A Taste of Polo in Pakistan
The small kingdoms of Gilgit and Baltistan have vied for victory in free style polo over many, many years. We were extremely lucky that at the last minute a match was confirmed during our stay in Shigar. We could hardly contain our excitement as we traipsed across the tamped-down grass to the wall-cum-bleacher that ran the length of the field, climbed up a short flight of steps, then inched along in a line to find our seats.
After the match began, our heads turned right then left, then back again, as if we were watching tennis. We followed the galloping horses, gleefully alarmed when they veered toward us, and attempted to understand the action.
On either side of us and across the field were men and boys who, our guide said, flocked excitedly and loyally to the match every week, savoring the satisfying thwack of mallet on ball and cheering on their team. When the thrilling competition ended, we were dusty but exhilarated to have tasted, literally and figuratively, a bit of history on the polo grounds at Shigar!
GeoEx’s next Hunza trip is from June 20-July 8. For more information on this extraordinary adventure, visit Pakistan’s Hunza Valley.