Pakistan is home to the most important centres of the Indus Valley Civilization, the ancient Kingdom of Gandhara and some of the most magnificent sites of the Moghul Empire. On this incredible 12-day journey that has been artistically tailored to include all the World Heritage Sites in Pakistan, you will travel through 5000 years of history through beautiful landscapes and meet the great variety of peoples and cultures of modern Pakistan, where warm hospitality is a long-honored tradition. Pakistan is home to 6 UNESCO World Heritage sites and we explore all of them in this tour.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro|
|2.||Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol|
|3.||Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore|
|4.||Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta|
|Tour Duration||:||12 days|
|Min. Tour Size||:||02 persons|
|Max. Tour Size||:||08 persons|
|Includes international air|
|Tour Price (from)||:||US$|
Day 01: Arrive Karachi
Khush Amdeed! - Welcomed. Arrival Karachi airport and we are warmly received and transferred to our hotel. In the evening we visit the elegant white marble mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah founder of Pakistan, and the Defence Mosque, an impressive modern concrete shell dome mosque followed by our welcome dinner at the Kolachi Restaurant – the “spirit of Karachi” with unobstructed views of the Arabian Sea.
Overnight: Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi (2 nights) (D)
Day 02: Karachi/Thatta/Karachi
We visit the National Museum that houses an impressive collection of relics from Indus Valley Civilization and the Gandhara period. Afterward we take an excursion to the Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta*. The archaeological site of Thatta and the necropolis of Makli testify in an outstanding manner to the civilization of Sind from the 14th to the 18th centuries. Within the broad family of Islamic monuments, those of Thatta represent a particular type, notable for the fusion of diverse influences into a local style. The site preserves, in a state of exceptional integrity, an imposing monumental complex with the remains of the city itself in the valley and especially those of the necropolis, massed at the edge of the Makli plateau, covering a distance of about 12 km. The four centuries that comprise the golden age of Thatta have left their traces on the form of monuments of high quality in stone and brick. (B, D)
Day 03: Karachi/Sukkur (Flight)/Moenjodaro/Sukkur (Drive 110 Kms/1 ½ hour)
After a short flight to Sukkur we proceed to the archaeological site of Mohenjodaro*, the most ancient and best-preserved urban ruin on the Indian subcontinent. The archaeological site is located on the right bank of the Indus River, and flourished for about 800 years during the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC. Centre of the Indus Civilization, this 5,000-year old city is the earliest manifestation of urbanization in South Asia. Its urban planning surpasses that of many other sites of the oriental civilizations that were to follow. Of massive proportions, Moenjodaro comprises two sectors: a stupa mound that rises in the western sector and, to the east, the lower city ruins spread out along the banks of the Indus. The acropolis, set on high embankments, the ramparts, and the lower town, which is laid out according to strict rules, provide evidence of an early system of town planning. The stupa mound, built on a massive platform of mud brick, is composed of the ruins of several major structures: Great Bath, Great Granary, College Square and Pillared Hall, as well as a number of private homes. The extensive lower city is a complex of private and public houses, wells, shops and commercial buildings. These buildings are laid out along streets intersecting each other at right angles, in a highly orderly form of city planning that also incorporated important systems of sanitation and drainage. We also visit the Moenjodaro Museum, before returning to Sukkur for the night.
Overnight: Inter Pak Inn, Sukkur (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Sukkur/Bhong/Rahim Yar Khan (Drive 190 Kms/3 hours)
We start with a tour of Sukkur, the largest settlement in interior Sind and continue on a scenic rural Sind and Lower Punjab drive to Bhong. Bhong is well known for its most extraordinary, albeit modern, mosque. It is a recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Islamic Architecture. Built in traditional style with extravagant use of gold leaf, mirror work and onyx it displays extraordinary Arabic calligraphy. We continue to the princely city of Bahawalpur.
