Shandur Polo Festival 2014

Impotant News:

The Shandur Polo Festival has been postponed by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa government due to massive destruction caused by floods in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan region. The festival, reportedly, will now be held in the month of August, after Eid-ul-Fitr, instead of the scheduled second week of July.

Join Us to enjoy affordable and discounted price to witness the world’s highest point Shandur Polo Festival Matches 2014

Range:           Hindukush
Altitude:      Min : 600m – Max: 3700m
Zone:             Open
Duration:     12 days
Best Time:    July

Itinerary:

Islamabad – Chilas enroute visit Taxila Museum – Drive to Gilgit- Drive to Phandar valley –  Drive to Shandur Pass in 4 wheel jeeps –  Shandur enjoy and experience the Polo matches rivals between Gilgit & Chitral teams – drive back to Chitral – Bamboret  Kalash valley meet the cumunity  - Fly to Islamabad- Next morning fly out.

Shandur Polo Match

Shandur Situated at the elevation of 3700m above sea level invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament which since 1936 has been held annually in the first week of July between the teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. 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). The festival also includes Folk music, dancing and a camping village is set up. Various teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have always played the game of polo closest to its original form.Shandur final Polo Match between Gilgit  and Chitral teams

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. There are no rules! In “The Roof of the World” Amin/Willets/Tetley write: “by comparison, an American Wild West rodeo might pass for choir practice. “As one player once mentioned: “You can ride head-on into the opponent, if you dare.”Kalash young girl in traditional dress

In order to decide the final teams to play at the Shandur Polo Festival preliminary matches are played both in Gilgit and Chitral in which the best horses and players are chosen for the final games by the local juries. The festival begins on the 7th of July with a polo match between the local Laspur Team and Ghizer Team of Gilgit-Baltistan, from Chitral. During the course of the tournament A, B, C and D teams of Gilgit and Chitral battle it out on the polo field. Each team has six members with 2-4 reserve players in case of injury etc. The match duration is usually one hour. It is divided into 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 nine goals. The final is held on 9 July. The festival also includes folk Music, folk Dances, traditional sports and temporary tent village is setup at the pass to cater the needs.