Ghandhara Civilization

$2,270.00

The Gandhara Civilization, one of South Asia’s most prominent ancient civilizations, flourished in the region covering parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This civilization emerged around the 6th century BCE and thrived until the 11th century CE.

  • Trip Code Start and Finish
    • DP-CHT-05
    Lahore-Islamabad
  • Altitude Best time
    • 980 meters
    Round the year
  • Activity Level Activity
    • Easy
    Cultural Tour
  • Duration Meals
    • 9 Days
    All Meals
  • Group Size Guide
    • 8-12 pax
    Local Guides
  • Reviews 0 Reviews
    0/5
Ghandhara Civilization

The Gandhara Civilization, one of South Asia’s most prominent ancient civilizations, flourished in the region covering parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This civilization emerged around the 6th century BCE and thrived until the 11th century CE. Today, remnants of this glorious civilization can still be witnessed at various archaeological sites across the region.

Embark on a journey to explore the highlights of the Gandhara Civilization, starting in Lahore, a city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Lahore offers a glimpse into the majesty of the Mughal era, showcasing architectural marvels such as the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort. Additionally, the Lahore Museum houses a noteworthy collection of Gandhara art, including sculptures and artifacts that provide insight into the civilization’s artistic achievements.

From Lahore, the journey takes you to the capital city of Islamabad, which serves as a gateway to the Gandhara region. Islamabad’s modern infrastructure and serene surroundings offer a refreshing break before delving deeper into the historical wonders of the Gandhara Civilization.

Next, venture to Taxila, an important archaeological site that was once a thriving center of learning and trade during the Gandhara era. Taxila is renowned for its well-preserved ruins, including ancient Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and universities. Exploring these archaeological treasures provides a glimpse into the intellectual and religious life of the Gandhara people.

Continuing your exploration, head to Peshawar, an ancient city that played a pivotal role in the Gandhara Civilization. Peshawar’s bustling bazaars and vibrant cultural scene offer a fascinating blend of past and present. Here, you can visit the Peshawar Museum, which houses a vast collection of Gandhara art, including intricately carved sculptures and relics.

Your journey then takes you to Takht-e-Bhai, an awe-inspiring Buddhist monastery located atop a hill. This UNESCO World Heritage site showcases the architectural brilliance of the Gandhara Civilization, with its intricate carvings and well-preserved stupas. You can sense the spiritual environment that once filled this sacred place as you explore the monastery’s courtyards and prayer halls.

Finally, your trip concludes in Swat, a picturesque valley renowned for its natural beauty and historical significance. Swat was an essential center of the Gandhara Civilization, and its archaeological sites, such as Udegram and Butkara, offer a glimpse into the region’s ancient past. The Swat Museum provides further insight into the civilization through its remarkable collection of Gandhara artifacts.

Returning to Islamabad, you conclude the journey through the Gandhara Civilization, having experienced the cultural, artistic, and historical riches of this ancient civilization. With its magnificent art, philosophical spirituality, and architectural marvels, the Gandhara Civilization continues to captivate and inspire visitors, offering a deep appreciation for the rich heritage of South Asia.

Trip Highlight

Lahore-Islamabad-Taxila-Peshawar-Takht-e-Bhai-Swat- Islamabad

Trip Code: DP-CHT-05

The Best time to visit: Round the year

Duration: 9 days/8 nights

Call for general departures:

713 979 7485
The tour package inclusions and exclusions
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.
  • Hotel Accommodation based on double/twin sharing 
  • Meals (Breakfasts & Dinners) 
  • English speaking guide 
  • Air-conditioned transportation (depending on the size of the group throughout the trip
  • Entrance Fees to the Archaeological sites and Museums 
  • Tips at hotels/restaurants
  • Mineral water (1 bottle of 1.5 liters per pax per day) 
  • Porterage at hotels
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the cost of tour price.
  • All items of personal nature, such as telephone calls, mini bar, and other Beverages
  • Lunches 
  • Other than above mentioned
  • Day use rooms if in case of flight delayed or cancellation   
  • Tips for Guide & Drivers

Itinerary

  1. 1

    DAY 1 Arrival Lahore, after short rest, a city tour.

    Upon your arrival in Lahore, you will meet our tour representative/guide, who will assist you with the transfer to your hotel. Lahore is a vibrant city known for its rich history and cultural heritage. After some rest, you can explore the local markets and enjoy the delicious traditional cuisine of Lahore. Overnight stay in a hotel after a brief session of the next day’s tour of the city of history.

     

    Altitude: 120 M

    Accomodation: Hotel
  2. 2

    DAY 2 LAHORE

    Full-day city tour of Lahore, afternoon visit Wagah border to see the flag ceremony.

