|10 Days||Annual Shandur Festival From 7-9th July 2019. Combine Shandur Festival with an exploration of mighty Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalayan and unique Kalash culture Once in a lifetime opportunity
Pakistan, a magnificent country on the map of the world which houses some of the majestic mighty mountain ranges of the world. Out of the 14 highest mountain peaks of the world, 4 are in Pakistan that notably lies in Karakorum Mountain Range. In addition to the Karakorum, there are hundreds of peaks above 7000 meters are situated in the most famous mountain ranges of Pakistan. All of these mountains add more amazement to the scenic beauty of landscapes. These mountain ranges are storing the 3rd largest glaciers deposits of the world after Antarctica and Greenland.
Many wonders, including the world highest Highway (KKH) the world highest polo ground (Shandur), the largest tunnel of Asia, lakes, glaciers, falls etc.
At the top roof of the world- Shandur festival is an amazing challenging festival for the participants, celebrated by the tribes of Gilgit and Chitral in the northern areas of Pakistan.
This is a centuries-old festival, the tribes from the mountain regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral meet annually at the fascinating pasture and highest polo ground of the world (12500 feet=3810 meter).
A living civilization, prestigious heritage and amazing culture of mountain communities are practised in a way that attracts and hold attentively by a unique power, personal charm, unusual nature with some special quality; enthral: a vivacity that is fascinating the audience to arouse the interest or curiosity of allure.
Shandur top in District Upper Chitral is often called the “Roof of the world” is vivaciously challenged for every life who are not acclimatized with the high altitude atmosphere – is multiplying the challenges both for the sportsmen and the polo horses( evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature and taxonomic family Equidae) played at the world highest polo ground in a unique freestyle polo- the Game of Kings and kings of games- and others sports including paragliding, rafting, tug of war, donkey match, music, dance and culture activities under the open sky adjacent to one of the largest glacier lake on the top roof of Hindukush range. The polo tournament is featured in the first episode of Himalaya with Michael Palin. Various teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have always played the game of polo closest to its original form. In the past, the British Rulers were the patrons of the game.
The festival also includes full night folk music, dancing, showcasing craft and arts, culture show performed by a different group of Chitral and Gilgit Baltistan in the camping villages established in the vicinity of the polo ground near the glacier lake. Other attractions of the festival, include trout fishing, mountaineering, trekking, hiking, horse riding, paragliding and motorized gliding and a beautiful display of fireworks.
Combining Shandur festival with exploring Kalash valleys- a wonderland for tourist’s is offering addition treat and amusement in one go. The Kalash is an indigenous people living in District Lower Chitral KP Pakistan over 3000 years and holds on to their own religious beliefs, along with their own identity, way of life, and language.
The Kalash people are also noted for their fair skin and blue and yellowish eyes, leading to a popular hypothesis that they were of Greek origin, specifically the descendants of Alexander the Great’s soldiers who followed him on his campaign in India.
They live in three specific valleys in the south of Chitral- Bumburat, Birir, and Rumbur, an estimated population of about 4000 people, which makes them one of the smallest minority group of Pakistan. Kalasha culture is one of the ancient and rich cultures from across the world and might be described as being of universal value.
The Kalasha are unique people, unlike any other on the globe in cultural practices and way of life, clearly, differ from both the surrounding cultures of Pakistan and the rest of the world. Greek volunteers in the valleys said that the "Kalasha are the cultural heroes of the 21st century". The Kalasha way of life is finely balanced, allowing both men and women to do their duties freely. The Kalasha society is not a male-dominated society like other communities in Pakistan. The Kalash social organization is very effective and ensures there is no cruelty or discrimination on the basis of gender. The Kalasha culture is appreciated globally- here one cannot marry with a close relative, including second cousins not within the same caste.
The Kalash peoples believe in a single creative God, referred to in the Kalasha language as Dezau- use the Persian term Khudai as well.
Kalasha peoples do not have any routine daily prayers, they do pray whenever they initiate any activities like harvesting, plugging, construction and whenever the favour and honour of Dezau are needed. Most prayers are offered during Kalasha festivities.
Kalash people are one of the happiest communities in the world, who live the life to the fullest and contented, enjoy it with music, dance, wine and celebrations, even the death event in the family is celebrated which is again unique in the world.
There is a strong belief of in purity and impurity in the Kalasha culture. In the Kalasha belief system, women are considered to be especially impure during menstruation and childbirth. There is a separate building for these women and it is prohibited for men to enter this building. The building where the women stay during the menstruation and childbirth is known as“Bashaleni”. Kalash women have a unique and colourful dress that serves as the most obvious symbol of identity for the Kalash community.
Kalash women are free to choose their life partners and also to divorce the man without any complication. In Kalash culture, morality and ethics are the highest values and could not be compromised at any stage. The love God and his creature and respect to the environment with thanksgiving pray every time and many times in a year.
Your tour will not end here; you will be surprised by how much northern Pakistan you haven’t seen yet are offering much more beyond your expectation, So, prepare to be awestruck by the sheer beauty of the three mighty mountain region of Hindukush, Karakoram and Himalaya in Pakistan with sightseeing, landscapes, glaciers, lakes, rivers and many magical places and verities.
Overview of Shandur Polo Festival
|Day 1||Arrive Islamabad airport and transfer to hotel|
|Day 2||Drive to KALASH, 412km, 10-12 hrs|
|Day 3||Full day exploration of Kalash valley and return to Chitral 45km for O/N stay|
|Day 4||Drive to Shandur 160km, 5-6hrs|
|Day 5||Two days at Shandur pass for the final event and drive back to Phunder for o/n stay|
|Day 6||Drive to Gilgit lunch at Gilgit and afternoon drive to Hunza 100 km 1 hour for o/n stay|
|Day 7||Local visits in Karimabad full day exploration evening drive to Gilgit for o/n stay.|
|Day 8||Drive to Naran via Babusar Pass 4137m for overnight stay|
|Day 9||Drive to Islamabad after exploring Buddha sites at Abbottabad/Haripur 6-7hrs|
|Day 10||Transfer to Islamabad for the return flight|
In this venture, we assure you a quality time. Chitral travel Bureau is one of the local tour and trekking companies in Pakistan. Combining the natural beautify, culture and heritage together is one the best tour, we are offering to our clients/customer and guest. Please do not hesitate to Contact us or visit Chitral Travel Bureau for more details and tanneries at www.chitraltravel.com or write to us at email@example.com.
|Cost of the trip is 105,000PKR per person or US$ 745 per person.
It is based on 9+pax, and a smaller group will be little expensive and larger groups will comparatively be economical.
- Pick and drop from the airport at Islamabad
- Full board hotel accommodation at Islamabad, Kalash, Chitral, phunder, Hunza, Gilgit, and Naran
- Camping and food at Shandur and phunder 2 nights, including tents, mattress, sleeping bags.
- Guide from Islamabad to Islamabad
- Transport= Islamabad to Dir by coaster and transferred to Jeeps till return to Gilgit from Hunza.
- Transport Gilgit to Naran and Islamabad 2 days by coaster
- Overnight at Islamabad and transfer to air port-Islamabad.
- Double occupancy of rooms and tents.
Warm clothes, jackets, sun protection kits, medicines, extra mineral water, minibars use in hotels, additional food or fruits, tips, single supplement in the hotel and tented accommodation, additional travelling and transport, travel insurance etc.