Festivals are a reflection of a region’s culture and heritage. In Pakistan people celebrate multiple festivals some of which are religious like Eid and others are a reminder of the country’s rich cultural heritage. Shandur polo festival is one such festival that not only involves sport but also gives a glimpse of the culture of the people of that region. Shandur is a vast polo ground situated amidst high hills in the northern area of Pakistan. A lake called Shandur lake is adjacent to the ground.
World’s highest polo ground with 3, 700 meters height above the ground, Shandur is a place where tribes from Gilgit and Chitral meet every summer for sport and cultural festivities. The Shandur polo ground offers free-style wild and unique polo game. The festival lasts for fourteen days and provides an astounding cultural experience by the residents of Hindukush mountain ranges. To explore Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral regions, summer and autumn are seen as ideal seasons. The provincial governments of Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa finalize the daysfor Shandur polo festival.
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Normally held during July, the festival attracts a huge flow of tourists which is amazing to notice. Shandur festival offers its visitors a lot; its highlights include the experience of polo festival along with a cultural insight into the culture of tribes of Gilgit and Chitral. Other attractions are music and dance to indigenous tunes, Pakistani cuisine, a remarkable view of Tirich Mir Nanga Parbat and Hindukush range. While travelling to the polo ground one can also enjoy the view of the rivers that run in the region. Indus, Chitral, Kunar and Gilgit rivers present a beautiful view as do the streams and tributaries of these rivers.