The popular Shandur Polo Festival, held at the World’s highest polo ground in Shandur began with a vibrant opening ceremony. The freestyle polo matches were witnessed by a number of enthusiastic spectators supporting the teams from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
The spectacular Shandur Polo festival witnessed not only by locals but also by foreign tourists features polo matches, folk music, traditional dances, and a camping village for visitors. The festival is a highlight of the region captivating adventurers and polo enthusiasts from around the country. The matches are played at an altitude of 12,000 feet in the jaw-dropping Hindu Kush Mountain range.
Polo matches at Shandur between Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan have been played since the 1930s however, became officially organized at the government level in 1982. The festival is now managed by the district administration of Upper Chitral and Lower Chitral with funding granted by the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The team of Gilgit-Baltistan has won the trophy 13 times in the polo tournament while Chitral and emerged victorious 16 times. In addition, the team Chitral has won the trophy 13 times under the captaincy of Shahzada Sikandar ul Mulk.
The festival takes place under strict security measures to ensure the safety of teams as well as the spectators.