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Gandhara was the name given to the land and its associated civilization that existed in what is now northern Pakistan and Afghanistan from the mid-1st millennium BCE to the beginning of the 2nd millennium CE and consisted of multiple dynasties which ruled over the same area but which were linked by their adoption of Buddhism as a religion for the most part and also of the Indo-Greek artistic tradition as its cultural identity.
Although Gandhara has been historically known since the Achaemenian Empire and more specifically during the reign of Cyrus the Great (558-28 BCE), it wasn’t until the pilgrimage of XuanXang in the 7th century CE, at the tail end of the Gandhara Civilization, that we first see a descriptive account of the region down to the extent of the area itself as well as the various places and sites which can be identified today.
It has been speculated that Gandhara was a triangular tract of land about 100 kilometers east to west and 70 km north to south, lying mainly to the west of the Indus River and bounded on the north by the Hindukush Mountains.
Gandhāra was an ancient region in the Peshawar Basin in the north-west of the ancient Indian subcontinent corresponding to present-day north-west mostly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan and north-east Afghanistan. The centre region or Gandhara proper was at the confluence of the Kabul and Swat rivers, bounded by the Sulaiman Mountains on the west and the Indus RIver on the east. The Safed Koh Mountains separated it from the Kohat region to the south. This being the core area of Gandhara, the cultural influence of “Greater Gandhara” extended across the Indus river to the Taxila region and westwards into the Kabul and Bamiyan valleys in Afghanistan, and northwards up to the Karakorum mountains range. During the Achaemenes period and Hellenistic period, its capital city was Pushkalavati modern Charsadda. Later the capital city was moved to Peshawar by the Kushan emperor Kanishka in about 127 AD.
Islamabad International Airport
Based on your Flights Schedule
Arrival at Islamabad international airport, you will be received by the team of Active Tours Pakistan and after welcome reception, transfer to centrally located hotel in Islamabad. Half day, there will be city tour of Islamabad. Welcome dinner will be served at local traditional restaurant and overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast, we will drive to Peshawar. En route we will visit Taxila Museum and truck art painting. We will reach Peshawar around late noon and after check-in at hotel, we will visit local market. Dinner will be at local restaurant and overnight stay at hotel.
Full day city tour of Peshawar include, Peshawar markets, story tellers bazaar, Mohabat Khan Mosque, Peshawar Museum, qisa khani bazaar and Chowk Yadgar. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
We will leave peshawar in the morning to Swat Valley. En route, we will visit Takht-e-bhai Monetary. Later we will continue our drive to Mingor, Swat via Malakand Pass. Dinner & Check-in at hotel.
Today, we will explore swat valley. Our visit will start from Saidu Sharif by visiting Swat Museum, Butkara, white palace and around noon we will visit Mingor bazaar for walk. Evening we will get back to hotel for dinner & overnight stay.
Following breakfast, we will drive over shangla pass to Besham and then continue our drive on famous Karakorum Highway to Chilas. En route we will make several stops for tea, toilet and photography. We will reach chilas around late noon, check-in, dinner and overnight stay at hotel.
Following breakfast we will drive to Gilgit. Before reached to Gilgit en route we will face some interesting photogenic stops at the pre-historic rock carving inscription at Shatial, rocks with ancient graffiti’s at Chilas, view point of Nanga Parbat (9th highest peak of the world) offers breathtaking panorama on behind, the unique point where three mountain rages, Karakorum, Himalayas and Hindukush meet and our next stop will be at confluence of River Indus & Gilgit. After visit, we will continue our drive to Gilgit to visit Karga Buddha, local bazaar, and suspension bridge. Around late noon, we will leave for Karimabad, en route we will stop at KKH monument, collision point, viewpoints of Silk Route and Rakaposhi. We will reach hotel in the evening, check-in, dinner & overnight stay at hotel.
The tour will include meeting with local folks, understanding the secrets of their longevity and also visit some of the important historical sites including the recently renovated, simple yet overpowering, Baltit Fort and the Altit Fort.
Morning till afternoon we will visit Nagir Valley by 4×4 jeeps. Later, short an hour of driving on KKH along the river with the high peaks all around will bring us to Passu. But before reach to Passu we will stop en-route at Ganesh, (old village): The general belief however, is that the original inhabitants are descendant of soldiers of Alexander the Great, further drive to Gulkin village and walk on glacier from Gulkin to Borit Lake and trek down to KKH , cross Passu suspension bridges. Overnight stay in hotel.
Full day excursion to Khunjerab Pass (The border between Pakistan & China). In the olden days there were few highs passes leading from China those were suitable for travel. Today the Khunjerab Pass, which at an altitude of 4733 m is the highest point in the world on the Karakoram Highway, provides an easy all-weather entry from Pakistan to the famous Sinkiang Province of the Peoples Republic of China. This route is a beautiful drive, with views of the high mountains of the Karakorams and the distant Pamir Mountain Ranges. At Khunjerab, now declared a national park, one can see Marco Polo Sheep (ovis ammon poli).
On the way back we will make several stops include viewpoints of Pass glacier, peak and cones, walk down to suspension bridge, atabad lake boating and rock carving. We will reach Gilgit around evening, check-in, dinner and overnight stay will be hotel.
Following the breakfast, we will drive back to Besham (midway). Along the road we will make stops for tea, toilet and photography. we will reach Besham around evening, check-in at hotel and dinner will be served.
We will drive back to Islamabad, en route we will show you truck art painting. In the evening we will visit local market and see off dinner will be served at traditional restaurant.
You will be transferred to Islamabad International Airpport. From peace and serenity of Hunza to the hustle and bustles of “modern” trends, you say Khuda Hafiz, the typical farewell, as you depart after a tour into Shangri-La. End of the tour.
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