The game of Polo was born in Chitral. The people here have a passion for the game which borders madness. Every village boasts of having a polo ground and any one who is anybody plays polo.People wanting to learn how to play polo ( the style is somewhat different to the international style) should come to Chitral. People still remember a British lawyer who came here from UK just to learn how to play polo. Surprisingly, polo is the most favorite and famous games played in Chitral. That is why many polo grounds are made in Chitral.
Shandur invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament, which since 1936 has been held annually in the first week of July/Aug between the local teams of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. The tournament is held on Shandur Top, the highest polo ground in the world at 3,700 meters. The three-day Shandur Polo Festival has developed steadily in recent years into the massive celebration of mountain polo that it is today.
Paragliding is an exhilarating sport that needs ample of space and height for the glider to thrust himself into the air and leave himself at the mercy of the winds. Chitral offers an ideal location for paragliding lovers. Its silent mountains and massive covers of lush green grass gives an ideal landing for the paragliders. Tourists have been attracted to Chitral for paragliding and are a popular resort.
The sport is becoming more popular among the locals. Several training clubs are training locals for this sport. As with free-style polo, Chitral also has free-style paragliding, which helps promote tourism and sports in the region.
As part of Jashne-e-Chitral each year the following events are scheduled.
Archery contest between Nuristani tribes Swimming across torrential rivers Rock climbing at ShaSha cliffs Rafting down Chitral river Wild mountain polo , horse races and Buz Kashi Traditional wrestling and tug of war, shot puts Wrestling on wooden logs placed high over water.
Another sporting event is held in Baroghol Valley every year, which is 13,000 feet above sea level, located at the junction of Chitral, Wakhan and Tajikistan. Wakhan corridor- a buffer zone between Russian and British India can be viewed from this beautiful valley (now a link between Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asian states).
The main events of the Baroghol Festival include the horse polo, yak polo and the Buz kashi (completing a round carrying a goat carcass by a horse rider defending himself against the opponent riders).
Qaqlasht is also a famous festival which features different sporting events. The festival is celebrated in the month of April. Major Events of the festival includes traditional sports like Polo, and Matches of tug of war, Falcon prey, Race, Shooting(of ‘Siyah Kaman’), Local hockey, football and other activities like Buddy Dik and paragliding.