Shandur Polo Festival concludes

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ISLAMABAD, July 31 (APP): The annual Shandur polo festival concluded on Sunday at world’s highest polo ground in Chitral.

Addressing on the occasion, the senior officials of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government said that the provincial government in collaboration with Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC), was making all out efforts to promote sports and tourism while polo game will find special attention and patronage of the KPK government.

He said the polo grounds of the major towns of the district including Garum Chashma, Booni, Shagram, Reshun will be reconstructed and polo players will get special package from the government so that ‘the game of kings’ is revived in Chitral which ultimately promotes tourism.

The three-day famous Shandoor polo festival had started on Friday (July 29) in Chitral.

The official of Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) told APP that the festival regularly was held each year from July 7 to 9 but this year firstly due to Eid ul Fitr and then monsoons the event was delayed till the end of July.

Shandoor Polo Festival is one of the big festivals in the country.

The polo which is played between the polo teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is experienced as a free-style polo match.

The festival also includes Folk music, Folk dance, traditional sports.

Polo was introduced in South Asia, by the Muslim kings in the 13th century. English word ‘Polo” is in fact a Balti word meaning, “ball”.

In ancient times, there was no limit to the number of players and no time limit. Which team scored nine goals first, became the winner.

Today, there are six players to each side, but this is by no means a rule in local polo games. The game lasts for one hour with a ten-minute break.

Chitral, Gilgit and Skardu have always played the game of polo closest to its original form.