Shandur festival likely to be held next month
PESHAWAR: The Tourism Corporation Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (TCKP) has forwarded a summary to the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to get his nod for holding the three-day annual mega Shandur Polo Festival from July 21 to 23.
This was told a meeting held with Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Tourism Abdul Muneem Khan in the chair.
Speaking on the occasion, Abdul Muneem Khan said that the Shandur Polo Festival will be organised in a befitting manner to attract domestic and foreign tourists to the scenic region and traditional game in large number this year.
He issued directives to the concerned departments to take steps for the renovation of polo ground, water supply, transport, holding meetings with stakeholders and provision of other facilities to the participating teams, fans and tourists.
The special assistant said that the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral teams would participate in the mega annual event.
Abdul Muneem said that the festival would provide an opportunity of great thrill and enjoyment to the tourists, spectators and fans of the polo game.
He said the event would also send a positive message to the outer world that peace and tranquility had been restored in the region.
“This year the festival would be unique as the local artisans and skilled entrepreneurs would be provided opportunity to showcase their products besides polo game, traditional music and dances and adventurous activities in the gala,” he added.
He said rafting in the Shandur lake, paragliding, archery and kite flying would be other features of the event to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
In addition to setting up camping village, stalls would be established to highlight and promote the artworks of the Chitral and Gilgit local artists and skilled people.
The game has got international fame, which is being played at the highest polo ground of the world at Shandur Pass in Chitral.
The provincial government through Finance Department provides funds to TCKP for arrangements for the event, which are released to the district administration Chitral.
The role of TCKP is that of a catalyst for promoting the festival through publicity campaign and it also establishes a tented village, tourism information centre and stalls during the event. It also provides boarding and lodging facilities for both foreign and domestic tourists.
As Chitral is the most peaceful region, it attracts thousands of domestic and international tourists annually, especially during the Shandur and Kalash festivals.
This year, the number of foreign and domestic tourists will be great as compared to the previous years as peace has been restored in the province and the condition of acquiring no objection certificate (NOC) for the international visitors and tourists had already been withdrawn.
The foreign tourists can now visit the event and other scenic spots in any part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa if they just have a tourist visa.