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 6 of Pakistan’s World Heritage Sites, we will travel through 5000 years of history, enjoy beautiful landscapes and meet the great variety of peoples and cultures of modern Pakistan, where warm hospitality is a long-honored tradition.
|UNESCO World Heritage Sites covered in this tour|
|1.||Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro||4.||Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta|
|2.||Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighbouring City Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol||5.||Rohtas Fort|
|3.||Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore||6.||Taxila|
|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! Arrival at the Karachi airport, where we are warmly received and transferred to our hotel.
Overnight: Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi (2 nights)
Day 02: Karachi/Thatta/Karachi (Drive)
We start our World Heritage Tour of the Indus Valley with a visit to 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. The site preserves, in a state of exceptional integrity, an imposing monumental complex. The remains of the city and the necropolis, massed at the edge of the Makli plateau, cover a distance of about 12 kilometers. The four-century-long golden age of Thatta has left many richly decorated monuments, including the world’s largest cemetery at Makli Necropolis. (B, D)
Day 03: Karachi/Sukkur (Flight) /Moenjodaro/Sukkur (Drive)
After a short flight to Sukkur, we proceed to the archaeological site of Moenjodaro*, the most ancient and best preserved urban ruin on the Indian subcontinent. 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. Moenjodaro is a massive site composed of 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, 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: Hotel One, Sukkur (1 night) (B, D)
Day 04: Sukkur/Bhong/Bahawalpur (Drive)
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. The extraordinary, albeit modern, mosque in Bhong 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. Continue to Bahawalpur, a former princely state ruled mainly by the Nawabs.
Overnight: Hotel One, Bahawalpur (1 night) (B, D)
Day 05: Bahawalpur/Multan (Drive)
We explore the regal city of Bahawalpur, founded in 1748 by Nawab Bhawal Khan, before proceeding to Multan. Well-known as a Sufi centre, Multan was the place where Alexander the Great was hit with the arrow that led to his eventual death. If time permits, we will visit the Old Fort, which houses the elaborately decorated shrines of Sheikh Bahad-ud-din Zakriya and Shah Shams Tabriz, as well as the Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam. This tomb is still revered today as the focus of a pilgrimage of over 100,000 pilgrims from all over South Asia, who visit and commemorate the Shah’s memory. We also explore the colourful Hussain Agahi Bazaar. If time is tight, we will explore these sites the next day, before we drive to Lahore.
Overnight: Ramada Inn Hotel, Multan (1 night) (B, D)
Day 06: Multan/Harappa/Lahore (Drive)
A drive through green and rural Punjab gets us 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. These mounds date from the fourth to the second millennium B.C. A modern sign posted network of concrete paths links most of the mounds. 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 Moghul serai. A modern reconstruction of a Bronze Age city wall and gate has been created on the southern edge of mounds. We explore this intriguing site and visit the Harappa Museum before continuing to the majestic city of Lahore.
Overnight: Pearl Continental, Lahore (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 07: Lahore
Legendary Lahore has served as the regional capital of various empires from the 11th century up until 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*, dating from the 11th century. The 21 monuments which survive within its boundaries are a majestic record of Moghul architecture. Explore the fort’s luxurious marbles and inlays of precious materials and mosaics. We will also experience 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 visit the huge and outstanding Badshahi Mosque, an unsurpassed work of Moghul 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 Shalimar Gardens*.
Afternoon tour includes visit to the Lahore Museum and its many galleries displaying artifacts from the Gandhara, Buddhist, Jain, Moghul 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. His son Shah Jahan built the mausoleum for the Moghul Emperor Jahangir, who ruled from 1605 to 1627. We also explore the famous Wazir Khan's Mosque and the many bazaars in Old Lahore. Dinner is at the popular Lahore Village. (B, D)
Day 08: Lahore/Rohtas/Rawalpindi (Drive)
We take the historical Grand Trunk Road to visit Rohtas Fort*, also called Qila Rohtas. Following his defeat of the Moghul 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 kilometers. 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 offers.
Overnight: Pearl Continental Hotel, Rawalpindi (2 nights) (B, D)
Day 09: Rawalpindi/Taxila/Islamabad/Rawalpindi (Drive)
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. Alternately influenced by Persia, Greece and Central Asia, Taxila was an important Buddhist learning centre. The history of Taxila spans over a thousand years, from 500 B.C. to 500 A.D. 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 mosques, Shah Faisal Mosque. 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: Rawalpindi/Takht-i-Bhai/Peshawar (Drive)
Continuing on the Grand Trunk Route, 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 for several centuries, as Peshawar has been a centre of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East for hundreds of years. We explore this historical city, visiting the legendary 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 locals and traders. Today the storytellers are gone, but the atmosphere of old still lingers. This bazaar offers everything from goldsmiths and silversmiths, to traditional carpets, to 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).
|Option(s)||Per Person on Twin Sharing||Single Room Supplement|
|Tour size 4 and above||US$ 2995 CA$ 3894||US$ 780 CA$ 1014|
|Tour size 02-03 persons||US$ 3695 CA$ 4804||US$ 780 CA$ 1014|
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.