Shandur Polo Festival

$1200 / per person

Pay for Booking

Overview



(The festival lures tourists to the world’s highest polo ground)

The enthralling Polo Festival takes place every year from 07 – 09 July at the highest Polo ground positioned between Chitral and Ghizer in Pakistan’s mountainous northern belt. The festival is held at a polo ground considered the highest polo field in the world at approximately 3,800 meters above sea level. Shandur Polo ground is also called the “Roof of the World,” and the game itself; the “Kings Game” held annually since 1936.

The tour provides a fine opportunity to experience a unique polo festival which brings the tribe of Gilgit and Chitral together every year for a three-day festival in the first week of July and spectators from across the world gather at this polo ground to witness these rivalry teams battling for supremacy.

Highlights of the Tour!

Visit Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan
Immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Kalash – an indigenous tribe.
Watch the consecutive Polo festival at the highest polo ground on earth Entertaining music and local dance show at festival Enjoy Pakistani cuisine Get an insight into diverse cultures of northern Pakistan
Explore Chitral valley, Shandur Lake, Phandar Valley, Ghizer valley, Hunza valley and Naran valley.
Drive on legendry Karakoram Highway in the Shadow of Nanga Parbat peak.

01

Day 1

Islamabad

After meeting you from the airport and checking in to your guesthouse, we will take a short tour of Islamabad. It is assumed guests will arrive in the small hours of the morning. Overnight in Islamabad.

02

Day 2

Fly from Islamabad to Chitral

We will catch a scenic flight over the heart of the Hindu Kush to the remote Chitral valley. Chitral is cut off from the rest of Pakistan for six months of the year and feels very different from the Punjabi plains of Islamabad. The afternoon in Chitral can be spent visiting the fort, Shahi Mosque and the local bazaar. Overnight in Chitral. (If the flight is delayed then we will take a full day to drive to Chitral)

03

Days 3-5

Chitral and the Kalasha Valleys

We will spend 3 days visiting Rumbour and Bumboret valleys staying with locally owned guesthouses, eating locally grown food and drinking the locally made wine. The days will be spent relaxing, walking or jeeping to the Kalasha villages of these isolated valleys. We will ensure that the accommodation is with Kalasha families so that you get a chance to immerse yourself in the unique culture of the Kalasha. Overnight in Chitral or the Kalasha valleys

04

Day 6

Kalasha Valleys – Chitral – Mastuj

The road between Chitral and Gilgit crosses through the Hindu Kush. The mountains get bigger and the road condition deteriorates. We break the journey in Mastuj, which is less of a town than a collection of small holdings linked by winding lanes. It is a perfect place to do nothing except drink in the views. Overnight in Mastuj

05

Day 7–8

Mastuj – Shandur Polo Festival at Shandur Pass

Today you will drive to Shandur pass to experience the unique freestyle polo matches between the rival teams of Chitral and Gilgit. The tournament will be in full swing from this day until 9 th and spectators from both sides travel long distances to experience this festival and cheer for their team. The ancient form of polo played here has no written rules and is played without many set of rules. Enjoy the incredible moments to experience a horse charging on the roof of the world, followed by a bonfire and musical night in the camping village. There are no hotels here, so you need to spend the night in well organized and hygienically clean camp. Rise early and walk to the Shandur lake to enjoy a beautiful sunrise view, feel the thin fresh air, and return to the polo ground to experience the final day of the polo tournament. It is a tradition that the prime minister or the president of Pakistan is the chief guest and throws the ball to begin the final match. At the end of the title match, the chief guest gives the trophy to the winning team.

During the Shandur Polo Festival tour, you will see freestyle polo, dancing, folk music, horse racing, paragliding, and traditional drum beating.

06

Day 9

Mastuj – Shandur Pass – Phandur

After watching the final match of this festival, you will descend from the Shandur Pass and travel along the Phandur river to reach the Gilgit town. Gilgit is the administrative and Capital city of the Gilgit Baltistan region of Pakistan. Overnight in Phandur

07

Day 10

Gilgit – Hunza

We join the famous Karakorum highway at Gilgit and head to the fabled Hunza valley. We then use Hunza as a base for exploring the surrounding area. Overnight in Hunza.

08

Day 11 – 12

Around Hunza

We have three days of exciting trips planned in Hunza. However, you may want to do nothing more than sit under an apricot tree, watch the mountains and read a book. On one day, we will pass the newly formed Attabad Lake to Passu. The 30 km long lake was only formed in 2010 after a massive landslide dammed the mighty Indus river. The second day we will visit the ancient forts of Baltit and Altit, the traditional residences of the Mirs of Hunza. For the fit, on the final day, we will take a walk on the high irrigation channels cut into the rock, giving tremendous views and an insight into how the people of Hunza created their Shangri-La Overnight in Hunza.

09

Day 13

Hunza – Naran or Besham

A long days drive from Hunza to Naran. The first section will be on the Karakorum highway where we pass the point were the 3 great mountain ranges meet. After passing between the Himalayas, the Karakorum and the Hindu Kush we leave the Karakorum Highway and cross the 4000 metre high Babasur Pass before breaking our journey in Naran in the Kaghan valley. Overnight in Naran. (Note that if the Babasur Pass is not yet open for the season we will drive the Karakorum highway via Besham)

010

Day 14

Besham or Naran – Islamabad

Another day spent enjoying the scenery of the Kaghan valley and the final section of the Karakorum highway. We will arrive in Islamabad early enough for a final meal together. Overnight in Islamabad. (Note that if the Babasur Pass is closed we will drive from Besham to Islamabad via the Karakorum Highway)

011

Day 15

Islamabad – Home

Transfer to airport and fly home.

Cost: Ask (Depends on number of people)
Included:
  • One internal flight (Islamabad-Chitral)
  • Private transport for the length of entire trip
  • All accommodations, one room twin sharing basis (medium range,
  • neat & clean)
  • Camping at Shandur Polo Festival
  • Kitchen crockery and kitchen staff
  • All three times meals (Pakistani cuisine)
  • Mineral water
  • Entrance Fee
  • English speaking guide & assisting staff
  • Toll & Tax
  • Sales & Services
  • Visa support in form of Letter of invitation
Excluded:
  • Any extras in hotel/ on the way
  • Any personal nature expenses, cell phone, laundry etc.
  • Insurance Liabilities
  • Any service which has not mentioned
  • Tipping