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Indus Civilization, also called Indus valley civilization or Harappan civilization, the earliest known urban culture of the Indian subcontinent. The nuclear dates of the civilization appear to be about 2500–1700 BCE, though the southern sites may have lasted later into the 2nd millennium BCE.
The civilization was first identified in 1921 at Harappa in the Punjab region and then in 1922 at Mohenjo-daro (Mohenjodaro), near the Indus River in the Sindh (Sind) region. Both sites are in present-day Pakistan in Punjab and Sindh provinces, respectively. The ruins of Mohenjo-daro were designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
Subsequently, vestiges of the civilization were found as far apart as Sutkagen Dor in southwestern Balochistan province, Pakistan, near the shore of the Arabian Sea, about 300 miles (480 km) west of Karachi; and at Ropar (or Rupar), in eastern Punjab state, northwestern India, at the foot of the Shimla Hills some 1,000 miles (1,600 km) northeast of Sutkagen Dor. Later exploration established its existence southward down the west coast of India as far as the Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay), 500 miles (800 km) southeast of Karachi, and as far east as the Yamuna (Jumna) River basin, 30 miles (50 km) north of Delhi. It is thus decidedly the most extensive of the world’s three earliest civilizations; the other two are those of Mesopotamia and Egypt , both of which began somewhat before it.
The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages, often of relatively small size. The two cities were each perhaps originally about 1 mile (1.6 km) square in overall dimensions, and their outstanding magnitude suggests political centralization, either in two large states or in a single great empire with alternative capitals, a practice having analogies in Indian history. It is also possible that Harappa succeeded Mohenjo-daro, which is known to have been devastated more than once by exceptional floods. The southern region of the civilization, on the Kathiawar Peninsula and beyond, appears to be of later origin than the major Indus sites. The civilization was literate, and its script, with some 250 to 500 characters, has been partly and tentatively deciphered; the language has been indefinitely identified as Dravidian.
The Indus civilization apparently evolved from the villages of neighbours or predecessors, using the Mesopotamian model of irrigated agriculture with sufficient skill to reap the advantages of the spacious and fertile Indus River valley while controlling the formidable annual flood that simultaneously fertilizes and destroys. Having obtained a secure foothold on the plain and mastered its more immediate problems, the new civilization, doubtless with a well-nourished and increasing population, would find expansion along the flanks of the great waterways an inevitable sequel. The civilization subsisted primarily by farming, supplemented by an appreciable but often elusive commerce. Wheat and six-row barley were grown; field peas, mustard, sesame, and a few date stones have also been found, as well as some of the earliest known traces of cotton. Domesticated animals included dogs and cats, humped and shorthorn cattle, domestic fowl, and possibly pigs, camels, and buffalo. The Asian elephant probably was also domesticated, and its ivory tusks were freely used. Minerals, unavailable from the alluvial plain, were sometimes brought in from far afield. Gold was imported from southern India or Afghanistan, silver and copper from Afghanistan or northwestern India (present-day Rajasthan state), lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan, turquoise from Iran (Persia), and a jadelike fuchsite from southern India.
Perhaps the best-known artifacts of the Indus civilization are a number of small seals, generally made of steatite (a form of talc), which are distinctive in kind and unique in quality, depicting a wide variety of animals, both real—such as elephants, tigers, rhinoceros, and antelopes—and fantastic, often composite creatures. Sometimes human forms are included. A few examples of Indus stone sculpture have also been found, usually small and representing humans or gods. There are great numbers of small terra-cotta figures of animals and humans.
How and when the civilization came to an end remains uncertain. In fact, no uniform ending need be postulated for a culture so widely distributed. But the end of Mohenjo-daro is known and was dramatic and sudden. Mohenjo-daro was attacked toward the middle of the 2nd millennium BCE by raiders who swept over the city and then passed on, leaving the dead lying where they fell. Who the attackers were is matter for conjecture. The episode would appear to be consistent in time and place with the earlier invaders from the north (formerly called Aryans) into the Indus region as reflected in the older books of the Rigyeda, in which the newcomers are represented as attacking the “walled cities” or “citadels” of the aboriginal peoples and the invaders’ war-god Indra as rending forts “as age consumes a garment.” However, one thing is clear: the city was already in an advanced stage of economic and social decline before it received the coup de grâce. Deep floods had more than once submerged large tracts of it. Houses had become increasingly shoddy in construction and showed signs of overcrowding. The final blow seems to have been sudden, but the city was already dying. As the evidence stands, the civilization was succeeded in the Indus valley by poverty-stricken cultures, deriving a little from a sub-Indus heritage but also drawing elements from the direction of Iran and the Caucasus from the general direction, in fact, of the northern invasions. For many centuries urban civilization was dead in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent.
