Pakistan is the land which attracted Alexander the great from Macedonia in 326 B.C., with whom the influence of Greek culture came to this part of the world. During the 2nd century B.C., it was here that Buddhism was adopted as the state religion which flourished and prevailed here for over 1000 years, starting from 2nd century B.C., until 10th century A.D. During this time Taxila, Swat and Charsaddah (old Pushkalavati) became three important centres for culture, trade and learning. Hundreds of monasteries and stupas were built together with Greek and Kushan towns such as Sirkap and Sirsukh both in Taxila. It was from these centres that a unique art of sculpture originated which is known as Gandhara Art all over the world. Today the Gandhara Sculptures occupy a prominent place in the museums of England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and Afghanistan together with many private collections world over, as well as in the museums of Pakistan.
Nevertheless, the zenith of this Gandhara Art is one and only “Fasting Buddha” now on display in Lahore Museum, Lahore. Finally, the light of Islam penetrated in this part of the world as early as 7th century AD. from the west with the Arabs and during the 10th century AD from the north with the Turks. Islam replaced the early way of life of worshipping idols and introduced new philosophy of faith in one God. With Islam in came a new culture in this land from Arabia and Central Asia. Hence, a new type of architecture, hitherto unknown in this area, was introduced. Tens of thousands of Mosques, Madrassahs, tombs and gardens were created by the Muslim rulers all over the Sub-Continent. The new style of Islamic architecture prevailed and matured in this land for over a thousand years. The most important contribution of the Muslim rulers to this land, however, is a new language Urdu which became the national language of Pakistan since its independence in 1947. Buddhism is just one aspect of the legacy of Gandhara. It was the seat of inspiration and learning that created an expansion of Buddhism throughout the region in the first millennium AD. The great Mauryan king, who had embraced Buddhism, established his capital as the center of spiritual enlightenment.? It was from here that Buddhism spread to the eastern regions through the northern valleys of Karakoram, the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. The vivid heritage of its golden period is preserved not only in the form of ancient artifacts and monuments, but it can also be observed in the daily life of its people. While visiting the historic cities of Taxila, Peshawar, Swat and many other places one can relive in the glorious period of Gandhara.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Day 1 Arrival in Islamabad then to Pakistan Monument, Folklore Heritage Museum.
Day 2 Drive to Taxila and then to Peshawar.
Day 3 Exploring Peshawar, Peshawar Museum.
Day 4 Drive to Saidu Sharif, Swat via Takht Bhai and exploring Butkarra Stupa.
Day 5 Drive to Jahanabad exploring the Bhuddha ruins and back to Saidu Sharif.
Day 6 Drive to Besham via Shangla Pass.
Day 7 Drive to Gilgit, exploring the city.
Day 8 Drive to Skardu explore the city.
Day 9 Drive to Khaplu, exploring the village.
Day 10 Drive to Hushe valley exploring it and then back to Khaplu
Day 11 Drive to Shigar valley and exploring it then to Skardu.
Day 12 Exploring Kharpocho Fort and Satpara Dam.
Day 13 Drive to Gilgit and visti Kargah to see Lord Bhudha’s curved on a mountain side.
Day 14 Drive to Karimabad, Hunza and visit Baltit Fort museum.
Day 15 Drive to Doiker, Altit village to visit Altit Fort.
Day 16 Drive to Borith Lake than Passu then to Gulmit.
Day 17 Free day in Gulmit to explore the panoramic views of village and Peaks.
Day 18 Drive Back to Gilgit.
Day 19 Drive to Besham or Flight to Islamabad.
Day 20 Drive to Islamabad or exploring the twin city.
Day 21 Drop to Airport for departure from Pakistan.