Pakistan’s 4000 years history is richly illustrated by archaeological sites and imposing monuments scattered the length and breadth of the country. Brick cities from the Indus civilization, which flourished around 2000 B.C, stand with Buddhist ruins. Magnificent Muslims tombs from 12th century vie with the palaces, mosques and forts of the Moghals emperors of the 16th and 17th centuries. The country’s main cities reflect the many influences, both historical and modern, that have made Pakistan what it is.
Day 01: Arrival Quaid-i-Azam Int’l Airport Karachi
Meeting on arrival assistance and transfer to hotel. Overnight
Day 02: Karachi City Tour
Full day sightseeing tour of Karachi – we shall start our tour with visit to National Museum of Pakistan – see the Indus valley gallery with rare steatite seals, pottery and bust chief priest and the famous Dancer – later see exclusive Gandhara Art gallery with some rare statues from various sites and the Ethnic gallery. Later proceed to the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam – Father of the nation, Empress Market – see the daily products being sold in the bazaar. Later visit Frere Hall and Mohatta Palace and drive to Clifton beach.
Day 03: Karachi – Thatta – Hyderabad – 175 kms
Early morning departs for Hyderabad – our first stop enroute will be at Chaukundi to see an interesting necropolis – see the carvings on the yellow stone slabs are of great interest. Afterwards continue further and take an off the road to visit the site of Bhanbore – the site which represented the ancient port on the Indus River near the sea – Bhanbore site dates from 1st BC of Scytho-Parthian period – this could be the same site where Alexander the Great sent his naval expedition to find the mouth of Indus River. Continue further to Thatta Patalene of the classical writers, at the time of Alexander the Great’s invasion this was busy port town but we can reckon this town even as early as 2500 BC and could have been used but the people of Indus Valley Civilization by travelling on the sea to other ports in the region. We shall visit Makli Hills – to see the largest necropolis of the world. See excellent tombs with exquisite carving in different designs – flora and geometric. These tombs are from different dynastic periods starting from 15th century AD Lunch at local restaurant or picnic Proceed to Hyderabad and on arrival transfer to Hotel, Time permitting we shall drive through the town to the Fort area. Dinner and overnight
Day 04: Hyderabad – Sehwan – Larkana – 420 kms
Early morning departure for Larkana enroute we shall make our first stop at Hala – known for its blue pottery – we shall visit a local pottery store and if possible see a workshop.Later continue to Bhit Shah – we are now on the Sufi trail – the villages and towns revere greatly the famous Sufi poets and Saints living by Indus river towns. We shall visit the Shrine of Sufi Scholar Shah Abudul Latif Bhitai 1792 AD is buried in an exclusive tomb with best of local tile Work. His poetry is known and revered throughout the region with mistrals singing in the streets of these villages you see enroute Later continue to Sehwan crossing river Indus we shall then drive along right bank of the river to reach Sehwan – a city whose romance is seen in the air with songs of our Sufi Patron Saint Shahbaz Qalandar who lived in 13th century AD little after the invasion of Mongols. We shall visit the exquisite mausoleum of the great saint which is thronged by local folks. The atmosphere around is very interesting as you see people from different walks of life paying respect at the tomb of the saint. Later proceed to Larkana with occasional stops at interesting stops we shall arrive in the late afternoon or evening and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 05: Larakana – Mohenjo-Daro – Sukkur – 112 kms
Morning departs for Mohenjo-Daro – the famous Indus valley site 2500BC is the best preserved, On arrival we shall visit site – see the main stupa dating from 2nd to 5th AD but the ancient site is far interesting – we shall visit the Great Bath, the Granary, town planning, houses and streets with well laid out plan in burnt brick. Later visit the site museum of Mohenjo-Daro – see more collection of seals, the toys, the pottery and jewelry. Later depart for Sukkur via Khairpur – we shall make a brief stop at a local market see the date fruit sellers in traditional places – this is wonderful experience to see yet another day among the local folks later continue to Sukkur. Dinner and overnight
Day 06: Sukkur – Bahawalpur – 378 kms
Morning departs for Bahawalpur enroute we may encounter some nomadic or gypsy movement which usually are travelling a lot at this time of the year. It will be interesting to meet them while they are on the move. Late we shall take an off the road visit of Uch Sharif – the site of Alexandria on the Indus. Uch is famous point where nearby five rivers join together and which was mentioned by the classical writers in 2nd BC – here Alexander the Great faced local. Indian uprising and captured the fortress – this was the point where he decided to return to his home land after the mutiny as his soldiers refused to go further. Well, we cannot see the 2nd century BC of anything except much later period tombs. We shall see the tomb of Bibi Jawindi, an Iranian princess and daughter of local ruler. The tomb is partially destroyed by the river but it is worth seeing with its deep blue tile work and Persian influence which we shall see among many monuments in the region. Later continue to Bahawalpur and on arrival transfer to hotel. overnight
Day 07: Bahawalpur – Multan 283 kms
