The soaring Shandur Pass is home to an ancient rivalry between the villagers of Chitral and Gilgit, in the form of the highest polo match in the world. Among the white bivouacked tents of the Chitral Scouts, few have been privaleged to ever watch the pitched polo battle that ensues, something that developed out of the ancient game of Bushkazi, when a goat's, or even human head, surficed for the playing end of 'stick and ball'. Wild Frontiers offers the rarest of riding opportunities, to play in a match itself, with a royal team. The Ul Mulks were the former Mehtars, or Kings, of Chitral, and have been playing in these tournaments for generations, so Chitral's spirit will become yours, as you partake directly in a contest that sets these valleys at a gallop.
In 1895 Chitral Fort was the scene of one of the most famous sieges in the British Empire’s history. As the last great Mehtar – or ruler – of Chitral, Aman Ul Mulk, died so a power vacuum caused confusion and consternation in British ranks leading to the government in Calcutta to place their man on the throne of this distant kingdom. Unimpressed by the choice, the locals rose up and laid siege to the fort; for over two months a handful of British officers and their Indian companions were held up waiting for help. This did eventually come in the form of Captain Kelly, marching heroically over the snow-bound Shandur Pass, with a small detachment of 400 sappers, to save the day. Today the fort is in a sorry state but it does form a fascinating glimpse into the past and this pivotal period in British Imperial history. (Visits by arrangement only) …Read more