Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan will inaugurate the three-day Shandur Polo Festival at the world highest polo ground on earth Shandur in Chitral today.
Shandur Polo ground is situated at a highest level 3800m called as the “Roof of the World” and the King Game has been held annually since 1936.
The polo tournament is featured in the first episode of Himalaya with Michael Palin which have always played the game of polo closest to its original form.
In the past, the British Rulers were the patrons of the game.
Shandur Pass is one of the major mountain passes between Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to the history of Chitral, Shandur is the property of the royal family of Mastuj Chitral, and due to ownership issue the polo was disbanded between Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Free-styled mountain polo is arguably polo in its purest form.
This version of the game played at Shandur-Top has attained legendary status and is of great interest to international and domestic adventure tourists alike. There are no umpires and there are no holds barred.
The festival, being organized by the TCKP and administration of Chitral district, attracts thousands of foreign and domestic tourists, fans of “King of games and game of kings” – polo – to watch the thrilling matches between the teams of Chitral and GB.
Chitral A and B teams and GB A and B teams are participating in the spectacular polo festival. The Laspur team will face Ghizer on the opening day of the event while Chitral Team-B and GB Team-B will show their prowess on the second day.
The TCKP has made all arrangements to hold the festival in a befitting manner to attract domestic and foreign tourists to the scenic region and traditional game in large number.
Stalls have been established to highlight and promote the artworks of Chitral and Gilgit local artists and skilled people. Rafting in Shandur lake, paragliding, archery, fireworks and kite flying would be other features of the event to attract domestic and foreign tourists in great numbers.
Chitral is the most peaceful region and it attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists annually, especially during the Shandur and Kalash festivals.