Overnight: Shelton Guest House, Rahim Yar Khan (1 night) (B, D)
Day 05: Rahim Yar Khan/Multan (Drive 255 Kms/4 hours)
Early morning drive to Multan enroute visit of Bahawalpur. We explore the city of Nawabs and Rajas before proceeding to Multan. Well known as a Sufi centre, Multan was the place where Alexander was hit with the arrow that led to his eventual death. If time permits we shall visit to the Old Fort, which houses the elaborately decorated shrines of Sheikh Bahad-ud-din Zakriya, Shah Shams Tabriz and the Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam. The latter tomb of the saint is still revered today and his tomb is the focus of the pilgrimage of over 100,000 pilgrims from all over South Asia who visit and commemorate his memory. We also explore the colorful Hussain Agahi Bazaar.
Overnight: Ramada Inn Hotel, Multan (1 night) (B, D)
Day 06: Multan/Harappa/Lahore (Drive 348 Kms/5 hours)
A drive through green and rural Punjab gets to Harappa. The archaeological site of Harappa consists of a series of low archaeological mounds and cemeteries to the south of a dry bed of the Ravi river. A modern sign posted network of concrete paths links most of these mounds. The site’s sequence stretches from the fourth to the second millennium BC and whilst there are a limited number of open sections, the only exposed structures, on mound AB and F, date to the third millennium. There are a number of historic structures scattered across the property including an un-conserved Gupta period temple, a partially conserved mosque and the recently excavated foundations of a Mughal serai. A modern reconstruction of a Bronze Age city wall and gate has been constructed on the southern edge of mounds. We will explore the site and visit the Harappa Museum before continuing to the majestic city of Lahore. Dinner at the famous Lahore Village.
Overnight: Pearl Continental, Lahore (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 07: Lahore
Lahore successively served as regional capital of various empire from the 11th century till today. The traditional capital of Punjab for over a thousand years, Lahore is the cultural center of the subcontinent. We start our visit in the Lahore Fort*, which assumed its present configuration during the 11th century. The 21 monuments, which survive within its boundaries comprise an outstanding repertory of the forms of Mughal architecture. We see the luxurious marbles, inlays of precious materials and mosaics, the Diwan-e-Kas, Lal Burj, Khwabgah-e-Jahangiri, and the majestic Shish Mahal, one of the most beautiful palaces in the world. Next we explore the huge and outstanding Badshahi Mosque - a unique work of unsurpassed beauty and workmanship in Mughal architecture. We then explore the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, the mausoleum of the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Guru Arjun Dev, both important places for the Sikhs; and the Shalamar Gardens*, constructed by Shah Jahan which covers 16 hectares, and is arranged in three terraces descending from the south to the north. Afternoon tour includes visit to the Lahore Museum and its many galleries displaying artifacts from the Gandhara, Buddhist, Jain, Mogul and Colonial periods. The highlights of the museum are a statue of the fasting Siddhartha (Buddha) and the Zamzamma, Rudyard Kipling’s gun. Next we head to the town of Shahdara Bagh to visit the Tombs of Jahangir and his Empress, Nur Jehan. The mausoleum was built for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir who ruled from 1605 to 1627 by his son Shah Jahan. We also explore the famous Wazir Khan's Mosque the many bazaars in Old Lahore. (B, D)
Day 08: Lahore/Rawalpindi (Drive 376 Kms/4 ½ hours)
We take the historical Grand Trunk Road to visit Rohtas Fort*, also called Qila Rohtas. Following his defeat of the Mughal emperor Humayun in 1541, Sher Shah Suri built a strong fortified complex at Rohtas, a strategic site in the north of what is now Pakistan. It was never taken by storm and has survived intact to the present day. The main fortifications consist of the massive walls, which extend for more than 4 km; they are lined with bastions and pierced by monumental gateways. It is an exceptional example of early Muslim military architecture in Central and South Asia. After visiting the fort we drive to Rawalpindi and are transferred to our hotel. Rawalpindi is the twin city to Islamabad. Evening we are driven to the capital city Islamabad for dinner at the Islamabad Monal Hill view restaurant known for its Punjabi cuisine and for the breathtaking view it offer.