Morning excursion to Fort Derawar in Cholistan Desert – to see one of the great forts which was part of many forts built in Rajasthan which is extension of now what is Cholistan desert in Pakistan. We shall visit the 9th century Derawar Fort with its extensive area which is inhabited by local folks adding great color to the place – we shall also visit the Moti or the Pearl Mosque in white marble is worth seeing Later return to Bahawalpur town. we shall visit the mausoleum of Shah Rukne Alam – this colossal building is of great interest in architecture and design in basic Central Asian and Persian character belongs to famous Sufi Saint dates from 14th AD. Shah Ruknuddin Abul Fateh (Shah Rukne Alam) was from a great Sufi family of Suharwardiyya order. The tomb is situated on a vintage point and will be worth photography in afternoon sun light, also visit the local bazaar. Time permitting, we shall also visit the mausoleum of the Grand Father and spiritual mentor of Shah Rukne Alam, Bahauddin Zakariya. overnight
Day 08: Multan – Harappa – Lahore – 346 kms
Early morning, we shall depart for Lahore – enroute we shall make visit of Harappa archaeological site of oldest Indus Valley site 2500 BC. We shall visit the site of a bronze age period site of great importance which had contacts with all nearby sites of the period. The city had well laid out plan with a protective wall situated on high platform – worth seeing is the city plan, the workers platforms and the general plan from a high point later visit the nearby Archaeological Museum with display of various artefacts from the site. We shall also visit the local Railway Station of great importance – as during early days of British rule, the bricks were needed which were taken from Harappa site not knowing that they were building a station from 2500BC old bricks! Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight
Day 09: Lahore City Tour
Full day sightseeing tour of great Moghul City of Lahore – we shall start our tour by visiting Lahore Museum – one of the best in the region. We shall see the Gandhara gallery – see the Famous Fasting Buddha – dates from 1st BC or 1st AD are one of the rare sculptures of its nature and the other is in Peshawar Museum. See all the galleries of Lahore Museum. Later visit Badshahi Mosque constructed by last of the celebrated Moghul King Aurangzeb. Later visit Lahore Fort – this one of the best Moghul monuments where we can see development stages of Moghul architecture – highlights are Baradari – the Hall of audience with its red sandstone buildings built by Akbar the Great, later see Jehangir’s Palace area with ponds and gardens, Dewan-i-Khas – Hall of private audience built by Shah Jahan, the builder king of the Great Moghuls. Later visit Shah Jahan’s private palace area – the Naulakha pavilion, overlooking the view of the mosque and the nearby area. Worth seeing is Shish mahal – the mirror palace hall which was exclusive with décor in murals on the walls. Later we shall depart the fort via Elephant’s foot stairs note the mosaic work on the walls. Afterwards visit Shalimar Gardens – the best time to see in the afternoon with reflecting lights on the marble pavilions and the ponds is a great photographic sight. Later depart for Old city the walled city and walk through its interesting lanes is great experience – see the Golden Mosque and Wazir Khan’s Mosque – we shall then depart via Delhi gate.
Day 10: Lahore – Peshawar
Leaving Lahore after breakfast, we will proceed along the Grand Trunk Road (built by Sher Shah Suri linking Kabul, Afghanistan with Chittagong, India in the 16th century). We will reach the Rohtas Fort which is also a landmark project of Sher Shah Suri and built in the 16th century to counter any invading forces from the West. After visit to Rohtas fort, we resume our drive to Peshawar, stopping briefly at Rawat to see Mankiala Stupa. We will reach Peshawar and transfer to hotel on arrival.
Day 11: Peshawar – Islamabad
Morning after breakfast start the exploring the city of Peshawar, we will begin the tour with a walk in Khyber Bazaar, Kissa Khawani bazaar and end our walk at Mohabat khan mosque and Sarafa (Jewelry) bazaar, later we will visit the museum where your guide will tell you a detailed story of Buddha and how Buddhism arrived and disappeared in Pakistan. After museum we will have special Pakistani Lunch at famous Namak Mandi (Salt Bazaar) of Peshawar. and then proceed to Takhat-e-Bahi which is the archaeological site of Buddhist monastery spanning a vast area. Overnight Islamabad.
Day 12: Islamabad – Taxila – Islamabad
Morning excursion to Taxila archaeological site dating from 6th BC to 6th AD – we shall visit Archaeological sites of First City Bhir mound, later proceed to Sirkap – the second city in typical Greek planning – see the shrine of Double Headed Eagle. Afterwards proceed to Jaulian Buddhist monastery ruins dating from 2nd to 5th AD – see the well-preserved stupas and the monastery in best of stone architecture. Later return to see Taxila Archaeological Museum – worth seeing is the sculpture in stucco and stone. Taxila had more stucco and mud sculpture. See the strong room with jewelry and coins – the famous stele in Aramaic script throws light on the origin of local script Khoroshti dates from 5th BC afterwards return to Islamabad – lunch at local restaurant. afternoon Islamabad sightseeing visit Folk Heritage Museum, Shakerparian Hills, and later drive through important buildings of Islamabad and Faisal Mosque. Farewell Dinner at local restaurant. Later transfer to airport for your departure flight, Assistance on departure.
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