Shandur Pass


In a Glimpse

An old and historic crossing point between Chitral and Ghizer–the Shandur Pass, with its highest point at 12200 ft above sea level is the best place to visit as you disperse away from Gilgit Baltistan.

The historic crossing point between Chitral and Ghizer-Shandur Pass

The highest polo ground in the world is at the pinnacle of the area where the pass is almost flat, the top most tourist attraction in Shandur. A beautiful lake–the Shandur Lake, has earned this area a lot of adoration because of its recreation and exquisiteness.

Accessing Shandur Pass

Shandur Top is 232 km away from Gilgit, in Upper ChitralKhyber Pakhtunkhwa, and has a flat plateau that can be crossed between late April and early November. The slope is very gradual and several small streams cross the area during summer. The accessibility is usually hindered in winter because of harsh weather, which usually starts mid-December. An overnight stay is recommended at the Phandar Valley. One can comfortably travel through a 4×4 on this route.

Featuring Summer at Shandur Pass

How it All Started

Initially named Mas Junali, the Shandur Polo Ground was established by the ruler of Chitral, Mehtar HH Shuja Ul Mulk. In the Khowar language, “Mas” means the moon and “Junali” means polo ground. The place earned a lot of significance as it became the foundation of kinship between the people of Chitral District and Gupis-Yasin/Ghizer districts.

The world’s highest Polo ground, The Shandur Pass

When Chitral was briefly occupied by Sher Ali Anchan, Ali Sher Khan Anchan Maqpoun used to play Polo at Shandur. Not only him, but many princes and political figures spent their time enjoying Polo here. Polo is therefore considered the king of games. Historically, it was played between small kingdoms, villages, and rival groups of Chitral and Gilgit.

Annual Shandur Polo Festival

It started from 1936 onwards; the polo tournaments at Shandur initially held at the patronage of the British are now an annual celebration. A three days tournament, starting from 7th to 9th July every year has gradually turned into a massive festival for locals, guest teams, and fans.

The Annual Polo Festival Sahndur

Since 1982 the matches are being arranged by the Chitral administration, levies, Chitral scout, and police. The Gilgit-Baltistan team takes part as a guest team. In this period of three days, approximately 7 matches are played. The final match is played on July 9th between the teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.

This festival has opened doors to people from all over the world to come and witness once in a lifetime tournament at such heights with such high spirits.

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