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Coming Out SOON...

 

Itinerary:

Day 01: Arrival at Islamabad.
Arrive Islamabad and transfer to Hotel for overnight. We drive for half an hour to reach the Hotel in Rawalpindi. Rest of the day free for rest & relax.
 
Day 02: Drive Islamabad-Taxila –Peshawar (180 Kms – 3 Hours).
After breakfast drive to Taxila. Taxila is 35km (45 minutes drive) from Islamabad. Arrive Taxila and proceed for Sightseeing of Taxila.

Taxila was once the seat of Oriental culture. It was invaded by Alexander the Great and passed along to other rulers until finally reaching the hands of Ashoka the Great, who moulded the city into a center of learning. The creative Gandhara period followed shortly there after and Taxila remained the center of learning. It came to a disastrous and pathetic end when sacked by the White Huns. Today, Taxila is an archaeologist paradise, there is a well-maintained museum here and eight sites scattered around a very short radius. Amongst the best preserved are Sirkap, Julain (the University) and Mohra Moradu. The excavation at Taxila were carried out between the years 1913 and 1934 by Sir John Marshall. The early excavations done in the pre-Independence days had revealed the remains of the three ancient cities of Taxila locally known as Bhir Mound, Sirkap and Sirsukh and over two dozens of Buddhist Stupas & monasteries of the early historic period.

We will be visiting Taxila Museum, Jaulian, the monastery, Sirkap, second city of Taxila and Dharma Rajeka.

Archaeological Museum at Taxila is one of the finest Museums of the country. The museum reflects the cultural history and varied achievements of the people of Taxila during the last four thousand years.

The monuments in the Jaulian are more highly ornamented and in a still better station of preservation. The original foundation of these buildings is to be ascribed to the Kushan period.

Sirkap, the second fortified city of Taxila, was surrounded by a city wall with a total length of some five kilometers, built of stone & mud. The excavations of Sirkap was carried out only in the part covering about one-eight of the city. Buddhist architectural remains, such as stupa remains & a royal palace were found during the excavations. found

The Darma Rajeka is the nearest to the Bhir mound and Sirkap. The whole complex at the Dharma Rajika falls into two parts, the first part which shows a medley of constructions of several types and periods, may be called the stupa area and the second part which is located to its north, may be called the monastic area as it was in this area that the main monasteries were built in different period.

After lunch drive to Peshawar. Arrive Peshawar and transfer to hotel.
 

Day 03: Full Day Sightseeing tour of Peshawar.
After breakfast leave for Khyber Pass for excursion. Its about 60 kms from Peshawar to Torkhum, the border between Pakistan & Afghanistan. The pass seems to have been little used in prehistoric times, and even in early historic times it was generally shunned as too narrow and thus too prone to ambush. Not until the powerful Kushans invade Gandhara and pacified the area in first century AD did the Khyber become a popular trade route. Enroute stop at Jamrod Fort, view point from where we can have very good view of three roads right from 04th Century B.C till today is Modern Asian Highway.

After lunch we will start the tour with the visit of Peshawar Museum, which has the best collection of the Gandhara art. Visit the Qissa Khawani Bazar, the street of storytellers.
 
Day 04: Drive Peshawar – Shahbaz Garhi – Jamal Garhi - Swat
After breakfast drive to Swat via Shahbaz Garhi & Jamal Garhi. Shahbaz Garhi, The Ashokan inscriptions date from the third century BC and are the oldest surviving writings of any historical significance in the subcontinent. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka (272 – 231 BC) ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent from his capital at Pataliputra (now Patna) on the Ganges in India. He was a Buddhist, but tolerant of all religions. Ashoka ordered a series of edicts to be inscribed on rocks all over his empire; two of these are in Pakistan, at Shahbaz Garhi and at Mansehra. Jamal Garhi is situated at 13 kilometers from Mardan city and is connected by a metal led road. The Kharoshthi inscription was discovered from this site, having main round stupa. The Buddhist inscription discovered from this site preserved in Peshawar Museum. After lunch continue drive to Swat. Arrive Swat and transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.
 