    Today, we will embark on a sightseeing tour of Lahore, which is home to several important Buddhist sites. Our first stop will be the famous Lahore Museum, where you can see a remarkable collection of Buddhist artifacts and relics. We will then visit the iconic Badshahi Mosque, a masterpiece of Mughal architecture, followed by a visit to the historical Lahore Fort, which houses the stunning Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors). Overnight stay in hotel.

     

    Accomodation: Hotel
  3. 3

    DAY 3 LAHORE-KHEWRA SALT MINES-ISLAMABAD

    After breakfast, we will depart for Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. The journey from Lahore to Islamabad offers two remarkable stops, Khewra Salt Mines and Katas Raj, showcasing unique attractions and historical significance.

     Khewra Salt Mines, the world’s second-largest salt mine, invite exploration of underground tunnels, mesmerizing salt formations, and a magnificent Salt Cathedral. We will have a brief visit to the site on our way.

    The Katas Raj complex boasts ancient Hindu temples adorned with intricate carvings, a sacred pool with healing properties, and a serene ambiance. The scenic drive through the Salt Range Mountains enhances the experience, providing stunning landscape views. These destinations offer a blend of natural beauty, historical importance, and cultural exploration, making the journey memorable for visitors. 

    Upon arrival in Islamabad, check into our hotel and relax. In the evening, walk in the surroundings and have dinner in a restaurant. Now is your time to be relaxed and have a good sleep.

     

    Altitude: 507M

    Travel Time: 5 hours, 375 Km

    Accomodation: Hotel
  4. 4

    DAY 4 ISLAMABAD

    Full-day sightseeing of Rawalpindi/Islamabad

    Upon arrival in Islamabad, we will check in to our hotel and relax. Afternoon we will visit the Faisal Mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world, Lok Virsa Heritage Site, the Islamabad Monument, Shakespearian, and many more landmarks of the modern Capital City of Pakistan that offer unique destinations. In the evening we will have our dinner in a typical restaurant. After dinner, we will briefly discuss the next day’s highlights. Now is your time to be relaxed and enjoy your night.

    Accomodation: Hotel
  5. 5

    DAY 5 ISLAMABAD-TAXILA-PESHAWAR

    Drive to Peshawar en-route visit Taxila archaeological sites and museum  

    After a treaty breakfast, we leave the capital city of Pakistan with stunning views of the Margala Hills from our car. The drive is full of fun and highlights.

    We will visit Taxila, an ancient city that was once a center of Buddhist learning. Here, you can explore the Taxila Museum, which houses an impressive Gandhara art and Buddhist relics collection. We will also visit the Dharmarajika Stupa and the ruins of Sirkap, showcasing the rich Buddhist heritage of the region. In the evening, we reach Peshawar, the city of flowers, and the capital city of Khyber Pukhtun Khaw Province of Pakistan, which offers heart-touching highlights for nature lovers. The unique historical sites are the top tourist attractions within the city. Dinner in a food street. An overnight stay in a hotel.

     

    Altitude: 330M

    Travel Time: 4 hours, 190 Km( Visiting Taxila)

    Accomodation: Hotel
  6. 6

    DAY 6 PESHAWAR-TAKHT-E-BHAI-SWAT

    Half-day city tour of Peshawar, after lunch drive to Swat, visiting Takht-e-Bhai on the way.

    We will visit Peshawar in the morning, a city with a rich Buddhist history. Peshawar was an important center along the ancient Silk Road and was a hub for Buddhist pilgrims and scholars. We will visit the Peshawar Museum, which houses a great Gandhara art and Buddhist artifacts collection. You will also be able to explore the bustling Qissa Khwani Bazaar and experience the vibrant local culture.

    In the afternoon, we will go to Swat Valley en route and visit the famous Takht-e-Bhai Monastery near Peshawar. This well-preserved Buddhist monastery is perched on a hilltop and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. You can explore the various prayer halls, stupas, and monastic cells while immersing yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this ancient site.  

     

    Altitude: 980M

    Travel Time: 4 hours, 160 Km (visiting Takht-e-Bhai)

    Accomodation: Hotel
  7. 7

    DAY 7 EXPLORE SWAT

    Full-day tour of the historical sites of Swat, including the Museum

    Today, we will visit the scenic Swat Valley, known as the ”Switzerland of Pakistan” due to its picturesque beauty. Swat Valley has a rich Buddhist heritage and is home to several ancient Buddhist sites. We will visit the impressive Jahanabad Buddha, a massive rock carving of Buddha dating back to the 7th century. You will also have the opportunity to explore the beautiful Mingora city and indulge in the serene atmosphere of the Swat Valley—an overnight stay in a hotel.

