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The Allure of Shandur Polo Festival

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Shandur (3,700 m) is where the three mountain ranges - Hindukush, Himalaya, and Karakoram - meet. The region has historic importance with beautiful landscape, flora and fauna. It is the highest polo ground on earth, where the contest of the rugged free-style polo, takes place between the team of Chitral and Gilgit from July 7 to 9 every year, and that attracts national and international tourists, high-profile officials and diplomats. 

The origin of this unique and historical sport is largely shrouded in mystery, however some researchers believe the equestrian sport originated and evolved in Central Asia around the 6th century BC to train the cavalry and stimulate a real-life battle. The ruling elites and soldiers initiated the sport to maintain and promote their cavalry skills and use the exercise to prepare themselves physically and mentally for the battlefield.

To continue reading please find a copy of the full article below (republished by permission from Fascinating Pakistan)

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