Overnight: Pearl Continental Hotel, Rawalpindi (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 09: Rawalpindi/Taxila/Rawalpindi
Today we explore Taxila*. From the ancient Neolithic tumulus of Saraikala to the ramparts of Sirkap (2nd century B.C.) and the city of Sirsukh (1st century A.D.), Taxila illustrates the different stages in the development of a city on the Indus that was alternately influenced by Persia, Greece and Central Asia and which, from the 5th century B.C. to the 2nd century A.D., was an important Buddhist centre of learning. The history of Taxila spans over a thousand years - from 500 BC to 500 AD. The Taxila Museum reflects the original culture and tradition of the old Gandhara Civilization. From here we continue to Shakarparian (sweet hills) Gardens from where we get a panoramic view of Islamabad. We visit the Lok Virsa Museum housing a fascinating array of traditional handicrafts including embroidered costumes, old jewellery and intricate woodcarvings. It is a popular place for those wishing to buy traditional Pakistani crafts. We then drive past various modern streets and buildings – gracefully designed in Islamic architecture. The Islamabad portion of the tour culminates at one of the world’s largest mosque - Shah Faisal Mosque. The architecture has a blend of the Ottoman minarets. The mosque is considered to be amongst the largest in the world. From here we drive to Rawalpindi and visit this much older town including the historical Raja Bazaar. Evening we have a farewell dinner in Rawalpindi. (B, D)
Day 10: Depart Islamabad or continue to Peshawar via Takht-e-Bhai (Drive 179 Kms/2 hours)
For those ending the tour in Islamabad you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. For those continuing on to Peshawar we drive to the Buddhist monastic complex of Takht-i-Bahi* (Throne of Origins), which was founded in the early 1st century. Owing to its location on the crest of a high hill, it escaped successive invasions and is still exceptionally well preserved. We will also visit the nearby ruins of Sahr-i-Bahlol*, a small fortified city dating from the same period before continuing to the historical city of Peshawar.
Overnight: Pearl Continental, Peshawar (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 11: Peshawar
Peshawar is now officially recognized as being one of the Oldest Living Cities in Asia. Its history and culture has continued uninterrupted since several centuries, as Peshawar has for centuries been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. We explore this historical city visiting the historical Quissa Khawani (Story Tellers) bazaar. In olden days this was the place where caravans and military adventures would halt and professional storytellers recited ballads and tales of travel war and love to the locals and the traders. Today the storytellers are gone but the atmosphere still lingers on. It offers everything from goldsmiths and silversmiths, traditional carpets, pottery, and clothing to artwork in wood, brass or semi-precious stones. We then visit the incredible Mahabat Khan Mosque followed by a sightseeing tour of the city. In the afternoon we have an in-depth visit of the Peshawar Museum, known for its rich collection of Gandhara artifacts. (B, D)
Day 12: Depart Peshawar
After our enlightening journey through millenary history, we are transferred to the airport for our departure flight. (B)
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
English Speaking Departures (Please contact us for information on French, German, Italian and Spanish speaking departures).
Tour PriceWe accept payment in US $ (US Dollars), CA $ (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent EURO (for clients outside North America). Bestway Tours & Safaris offers conversion rate protection. Once full payment has been received, and no modification has been made to the tour itinerary, we will honour that rate. For complete payment procedures, please click here
|Option(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|10-day program||US$ 3665||US$ 835|
|12-day program||US$ 3940||US$ 980|
|Option(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|10-day program||US$ 3850||US$ 880|
|12-day program||US$ 4150||US$ 1050|
Estimated International Airfare (International airfare is NOT included in this tour)
This tour operates on a minimum of 02 and a maximum of 08 participants
If you would like to have a tour on dates other than the above ones or with a customised itinerary, please contact us and we will be happy to work out an exclusive program for you.
You may e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-604-264-7378. Residents of U.S.A./Canada may call us toll free at 1-800-663-0844.