    Accomodation: Hotel
  8. 8

    DAY 8 SWAT-ISLAMABAD

    Drive back to Islamabad.

    We will drive back to Islamabad on the Swat Motorway, full of highlights and awe-inspiring attractions of Khyber Pukhtun Khaw. The journey is along the footprints of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, who came across this region in the 3rd century BC on his way to Taxila and further to the Sub-continent. We will arrive in Islamabad, visit your hotel, and relax. In the evening, a celebrity farewell Party on behalf of Discover Pakistan and say goodbye to your team on this fantastic trip to Pakistan.

     

    Altitude: 507M

    Travel Time: 4 hours 250 Km

    Accomodation: Hotel
  9. 9

    DAY 9 DEPARTURE

    Transfer to the airport for a homebound flight. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

We always do the best in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, and natural disasters like heavy rains, flooding, and other potential causes. Sometimes we experience unforeseen happens to affect the plan.


CUSTOMIZE THIS TOUR

Would you like to customize this trip? We would be very happy to tailor made this experience for you and your companions. Our team is here to guide you through the process. We will take the time to listen to your aspirations, understand your travel style, and work closely with you to craft a personalized itinerary. Please click here to fill the trip information form.

ESSENTIAL INFORMATION

PASSPORT AND VISA

Participants of all nationalities must have a valid passport with six months remaining validity and a visa for Pakistan. Visa must be applied online at https://visa.nadra.gov.pk/ 

The main category is CULTURE & HERITAGE TOURS, and the sub-category is GLIMPSE OF THE HERITAGE. You will need a letter of invitation (LOI) which our office will provide along with the requisite documents like a Discover Pakistan license copy and the National Identity Card of the issuing authority. 
 
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTS AND A VISA FOR PAKISTAN.

When visiting historical and archaeological sites in Pakistan, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure your safety and preserve the sites for future generations. Here are some precautions to remember:

Before visiting any site, research its historical significance, cultural practices, and any specific guidelines or restrictions. This will help you prepare and respect the site appropriately.

Dress modestly: Pakistan is a conservative country, so it is advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or conservative areas. Covering your shoulders, wearing long pants or skirts, and avoiding revealing or provocative clothing are respectful.

Respect local customs and traditions:

 Pakistan has a rich cultural heritage, and it is important to respect the customs and traditions of the local communities. Follow any religious or cultural practices observed at the site, such as removing your shoes before entering certain areas or covering your head if required.

Follow the instructions and guidelines: 

Pay attention to any instructions or guidelines provided by the site authorities or tour guides. These may include areas where photography is prohibited, restricted access zones, or any specific rules to protect the artifacts or structures.

Stay on designated paths: 

Stick to designated paths and avoid trespassing or damaging any part of the site. Some archaeological sites are fragile; stepping on delicate areas can cause irreparable harm. Follow the signs and markers to ensure you are on the authorized path.

Do not remove artifacts:

 Removing artifacts, stones, or historical items from the site is strictly prohibited. Removing artifacts not only damages their historical value but is also illegal. Respect the site’s archaeological significance by leaving everything as you found it.

Dispose of waste properly: 

Maintain cleanliness and dispose of trash in designated bins. Keep the sites clean and leave no trace of your visit. Avoid littering or damaging the environment around the sites.

Be cautious of your belongings: 

Keep an eye on your personal belongings at all times. Use a secure bag or backpack to carry your valuables and avoid displaying expensive items that may attract unwanted attention.

Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun: 

Pakistan can have hot and dry weather, especially during summer. Drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and wear a hat or umbrella to protect yourself from the sun.

Follow safety guidelines: 

Be aware of your surroundings and follow any safety guidelines provided by the authorities. It is always recommended to travel in groups, especially in remote areas, and inform someone about your plans and expected return time.

By following these precautions, you can ensure a safe and respectful visit to the historical and archaeological sites in Pakistan while appreciating their cultural and historical significance.

Weather

Pakistan has a diverse climate due to its geographical location and varying topography. The weather conditions in places with historical highlights can vary depending on the region and time of year. Here’s a general overview of the weather conditions in some popular historical destinations in Pakistan:

Lahore experiences hot summers with temperatures often exceeding 40°C (104°F) in June and July. Winters are mild, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 20°C (41°F to 68°F). The best time to visit Lahore is in spring (March to April) and autumn (October to November) when the weather is pleasant.

Islamabad:

Islamabad has a moderate climate. Summers (May to September) are warm, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F). Winters (December to February) can be cold, with temperatures dropping to around 0°C (32°F) or lower. The best time to visit Islamabad is during spring and autumn when the weather is pleasant.