In the south, however, in Kathiawar and beyond, the situation appears to have been very different. There it would seem that there was a real cultural continuity, between the late Indus phase and the Copper Age cultures that characterized central and western India between 1700 and the 1st millennium BCE. Those cultures form a material bridge between the end of the Indus civilization proper and the developed Iron Age civilization that arose in India about 1000 BCE.
Arrival at Islamabad & Departure from Karachi
Based on Flights Schedule
Arrival at Islamabad International airport by flight, after welcome reception by the team of Active Tours, you will be transferred to centrally located hotel along with your luggage. Reminder: half day (Morning till noon) is free for you to rest/relax after taking long flight to Pakistan & noon till evening there will be semi-day tour of Islamabad, including Faisal Mosque whose architecture was a Turkish, named Vedat Dalokay and the construction of the mosque is financed by Arabic king Faisal, that is why his name was given to the mosque in honor of him. Next, we will visit Pakistan monument, Shakarparian Hill, the garden in which Pakistani and allied countries’ politicians erected trees, with view of Rawal Lake and Margala hills before sunset to watch twin cities (Islamabad & Rawalpindi) and the day activities will be ended with welcome dinner at a very traditional Restaurant. Transfer back to the hotel for night stay.
Following the breakfast, drive to Taxila. It’s an important city of Buddhism period and is in UNESCO World Heritage List. After seeing the ruins, visit Taxila Museum. Later, we will drive back to Rawalpindi and we will visit truck painting art, is an indigenous form of art performed only in Pakistan. With its all-colorful floral patterns, imaginative creatures, and depiction of human heroes. After the visit, we will get back to the city Islamabad, dinner will be served at local restaurant and then transfer to hotel for accommodation.
Following the breakfast check-out from the hotel. First destination is Rohtas Fort which is in UNESCO World Heritage List. The fort is built by Sher Shah Suri in purpose of defending the city against Mughals. After visit, we will drive for 3 hours to Lahore & visit Shalimar Garden which is another UNESCO World Heritage site, is built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. Drive to hotel for accommodation & dinner will be served.
Following the breakfast full day tour in the cultural capital of Pakistan, Lahore. First destination is old Lahore city which was walled during Mughal Empire reign. In this old city we will experience local life and visit of Wazir Khan’s Mosque. The mosque is constructed by Shah Jahan’s Prime Minister İlumiddin Ensari. Next visit Lahore Fort is in UNESCO World Heritage List along with Shalimar Gardens. After visiting the fort, we will see Badshai Mosque built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, the 2nd biggest mosque of Pakistan and 5th biggest mosque in the world. In its architecture Islamic, Persian, Central Asia and Hindu features can be recognized. From the Fort or Royal Mosque, we can also see Iqbal Park with historical Minar-e-Pakistan (also called tower of Pakistan or tower of Lahore) which was erected in honor of the date 23 March 1940 when the independence Pakistan idea was declared officially for the first time after the meeting in the park. Later, we will continue our drive to Lahore Museum. We will have the possibility of seeing Buddhist sculpture of Ghandara art and manuscripts, miniatures, rugs from Islamic period. After the museum, we will drive to Waga border (Pakistan & India) to witness flag lowering ceremony. which is a daily military practice that the security forces of India (Border Security Force) and Pakistan (Pakistan Rangers) have jointly followed since 1959. The drill is characterized by elaborate and rapid dance like maneuvers and raising legs as high as possible, which have been described as “colorful”. It is alternatively a symbol of the two countries’ rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations. We will get back to city, dinner will be served at food street of Lahore. Overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast, we will drive towards Multan. After a journey of 2-3 hours, we will visit Harappa archaeological site. The Indus civilization is known to have consisted of two large cities, Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and more than 100 towns and villages. Today, as we will be at Harappa trying to know about Harappan Civilization including the social life, economical system, and writings of Harappan. After the visit, we will drive to Multan (also called city of saints or city of shrines) for accommodation. Dinner & overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast, full day city tour of Multan. Multan is in such a strategic point of trade ways as it is an important industrial city dating back 2000 years ago. City is famous with shrines and is called city of shrines. Morning till afternoon our tour will includes visiting famous shrines of Shah Rukhn-e-Alam, Bahauddin Zakariya, Shah Shams Tabraiz and Yousuf Shah Gardezi. Later, we will visit Hussain Agahi Bazaar. Dinner will be served at local restaurant and overnight stay will be at hotel.
