Polo at Roof top of World fascinates local, foreign tourists: Tariq

Peshawar—Costing the provincial government more than Rs. 13 million the famous Shandoor Polo Festival at the World highest Polo ground will be played between the teams of Chitral, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on July 29-31, 2016 with bricks arrangements continue, Additional Secretary Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tariq Khan told APP here on Friday.
The schedule for the festival has already been finalized before changing thrice after consulting the district administration of Chitral, he said. The festival regularly held each year from July 7 to 9 but due to Eid-ul-Fitr, the dates have been changed as first it was decided to hold on July 15-18, then on July 22-24 but now things have been finalized to July 29-31, he added.
Shandoor Polo Festival is one of the big festivals in Pakistan, he said. The polo which is played between the polo teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is experienced as a free-style polo match, Tariq Khan said.
Passion for Polo will be the highest on the world’s highest Polo ground. Every year, Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit. The festival also includes Folk music, Folk dance, traditional sports.
Polo was introduced in South Asia, by the Muslim conquerors 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.—APP

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