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Gandhara Civilization Tour

Rock carvings Chilas
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This tour is designed to discover the hidden treasures of ancient history and the marvels of nature of the northern valleys of Pakistan. Over centuries, the land we now call Pakistan has been the cradle of many civilizations. Whilst Indus Valley civilizations (Harappa 7th millennium BC and Moejodaro 4th millennium BC) are the landmarks of human civilizations in the southern plains of Pakistan, the Gandhara Civilization (500 BC to 10th Century AD), an era devoted mainly to Buddhism, has been the centre of spiritual influence as well as art and architecture.

It was from here that Buddhism spread towards east as far as Japan and Korea. Despite the vagaries of centuries, Taxila and Swat Valley have preserved these heritages in art and craft. In addition to the museums of London, Delhi, Karachi, Srinager, etc, those at Taxila, Peshawar and Swat host the finest remains of the civilization. But the more intriguing is the visit of the archaeological sites spread all over Taxila, Swat and other parts of North West Frontier Province of Pakistan and the Gilgit-Baltistan that have been discovered in the twentieth century.

Driving on the Karakoram Highway, we can recapitulate the history by visiting petroglyphs that are found along the Indus, Gilgit and Hunza Rivers. These carvings bear not only the “guest books” of passing by traders and pilgrims but also depict the natural beliefs of fairy worshippers.

Along with the journey into the history, one enjoys the splendours of nature while travelling in the valleys of Swat, Indus, Gilgit and Hunza. From Dense pine forest to high passes, thundering rivers, picturesque valleys, terraced field, orchards, breath-taking gigantic peaks and shining glaciers form the salient features of nature. Typically colourful bazaars of Rawalpindi and Peshawar are the additional features of this trip.

  • Day 01: Arrive Islamabad – sightseeing: Shakar Parian, Lok Virsa Museum, Faisal Mosque
  • Day 02: Islamabad – Taxila – Peshawar
  • Day 03: Peshawar – sightseeing: Gorkhatri, Pashto Academy, Shahji ki Dheri
  • Day 04: Peshawar Takht-i-Bahi – Sehri Bahlol – Swat
  • Day 05: Swat – sightseeing: Swat Museum, Ranigat
  • Day 06: Swat – Shangla Pass – Besham
  • Day 07: Besham Shatial & Chilas & Alam Bridge Buddhist rock carvings – Nanga Parbat viewpoint -Gilgit
  • Day 08: Gilgit – sightseeing: Bazaar, Danyor Buddhist rock carvings, Kargah Buddha
  • Day 09: Gilgit – Rakaposhi viewpoint – Baltit Fort – Karimabad / Hunza
  • Day 10: Karimabad – Ganish Village & Sacred Rocks – Altit Fort – Duikar
  • Day 11: Hunza – Passu – Khunjerab Pass – Gulmit
  • Day 12: Gulmit sightseeing: Old House, Gulmit Museum, Polo Field – drive back to Gilgit
  • Day 13: Gilgit – fly or drive to Islamabad
  • Day 14: Islamabad – Home.

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