Polo is known as the game of the kings, and once you have watched a game of Polo held in Shandur Pass, Pakistan, you can boast of being able to appreciate the game at the world’s most remote polo tournament.
If you are a polo fan, you must have heard of the Shandur Polo Tournament held at Shandur Pass, situated 3738 meters above sea level. It is an important pass that connects Chitral to Gupis and Gilgit, and one of the four major mountain passes to Chitral, the capital city of Chitral district. If you want to watch one of the biggest events in Pakistan, you can fly into Gilgit which is 122 miles away, or from Chitral which is 91 miles away. The domestic airports in these towns have regular domestic flights from Islamabad and Peshawar.
The equestrian sport of Polo’s origin can be traced back to 6th century BC, and was introduced to South Asia in the 13th century. The first Shandur Polo Tournament was held in 1936, after UK Administrator for Gilgit-Baltistan E. H. Cobb ordered the building of a polo ground in Shandura year before. The version of the polo played in Shandur is called free style polo. It is the favorite sport of the locals living in the surrounding cities and towns. Held for three days every July, the tournament welcomes both local and foreign tourists who are gungho in watching the matches between the Gilgit and Chitral teams. Aside from watching the thrilling games, the tournament also features dance and music performances by different groups. In between matches you can enjoy outdoor activities such as trekking, hiking, trout fishing, mountaineering, and of course, horseback riding. There is a tourist tent village set up near the site where you can stay, dine, and buy souvenirs and folk crafts.
Add watching the the Shandur Polo Tournament to your bucket list. It is one experience you will never forget. Consult your travel agent for more details.