Shandur (Khyber Mail): The highly anticipated Shandur Polo Festival commenced on Friday with a vibrant ceremony at the renowned Shandur polo ground, situated at the highest altitude in the world. The festival attracted thousands of enthusiastic local and foreign tourists, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Commissioner Malakand Division, Shahidullah Khan, inaugurated the event by throwing the ball in the inaugural match, officially marking the beginning of the festival. The ceremony witnessed the presence of distinguished guests, including Mohammad Bakhtiar Khan, Director General of Culture and Tourism Authority, Brigadier Imran Khan from the Pakistan Army, and officials from the district administration.

The festival kicked off with an exciting match between Sub-Division Mastuj and Yasin Gilgit-Baltistan, in which Sub-Division Mastuj emerged victorious with a score of five goals against four. Over the course of three days, five teams from Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan, organized under the auspices of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tourism and Culture Authority, will compete against each other. The matches take place in the breathtaking setting of the Shandur Polo Ground, nestled amidst the forest at an astounding altitude of 12,500 feet. The festival’s dedicated camp offers tourists and polo enthusiasts a stunning view of the natural lake of Shandur and the majestic mountains that serve as a backdrop. Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan are particularly renowned for their polo prowess, making the matches a must-watch spectacle for visitors.

As the festival continues, attendees can immerse themselves in the thrilling matches and soak up the rich cultural experience that the Shandur Polo Festival has to offer. With its unique location and the passionate participation of both locals and tourists, the festival promises an unforgettable celebration of the traditional sport of polo.

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