By Qasim Ali:
Shimshal is one of those areas of GB where the culture and traditions have been preserved by the people. Yak Polo is one of the traditional game which links with the ancestors.
In an interview with Mr. Qurban Karim (an inhabitant of Shimshal), it was discovered that a man named “Sher” son of Mamu Singh (the first man to discover Shimshal) played a polo match with Chinese Army to win a part of Shimshal pass which connects with China. The Chinese Army had horses to play but Mr. Sher had no horse so he had to play on a yak. Fortunately Mr. Sher won the match and also won the part of the pass for the people of Shimshal. In the remembrance of that historical achievement by Mr. Sher, the people of Shimshal celebrate the event by the name of Yak Mela every year. This event is celebrated for two days where different teams participate with their yaks to win the “Sher Trophy’.
How it would be when you will witness a polo match played on yaks at an altitude of 4400m above the sea level? A lush green grassy ground surrounded by huge mountains wearing white scarf of snow. A blue and calm lake reflecting the sky beside the ground presents a fascinating view. This is all about the Shimshal Yak Polo mela which is a unique event celebrated in August every year.