shandur pass

Shandur Pass: The Roof of the World and Home of the Highest Polo Ground

Shandur Pass, located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, is a high mountain pass that connects the Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with the Gilgit district of Gilgit-Baltistan. The pass is situated at an elevation of 12,200 feet above sea level and is known as the “Roof of the World.” Shandur is famous for its natural beauty, adventure sports, and the annual Shandur Polo Festival, which is held here every year in July.

Geography of Shandur Pass:

Shandur Pass is located between the Hindu Kush mountain range and the Karakoram mountain range. The pass is situated on a broad plateau that is covered in snow for most of the year. The plateau is surrounded by high mountains, including the Tirich Mir (25,289 feet), the highest peak of the Hindu Kush range. The area around the Pass is home to several glacial lakes, including the Sheosar Lake, which is located near the pass.

Shandur Pass sits atop the Hindukush mountain range, presenting visitors with panoramic vistas of rolling hills, alpine meadows, and shimmering lakes. Surrounded by snow-capped peaks and vast open spaces, the pass showcases the raw beauty of nature in all its glory. The article highlights the unique geographical features that make it a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

History of Shandur Pass:

The history dates back to the time of the British Raj in India. During that time, the pass was an important trade route between Chitral and Gilgit. The British built a polo ground at Shandur in 1936, which was later named as the “Highest Polo Ground in the World”. The annual Shandur Polo Festival started in 1936 and has since become a major event in Pakistan’s sporting calendar.

Adventure Sports in Shandur Pass:

It is a popular destination for adventure sports enthusiasts. The plateau provides an ideal location for trekking, hiking, and camping. The area is also popular for mountain biking and off-road jeep safaris. The nearby glacial lakes provide excellent opportunities for fishing and boating.

Shandur Polo Festival:

The Shandur Polo Festival is the main attraction of Shandur. The festival is held every year in July and attracts visitors from all over Pakistan and abroad. The festival is a three-day event that includes polo matches, folk music, dance performances, and local handicraft exhibitions. The highlight of the festival is the polo match played between the Chitral and Gilgit teams. The match is played on the highest polo ground in the world and is a unique experience for both players and spectators.


It is located in an area that is rich in culture and history. The region is home to several ethnic groups, including the Khowar, Wakhi, and Gujjar communities. The area is known for its traditional music, dance, and handicrafts. Visitors to Shandur Pass can experience the local culture by attending traditional music and dance performances and visiting local handicraft markets.

Accessibility of Shandur Pass

Shandur is accessible by road from both Chitral and Gilgit. The road from Chitral to Shandur Pass is open from April to November, while the road from Gilgit is open from June to October. The road from Chitral to Shandur Pass is a narrow and winding road that passes through the beautiful valleys of Chitral. The road from Gilgit to Shandur Pass is a more challenging road that passes through the rugged terrain of the Karakoram Mountains.

Shandur Pass is a unique destination that offers visitors an opportunity to experience the natural beauty, adventure sports, and local culture of Pakistan’s northern region. The pass is an important link between Chitral and Gilgit and has played a significant role in the history of the region. The annual Shandur Polo Festival is a major event in Pakistan’s sporting calendar and attracts visitors from all over the world. Shandur Pass is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in adventure sports and natural beauty.

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