Shandur Polo Festival
Perched on the roof of the world, Shandur beckons visitors to partake in a time-honored tradition, the Shandur Polo Festival. This remarkable Shandur Polo Festival, a cherished annual event, unfolds on the iconic Shandur Pass, the highest Polo ground on the planet at 3,700 meters. Here, amidst the breathtaking Himalayan landscape, the festival not only celebrates the sport of kings but also immerses attendees in the vibrancy of folk music, spirited dancing, and the communal spirit of a camping village. The legacy of Shandur's Polo tournaments dates back to 1936 when a British political agent, Major Cobb, who held a deep affinity for the sport, established the "Moony Polo Ground" near Shandur. In this breathtaking setting, the passion for Polo reaches new heights, uniting tradition, competition, and the enchanting beauty of the high-altitude Shandur Pass.
Shandur Polo Festival:
High on the untamed plateaus of the Himalayas, the Shandur Polo Festival reigns supreme as a celebration of sport, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. This grand event takes place every year during the second week of July at the illustrious Shandur Pass, the highest Polo ground globally, elevated at a staggering 3,700 meters. As the region comes alive, the tournament unfolds in a spirited clash between the Chitral and Gilgit polo teams. It's a mesmerizing sight as skilled horsemen and women, their attire resonating with tradition, display their equestrian prowess.
High-Polo Ground in the World:
Shandur's high-altitude landscape, characterized by rolling meadows and clear blue skies, provides the backdrop for this awe-inspiring Polo showdown. It's a unique experience for spectators as they witness the thundering hooves, skilled strikes, and moments of triumph amidst this unparalleled natural beauty.
History of Shandur Polo Festival:
The Shandur Polo Festival's roots can be traced back to 1936 when Major Cobb, a British political agent with an ardor for Polo, established the "Moony Polo Ground" near Shandur. Today, it stands as a testament to his passion for the sport under the full moon.
Major Activites in Shandur Polo Festival:
- Polo Matches: The central attraction of the festival is the thrilling polo matches held at the world's highest polo ground. Teams from Chitral and Gilgit compete with remarkable horsemanship and agility, creating an electrifying spectacle.
- Folk Music and Dance: The festival resonates with the melodious tunes of folk music and the rhythmic beats of traditional dance performances. Attendees can immerse themselves in the cultural richness of the region through these captivating expressions.
- Cultural Exhibitions: The festival often features cultural exhibitions where visitors can explore the traditional crafts, textiles, and artistry of the region. It's an excellent opportunity to learn more about the cultural heritage of the people of Chitral and Gilgit.
- Traditional Dress: Festival-goers have the chance to see locals dressed in vibrant traditional attire adorned with gold and silver jewelry and elaborate headgear, adding to the colorful atmosphere.
Day 01 - Islamabad: Arrival & City Tour
- Arrival in Islamabad.
- Half-day city tour of Rawalpindi & Islamabad.
- Overnight in Islamabad.
Day 02 - Islamabad-Gilgit: Journey to Gilgit
- Flight or drive to Gilgit.
- In case of flight operation, visit Buddha and Bazar.
- Overnight in Gilgit.
Day 03 - Gilgit-Karimabad: Drive to Karimabad
- Drive to Karimabad.
- After checking in at the hotel, visit Baltit Fort & Karimabad Bazaar.
- Overnight in Karimabad.
Day 04 - Karimabad: Exploring Karimabad
- Full-day visit to Altit Fort & Duiker.
- Drive back to Karimabad for overnight.
Day 05 - Karimabad-Shandur: Journey to Shandur
- Drive to Shandur.
- Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Days 06-07 - Shandur: Shandur Polo Tournament
- Enjoy the Shandur Polo Tournament.
- Overnight in Shandur.
Day 08 - Shandur-Chitral: Drive to Chitral
- Drive to Chitral.
- Half-day city tour of Chitral.
- Later, transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 09 - Chitral-Kailash: Exploring Kailash
- Full-day tour of Kailash Valley.
- Transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 10 - Kailash-Swat: Drive to Swat
- Drive to Swat.
- After lunch, visit places of interest.
- Overnight in Swat.
Day 11 - Swat-Takht-e-Bhai-Peshawar: Drive to Peshawar
- Drive to Peshawar via Takht-e-Bhai.
- After a visit to Takht-e-Bhai, drive to Peshawar overnight.
Day 12 - Peshawar-Islamabad: Exploring Peshawar
- Visit places of interest in Peshawar in the morning.
- After lunch, drive to Islamabad.
- Overnight in Islamabad.
Day 13 - Departure
- Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.