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Shandur Pass

 

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Introduction: The world famous Shandur, the highest polo ground in the world, is about 3738 meter above sea level and lies midway between Chitral,147 Km and Gilgit, 211Km. The Shandur Polo ground is in Ghizer district Northern Area. It is bordered on the west by Yarkoon valley of Chitral and on the northen side by the valley of Gilgit district.

Attractions: There is a big lake in the area. According to the local wild life officials, the wild life of the area consist of the following species.1. Snow leopard 2. Wolf. 3. Himalayan ibex.4. Choukar.The lake water is an excellent habitat for waterfowl species. These areas remains snow covered in winter and turn into the green heaven during summer season.Polo: The game of kings and king of games. The traditional polo tournament played between Chitral and Gilgit teams in July 5-8 as calendar event. According to annals of history ehe first polo tournament played at Shandur was in 1936, since then every year a grand polo tournament takes place at Shandur pass Among the teams of Chitral and Northern Areas. In Northern Areas it is the most famous and traditional game being played by centuries. Here Polo played in its primitive virgin that is without rules or empire, a game with only a few agreed convention played to the music band comprising drums. The music is provided by traditional musicians. Their instruments consist of a big drum, one or two kettle drums and a long pipe called surnai. When a goal is scored a special tune which would be played only to that individual whenever he carried the “Tambuq” towards his opponents goal.When a team scores a goal, instead of the ball being thrown in the middle of the ground by an empire,a player from the team who made the last goal starts off at full gallop from one corner of the ground, with the spectators in full roar from the boundary walls along with a special tune to passion the player, In his right hand he holds both his stick and the polo ball, delicately gripped by only his thumb and fore finger, while his favorite tune is being played at full blast by the musicians. As he comes to the center of the field he throws the ball in to the air and strikes it a mighty blow with his polo stick before the ball falls to the ground. This is the skill of best player.Polo in Northern Areas is played with five players each side. Riders do not generally wear helmets. Every polo player is out there to demonstrate his tartar blood. There are no rules so there are no umpires. The only common practice to international polo is the loud abuses that partners yell at one another. The polo stick is used as a scimitar, not a piece of sports equipment; you can whip or hook your opponent horse if it responds poorly to your whip. A bandaged head, a bruised elbow or an injured horse are sign of a good match.

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Shandur Pass Fact Sheet

Physical Location:

Ghizer district, Northern Area of Pakistan bordering Chitral in the Hindukush Range
Geographical Location:
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Best Time: May to October
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