Dirt, broken roads, Osama Bin Laden, the Taliban. These words seem to fit the perfect picture when defining Pakistan, they create barriers but are more often than not the most important element in creating a vague image.
This is what the foreground of Pakistan has often portrayed, there seems to be more than glimmer of hope, the background is what really pops out and sets itself away from the image which has been manipulated over the years.
During the summers in Northern Pakistan, all of this is ignored and people seem to dive into their roots and get in touch with their culture. A festival which happens in Shandur from 7 to 9 July consistently on Shandur Pass in Ghizer District of Gilgit Baltistan. The polo match is played between the groups of Chitral District and locale of Gilgit-Baltistan, is a free-form game. People from all over Pakistan seem to make their way to witness the tradition which set long before Pakistan came into existence. Recorded history states that the festival has been taking place since 1936 takes place annually, the festival takes pride mainly because of its Polo competition but stretches beyond that as after the Polo competition, the festival is followed by Folk music, dancing and a camping village is also set up.
As travelling has increased locally as well as internationally to other parts of Pakistan, a lot of Pakistani locals, mainly from the busy cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad seem to take time off their busy schedules and take refuge in the breathtaking mountains in which Shandur finds its roots.
When originating from Gilgit to Shandur one can see the enchanting valleys of Gahkuch, Gupis, Phandar and numerous wonderful lakes. When originating from Chitral one can see the magnificence of Mastuj and Surlasp valleys. As the old saying goes, its more about the journey than the destination, Shandur Polo festival does an amazing job in providing travelers the best of both worlds. It seems effortless how it provides such an amazing experience.
Shandur does an amazing job in putting Pakistan on the history books as the match is played at an altitude of 3700 metres on the highest polo ground on the planet, the festival further also has other historical significance as the British used to participate in it during its early initiation years.
The Shandur Pass lies practically halfway among Chitral and Gilgit on a jeep street, going on which is daring, most definitely. The good ways from either side is 170 kms. One can get to Chitral or Gilgit by Pakistan International’s every day F27 Fokker planes structure Peshawar and Islamabad. There are every day two flights from the two goals, subject to great climate. Guests intending to pass via air must expect alteration of least 02 days in their schedules just on the off chance that the climate doesn’t allow flights to work.
After witnessing history and an amazing diverse culture, travelers do have the option of visiting other sceneries Northern Pakistan has to offer as well.