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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.
Islamabad International Airport
Based on Flights Schedule
Arrival at Quid-e-Azam International Airport. After welcome reception by the team of Active Tours, you will be transferred to centrally located hotel along with your luggage. Reminder; half day is free for you to rest/relax after taking long flight to Pakistan OR there will semi-day tour of Karachi. Karachi is the most populated city of Pakistan and center of trade and industry in Pakistan. It’s 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. Mausoleum is made of white marble and has a stunning Chinese made dome. After visit 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 worshiper capacity of 5000 people. After the visits transfer to the hotel. Dinner and accommodation at hotel.
Folowing breakfast, we will start full day city tour of Karachi, the tour will include visit National Museum where the ruins Indus Valley Civilization and the examples of Buddhist Gandhara art are exhibited. Later on, visit the open-air clothe washing are of public people – Dhobi Ghat and see lots of clothes left to get dry. Later, walk in the most famous street of Karachi, Zaibunissa Street. Following the lunch break visit the shopping areas; Abdullah Haroon Street, Zeinab Bazaar and Bori Bazaar. Later, visit Clifton Beach where there are parks, restaurants and game fields and souvenir shops. After the visits, transfer to the hotel. Dinner and accommodation at hotel in Karachi.
Following breakfast, we will depart from the hotel for Chaukundi Necropolis where there are many tombs carved and made by sand stone. It is one of those places where can be seen best the Islamic style of architecture which is typical of Sindh. After the visit here, visit historical Makli Necropolis which is in UNESCO World Heritage List. It is one of the largest necropolises in the world with its 8 km square area. It’s predicted that almost 125.000 Sufi saints were buried here. Later on, visit to Thatta near Makli Necropol. Lunch will be taken in Thatta. The experts think that antique city of Pattala was once founded here. Pattala was the city where Alexander the Great stopped to rest with its troops. The history of modern Thatta dates back to 600 years ago. Thatta was very important for the Musulmen in Lower-Sindh who rebelled against Delhi. The city was once under Portugal and Mughal occupation. From Mughal period, there are important monuments. The most of important of all is Shah Jahan Mosque. It’s a valuable memory of its period with its dome, red bricks, blue coloured glaze tiles and its acoustic. This mosque was built as an appreciation to the Thatta people just because they supported Shah Jahan during his rebellion to his father. After visiting the mosque, we leave Thatta and go for Hydarabad to accommodate. Dinner at hotel.
Depart from the hotel at 08.00 a.m. We will visit the tombs of Talpur Kings who were controlling the area in 17th and 18th centuries. Later on, we leave Hydarabad and go for Bhit Shah. Here we will visit an architectural wonder, the shrine of one of the most beloved Sufi saints in Pakistan – poet, musician Shah Abdul Latif Bhattai. After the visit, drive to Sehwan with a journey of 2, 5 hours, viewing the scenic views on the Indus Highway to see the shrine of Lal Shahbaz Qalandar. Lal Shahbaz Qalandar is another important Sufi saint and philosopher. He preached religious tolerance among Muslims and Hindus. The shrine was built in 14th century and a golden plated door was donated by late Shah of Iran. After visiting the shrine, drive to Larkana. Dinner and accommodation in Larkana.
Following the breakfast drive to Mohenjo-Daro for a full day tour. Mohanjo-Daro is in UNESCO World Heritage List. It was one of the most important cities of Indus Civilization along with Harappa. According 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. Lunch will be taken in the restaurant in Mohanjo-Daro. After the visit drive to Sukkur for accommodation. Dinner at hotel.
Today we will visit Sadu Bela Island for boating and to witness blind dolphin. We will also have an ample time to visit Teerath Asthan is an historical Hindu temple build by Bankhandi Maharaja in 1823. Back to hotel for overnight stay.
Following the breakfast we’ll drive to Punjab. While driving to Bahawalpur, we will stop at Bhong to see the magnificent Bhong Mosque which was constructed in 50 years. This mosque was awarded Aga Khan Architecture Award in 1986. Later on, visit to Uch Sharif which was founded by Alexander the Great. Despite being a small town right now, it was once the centre of Uch Kingdom. It was the political and cultural centre 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 Bahawalpur for accommodation. Dinner at hotel.
Following the breakfast, city tour of Bahawulpur 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. Our first destination is to visit Derawar Fort, Shahi Mosque and the tombs around it in Cholistan Desert. After half-day tour, return to Bahawulpur for lunch. After the lunch visit Museum, free time in Bahawulpur Market. After the free time, drive to Multan for accommodation. One hour drive to Multan and check-in the hotel. Dinner 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, Yousuf Gardezi and Sultan Akbar. Latter, we will visit Hussain Agahi Bazaar. Dinner will be served at local restaurant and overnight stay will be at hotel.
Following breakfast, drive towards Lahore. After a journey of 2-3 hours, we will visit Harappa which is on our way. We will have information about the social life, economical system and writings of Harappa. After visiting Harappa, drive to Lahore and if time permit, we will visit Waga border to witness flag lowering ceremony. We will back to Lahore city, check-in at hotel for overnight stay.
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. Lahore Fort is our first visit. The fort is in UNESCO World Heritage List along with Shalimar Gardens. We visit the the fort and its places available in and around it. After visiting the fort, we will see Badshahi Mosque, 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. Later, we will walk in the old & historical bazaar and we will visit Golden Mosque, Wazir Khan’s Mosque and Royal Bath which are on our way. The impressive wazir Khan’s Mosque is constructed by Shah Jahan’s Prime Minister Ilumuddin Ensari. Later, visit to Iqbal Park and see Minar-e-Pakistan which was erected in honour of the date 23 March 1940 when the independence Pakistan idea was declared officially for the first time after the meeting in the park. After the visit, continue with Lahore Museum. We will have the possibility of seeing Buddhist sculpture of Ghandara art and manuscripts, miniatures, rugs from Islam period. After the museum visit, we will walk in the Anarkali Bazaar and will listen the story of Anarkali. The bazaar has been active for 200 years. After the free time in Bazaar, visit Shalimar Gardens. After the visits, transfer to the hotel. Dinner at hotel.
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. The fort is still intact. It reflects the early Islamic architecture. After the visit, lunch at Dina than continue drive to Islamabad for 2 hours. Short tour of Islamabad, including Lok Virsa Public Museum where we will have information about local culture. Following the visits, transfer to the hotel. Dinner at hotel.
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 on, we will back to Islamabad visit Shah Faisal Mosque, Pakistan monument, Shakarpara Hill before sunset and the garden in which Pakistani and allied countries’ politicians erected trees, a view of Rawal Lake and many fountains. After the visit, return to Islamabad city centre and transfer to the Margalla hills where we will have our farewell dinner. After the dinner, transfer to the hotel.
Transfer to Islamabad International subject to your flight information. From peace and serenity of Southern Pakistan 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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