreign tourists arrived in Shandar to see the Polo matches. The festival was jointly organized by Khyber Pakhtunk-hwa Culture and Tourism Authority, Pakistan Army, Frontier Corps, and the district administration.
All the necessary arrangements have been made to facilitate and assist tourists. Tourism police and guides have also been deployed to assist tourists, and adequate accommodation facilities have been ensured for visitors.
Camping pods have been installed and are available for tourists, while the helpline of the tour-ism authority is also operational. Various colorful programs, including paragliding, food stalls, and traditional dances, have also been arranged on the second day of the festival. Stalls have also been established to highlight and promote the artwork of Chitral and Gilgit local artistes and skilled people.
In the evening, a Chitral cultural night was or-ganized in which various local artistes sang tradi-tional and cultural songs to entertain the audience and promote the rich culture of the area. It is worth men-tioning that the Shandur Polo ground is situated at a level 3800m height known as the “Roof of the World,” and the King Game has been held annually since 1936.—