Day 05: Full day sightseeing tour of Swat.
Stone aged people lived in Swat at least as early as 3000BC. From the 2nd century BC to the 9th century AD, Buddhism flourished in the valley, leaving behind a legacy of beautiful sculpture and more than 500 monasteries. The Moguls came to Swat in the 16th century but failed to add it to their dominions. Babur at least gained a wife from Swat, but Akbar only suffered a disastrous defeat in the Karakar Pass. We will visit Jahan-a-Abad Buddha & Saidu Stupa.
 
Day 06: Full day sightseeing tour of Swat.
After breakfast drive to Nimogram for full day sight seeing. Nimogram Buddhist Monastery & Stupa are about 50 Km away from Saidu Sharif and it takes about 02 hours to reach there.

Nimogran is unique in that it has three main stupas, one for each of the three principles of Buddhism: the Buddha as teacher, Dharma (The Buddhist doctrine), and Sangha (the Buddhist order). Surrounding the main stupas are 54 votive stupas, and nearby is an unexcavated monastery site. Some of the superb sculpture found at Nimogram is now in the Swat Museum at Saidu Sharif. On the way to Nimogram, we will also stop Gumbatuna Stupa Monastery.

On the way back to Saidu Sharif, we will also visit Shingerdar Stupa, Galagai Cave and Udegram.

Shingerdar Stupa huge but crumbling Stupa is on the right of the main road, three kilometers past Barikot on the road to Saidu Sharif. Local Legend has it that it was built by King Uttarasena to house his share of the relics of the Lord Buddha.

Galagai Cave, right beside the road just past the stupa, was inhabited for thousands of year by Stone Age people and excavated by Professor Tucci. There is nothing to see now, but the artifacts found there are in the Swat Museum.

Udegram, one of the most historical & interesting site in Swat. The site of the ancient town of Ora, where Alexander the Great fought one of his battles in 327 BC, Udegram was also the capital of the Hindu Shahi rulers in Swat from the eighth to tenth century.
 
Day 07: Drive Swat–Takhat Bai-Islamabad
After breakfast drive to Islamabad via Takhat-e-Bhai. Takhat-e-Bahi monastery is one of the most well-known and well-preserved sites of the Gandhara period. Most of the Buddha statues, as seen today in various European museums, were recovered from this site as well as from the nearby site of Sahri Bahlole.

The monastery and stupas were founded in the 6th or 7th centuries. Surrounding the monastery on the ridge above it to the south and on the spurs to the east and west one could see the ruins of private houses which were, most probably, three story structures. The monastery courts, 38 votive Stupa, prayer chambers, several other chapels, monks cells and other ruins indicate what a wonderful place it must have been a glorious gem in the history of Buddhism.

Arrive Islamabad. Afternoon free for shopping & other independent activities.
 
Day 08: Transfer to Airport for the flight back home.
After breakfast, transfer to airport for the flight back home.

Extensions to Lumbini : The Birth Place of Lord Buddha : One can extend the trip to Kathmandu to visit the Birthplace of Lord Buddha and other Buddhist sights of Buddhist Significance. Here is a suggested itinerary:
 
Lumbini Circuit
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu. Visit Swayambhunath & Bouddhanath.
Upon arrival, meet & transfer to Hotel. After refreshment, drive to Swayambhunath. Swayambhu represents the Primordial Buddha or Adi-Buddha.

Bouddhanath is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage and old heritage sites in Nepal. It is said that this stupa contains the relics of Buddha Kashyapa.
 
Day 02: Fly Kathmandu-Lumbini. Sightseeing tour.
Fly Kathmandu / Bhairahawa. Transfer to Lumbini. Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha situated in western Tarai of Nepal holds a special place in the Buddhist world.
 
Day 03: Full day visit of Kapilvastu – Kudan-Gotihawa – Niglihawa – Sagarhawa-Devadaha- Tilaurakot-Ramgram
 
Day 04: Fly Bhairahawa – Kathmandu. Afternoon visit Patan.
Fly back to Kathmandu. Afternoon visit Patan.
 
Day 05: Transfer to airport for departure.
After breakfast, transfer to airport for the flight back home.




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 

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