Gilgit-Baltistan to participate in Shandur festival


Peshawar: Gilgit-Baltistan has decided to end its boycott of Shandur Polo Festival, the three-day sporting event held every year at the world highest polo ground located in Chitral, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

It is to be mentioned here that last year Gilgit-Baltistan stayed away from the internationally acclaimed Shandur Polo Festival, due to the lingering row over the ownership of the ground and meadows of Shandur.  Gilgit-Baltistan claims ownership of the ground and pastures, saying that these had been integral part of Gilgit-Baltistan since British era.

Member reconciliation committee, Sardar Hussain, said on Wednesday that Gilgit-Baltistan  had decides to end the boycott of the festival and would participate in the event. Sardar, who is a local PPP leader from chitral,  said GB decided to end its boycott of the event after successful negotiations between the reconciliation committees of GB and Chitral. The three-day sporting festival is held every year during the  second week of July at Shandur, the world’s highest polo ground located at 12,000 feet above the sea level. The main feature of the festival is the free-style polo match between the teams of Gilgit and Chitral.

Besides exciting polo matches, the festival also features folk music, dancing, horse back riding, mountaineering, hiking and exploring, attracting large numbers of tourists from across the country and abroad. Besides the festival, the  picturesque valley of chitral offers great attractions for the tourists amid its exemplary peace and tranquility.  The valley also houses the  pre animist pagan tribe of Kalash people, who are believed to be the descendants the army of Alexander the Great.



  1. As a polo fan and frequent Shandur visitor, I was very sad that Gilgit team did not participate last year. I am pleased to learn that the dispute has come to a peaceful conclusion and look forward to enjoying a wonderful tournament. The tradition must go on.

    Hedia from Switzerland

  2. sardar Hussain can convince a stone….. our relationships are beyond borders and we fight each other at Shandur top to show the world that we are what we want to be…. formation of GBC or KPK are only political developments which has nothing to do with the spiritual and cultural connection we hold since centuries and the same has penetrate our DNA. Plz keep on celebrating these events and keep yourself safe from the vicious circle of fear, disappointment and mistrust prevailing through out the country.

  3. This is indeed a good news that GB has decided to join Shandur Festival.This is one of the most powerful event which can convey soft image of Pakistan to the outer world.Otherwise it was illogical decision of the GB not to participate in it,the whole world has become global village,so the two close neighbors need to come closer to each other.