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Shandur Pass

The Roof of the World

By Taj GulPublished 3 months ago 5 min read
Shandur Pass

Shandur Pass, located in the northern areas of Pakistan, is one of the highest mountain passes in the world. At an altitude of 12,200 feet above sea level, Shandur Pass is known as the "Roof of the World."

The pass connects the districts of Chitral and Gilgit and is surrounded by the towering Hindu Kush mountains. The pass remains covered in snow for most of the year and is only accessible during the summer months from late June to early September.

The area surrounding Shandur Pass is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts. The region is home to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, including high peaks, glaciers, alpine lakes, and meadows filled with wildflowers.

The pass is also renowned for its polo tournament, which is held every year in July. The Shandur Polo Festival is a highlight of the Pakistani summer and attracts visitors from all over the world.

The History of Shandur Pass:

Shandur Pass has a rich history dating back to ancient times. The pass was a crucial trading route between the regions of Chitral and Gilgit, and it played a vital role in connecting the regions to the rest of the world.

The pass was also a battleground for many of the region's rulers, who fought for control of this strategic location.

In the 19th century, the British colonial administration recognized the importance of Shandur Pass as a strategic location and used it to establish a communication link between Chitral and Gilgit.

During this time, the British constructed a rest house on the pass, which still stands today and serves as a popular tourist destination.

The Shandur Polo Festival:

Shandur Polo Festival

The Shandur Polo Festival is one of the most famous events in Pakistan and is held every year in July. The festival is a celebration of the traditional sport of polo, which has been played in the region for centuries.The tournament brings together teams from Chitral and Gilgit, who compete for the trophy.

The polo match is played on the Shandur Pass polo ground, which is the highest polo ground in the world. The ground is surrounded by snow-capped mountains and provides a breathtaking backdrop to the game. The festival also features traditional music, dance perfor mances, and handicraft exhibitions.

Tourism in Shandur Pass:

Shandur Pass has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, attracting visitors from all over the world.

The area is known for its natural beauty and offers a range of activities for tourists, including trekking, mountaineering, camping, and fishing.

The pass is also a popular destination for photography enthusiasts, who come to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife of the region.

The region surrounding Shandur Pass is home to several small villages, where visitors can experience the local culture and way of life. The villages are known for their hospitality, and visitors are often welcomed with open arms.

The local cuisine is also a highlight of the region, with traditional dishes such as chapli kebab, pulao, and shorba being popular among tourists.

In recent years, the Pakistani government has taken steps to promote tourism in the region and has invested in infrastructure projects to improve accessibility.

The government has also launched initiatives to preserve the natural beauty of the area and protect the wildlife that inhabits the region.

Shandur Pass is a true gem of Pakistan and is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

The pass offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the region and to immerse themselves in the local culture.

The Shandur Polo Festival is a must-visit event for anyone traveling to the region and provides a unique insight into the traditional sport of polo.

However, it is important


Shandur Pass is located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, on the border between Chitral district and Ghizer district. The pass is situated at an elevation of 3,734 meters (12,250 feet) above sea level, and it connects the Chitral Valley to the south with the Gilgit-Baltistan region to the north.

The pass is about 200 kilometers (124 miles) from the city of Chitral and 147 kilometers (91 miles) from the town of Gilgit.


The climate of Shandur Pass is classified as subarctic, with very cold temperatures throughout the year. During the winter months, the pass is usually covered with snow, and it remains inaccessible due to heavy snowfall.

The best time to visit Shandur Pass is during the summer months from late June to early September, when the weather is relatively mild and the pass is open to traffic.


The region surrounding Shandur Pass is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including ibex, snow leopards, markhor, musk deer, and various species of birds.

The area is also famous for its trout fish, which can be found in the streams and lakes around the pass. The wildlife in the region is protected by the Pakistani government, and visitors are advised to respect the local conservation laws.


The people of the Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan regions have a unique culture and way of life. The locals are known for their hospitality, and visitors are often welcomed with open arms.

The people of the region speak a variety of languages, including Khowar, Shina, and Burushaski. The traditional dress of the locals is colorful and ornate, with embroidered caps, shawls, and waistcoats being popular among men and women.

Tourist Attractions:

Apart from the Shandur Polo Festival, the region surrounding Shandur Pass has several other tourist attractions. The Phander Valley, located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the pass, is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and trout fishing.

The Shandur Lake, situated at an altitude of 3,800 meters (12,500 feet), is a beautiful alpine lake that can be accessed by a trek from the pass. The Mastuj Valley, located on the southern side of the pass, is famous for its apple orchards, apricot trees, and walnut groves.


Shandur Pass is a unique destination that offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty, rich culture, and traditional lifestyle of the people of Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The pass is a testament to the region's history and strategic importance and continues to play a vital role in connecting the communities of the region.

For anyone looking for an adventure off the beaten path, Shandur Pass is an excellent choice.

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About the Creator

Taj Gul

I'm a seasoned traveler and travel writer, with a passion for exploring new cultures, cuisines, and landscapes.

I believe that travel has the power to broaden horizons, challenge perceptions, and connect people from all walks of life

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