Morning, we will checkout from the hotel in Multan and continue our drive towards Cholistan Desert to visit famous Derawar Fort, Shahi Mosque & Royal Graveyards. Camel riding will be optional. We get back to Bahawalpur and city tour. Bahawulpur is such a peaceful city in which the transportation is mostly made by bicycle rickshaw, has tree-lined streets, large houses with verandas. Later, we will transfer you to hotel for night stay & dinner will be served.
Following the breakfast we will drive to Sukkur. While driving to Sukkur, we will stop at Uch Sharif which was founded by Alexander the Great. Despite being a small town right now, it was once the center of Uch Kingdom. It was the political and cultural center as well, along with its sister city Multan. There are important monuments from Muslim reign. The most important of those are the tombs with their stunning appearance. We will visit the tombs of Bibi Jawindi, Baha el-Halim, Sheikh Seyfeddin Gazroni and Jalaluddin Bukhari. After visiting Uch Sharif, drive to Sukkur for accommodation. Dinner will be served at hotel.
Morning till noon, we will visit Sadu Bela Island for boating and to witness blind dolphin. If time permits, we will visit Teerath Asthan is an historical Hindu temple build by Bankhandi Maharaja in 1823. Later, we will drive to Kot Diji to visit Kot Diji Fort, formally known as Fort Ahmadabad, is an 18th-century Talpur-era fort. After visit the fort, we will drive to Larkana for accommodation. Dinner will be served at hotel.
Following the breakfast drive to Mohenjo-Daro. Mohanjo-Daro is in UNESCO World Heritage List. It was one of the most important cities of Indus Civilization along with Harappa. According to the excavations which firstly started in 1922, the city had perfect system of agriculture, dealt with trade interactions with other civilizations. They built their buildings using baked brick. They were interested in beautiful arts as well. We will have information about the lifestyle of Mohanjo-Daro public. Water pipes and channels is a sign of their excellence in engineering. Around noon, we will leave Moenjo-daro to Sehwan. If time permits, we will visit Shrine of Shahbaz Lal Qalandar which is dedicated to 13th century Islamic Mystic. Lal Shehbaz Qalandar is one of the most renowned and revered Sufi saints in the world!
Visiting his shrine is always a spiritually rewarding experience. We will get back to hotel for accommodation and dinner will be served at hotel.
We will depart from the hotel in the morning and continue our drive towards Hyderabad. En route we will visit Ranikot Fort; is a historical Talpur Fort. It is also known as The Great Wall of Sindh and is believed to be the world’s largest fort, with a circumference of approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi). The fort’s ramparts have been compared to the Great Wall of China. After the fort, drive to Hirabad, Hyderabad to visit The Tombs of Talpur Kings are a complex of tombs of the ruling Talpur Mirs of Sindh who reigned from 1784 to 1843. Transfer to hotel for accommodation and dinner will be served.
Following breakfast, we will drive to Thatta to visit Shah Jahan’s Mosque. It is 17th century mosque; considered to have the most elaborate display of tile work in South Asia and is also notable for its geometric brick work – a decorative element that is unusual for Mughal-period mosques. It was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who bestowed it to the city as a token of gratitude. Later, we will visit Makli Necropolis. The vast historical monument of Makli is among the largest in the world. Kings, queens, governors, saints, scholars, and philosophers are buried here in brick or stone monuments, some of which are lavishly decorated with glazed tiles. After the visit of Makli Islamic style graveyards, we will drive to Chakhandi and visit the tombs which are notable for their elaborate sandstone carvings. The tombs are similar in style to the elaborate tombs and are built in the funerary architectural style typical of lower Sindh. Later, we will drive to Karachi City, dinner will be served, and overnight stay will be at hotel.
Full day city tour of Karachi, it is a city of interesting contrasts, on one side skyscrapers and 19th century Victorian buildings and on the other side narrow dusty streets. Short panoramic tour and then visit to the Mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah aka. Quaid-e-Azam (Great Leader) – the founder of Pakistan. Next, we will proceed to Masjid-i Toba Mosque which has one of the biggest domes among all mosques in the world. The mosque has such a perfect acoustic that one person on one edge of the mosque can hear another person talking on the other edge. It has a worshipper capacity of 5000 people. Later, we will visit Karachi Museum where the ruins Indus Valley Civilization and the examples of Buddhist Gandhara art are exhibited. Later, walk in the most famous street of Karachi, Zaibunissa Street or Abdullah Haroon Street or Zeinab Bazaar or Bori Bazaar. Later, visit Clifton Beach where there are parks, restaurants and game fields and souvenir shops. We will offer you farewell dinner and then transfer you back to hotel for night stay.
You will be transfer to Islamabad International airport. From peace and serenity of Pakistan to the hustle and bustles of “modern” trends, you say Khuda Hafiz, the typical farewell, as you depart after a tour of Pakistan. End of the tour.
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