GILGIT (ET): To make up for the Shandur Polo Festival which was earlier cancelled due to recent floods, the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government plans to hold the Rama Polo Festival in September.
The festival is scheduled to be held from September 10 to 12 in Rama, a tourist hotspot in the scenic Astore Valley, about 110 kilometers
“Hopefully it will be a success,” said Adviser to Chief Minister on Tourism Sadia Danish on Saturday. “We have to work particularly hard to make it a success especially in the wake of Shandur Polo Festival’s cancellation.”
The Shandur festival was cancelled after both G-B and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) governments mutually decided to not hold the event this year.
The decision was made in light of the damage caused by monsoon rains along with security concerns. The festival, which is usually held in the first week of July, was postponed twice before being scrapped altogether.
To the surprise of the management, women had also attended the Rama Polo Festival held last year. In light of this, special arrangements have been made for them this year. “The management has allocated a separate pavilion for women to sit and enjoy the matches,” said Danish.
Eight polo teams from G-B will be participating in the competition and host district Astore will be allowed to field two teams. A special polo match involving donkeys will also be played between two local teams.
In addition, a Meena Bazaar will also be set up in Rama, allowing local women to display and exhibit traditional handicraft. Danish believes the turnout will be high and tourists not only from G-B but other parts of Pakistan will also attend.