Taxila:

Taxila, known for its archaeological sites, experiences similar weather conditions to Islamabad since it is located nearby. Summers can be hot, and winters are cold. The best time to visit Taxila is during spring and autumn.

Mohenjo-Daro:

Mohenjo-Daro, an ancient Indus Valley Civilization site, is in the Sindh province. The region has a hot desert climate. Summers (April to June) are sweltering, reaching over 45°C (113°F). Winters (December to February) are mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 5°C to 20°C (41°F to 68°F). Visiting Mohenjo-daro during the winter months is advisable to avoid the extreme heat.

Multan is located in the Punjab province of Pakistan and experiences a semi-arid climate with hot and dry weather. Summers in Multan are sweltering, with temperatures often exceeding 45°C (113°F) in May and June. The city receives very little rainfall during this season. It is essential to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the intense heat if visiting during summer. The monsoon season occurs from July to September, providing some relief from the heat with moderate rainfall. Autumn is relatively pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F), and the weather becomes drier. Winter in Multan is mild, with temperatures ranging from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F) during the day and cooler nights. Spring is short but pleasant, with temperatures ranging from 20°C to 30°C (68°F to 86°F) and vibrant blooming flowers. It is advisable to check the local weather forecast before visiting Multan and pack accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip.

What to bring:

Comfortable Clothing: Pakistan has diverse weather conditions, so it’s important to dress appropriately. Carry lightweight and breathable clothing for hot weather and layer up for cooler regions or winter visits. Modest clothing is recommended out of respect for local customs and traditions.

Sun Protection:

Pakistan’s climate can be quite sunny, especially during summer. Bring sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses, and consider lightweight clothing that provides adequate sun protection.

Comfortable Shoes: Many historical and archaeological sites in Pakistan require walking and exploring on foot. Wear comfortable shoes or sneakers that are suitable for walking on uneven terrain.

Other Info

Water and Snacks:

Carry a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated during your visit. It’s also a good idea to bring some snacks, especially if you plan to spend a significant amount of time at the site.

Insect Repellent:

Some archaeological sites in Pakistan may have mosquitoes or other insects, particularly in rural areas. Pack insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.

Cash and Local Currency:

While major cities in Pakistan have ATMs and card payment options, it’s advisable to carry some cash, especially when visiting remote areas where cash might be the primary mode of payment.

First Aid Kit:

It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit with items like band-aids, antiseptic ointment, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.

Camera and Binoculars: Capture the beauty of historical sites and landscapes with a camera or smartphone. Binoculars can be handy for observing details from a distance.

Guidebooks and Maps:

Consider bringing guidebooks or maps that provide information about the historical and archaeological sites you plan to visit. These resources can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the locations.

Respectful Behavior:

Show respect for local customs, traditions, and religious practices. It’s essential to dress modestly, ask for permission before taking photographs of people, and follow any rules or guidelines provided by site authorities.

Remember to research and plan your visit in advance, including opening hours, entrance fees, and any specific requirements or restrictions related to the historical and archaeological sites you wish to explore. Enjoy your journey through Pakistan’s rich history and cultural heritage!

BOOKING & DEPOSITS:

The trip can be reserved with an initial deposit of 30% at the time of booking. The initial deposit shall not be refunded but can be transferred for a future trip.

FINAL PAYMENT

We require the full cost of the trip to be paid 30 days prior to the start of the tour. Payments can only be made in cash or through bank transfers to our designated bank account. We do not accept payments via credit cards. Please ensure that you only accepted invoices generated by Discover Pakistan and sent through our official email ID.

1)      Cancellations must be communicated in writing to Discover Pakistan or the agent through whom the trip was booked. Cancellation charges will be applied as follows:

Cancellation before 30 days or more: After deducting 30%, the remaining amount will be refunded. If the deposit is retained with the consent of our client, no cancellation charges will be applied. The full amount can be adjusted toward a future trip.
Cancellation within two weeks before departure: 50% of the package offer will be charged.
Cancellation within one week of departure or no-show: The full payment will be forfeited.
No refunds will be provided if you voluntarily or involuntarily leave the trip after it has started. Additionally, no refunds will be given for any unused meals, accommodation, or services.

2) There shall be no refunds if you leave the trip for any reason, voluntarily or involuntarily, after the trip begins. No refunds shall be made for any unused meals, accommodation, or services.

WHY BOOK WITH DISCOVER PAKISTAN?

Discover Pakistan is a leading Destination Management and Tour servicing company established to cater to the travel needs of explorers, researchers, mountaineers, and trekkers worldwide. We prioritize the safety, integrity, and comfort of all our valued clients without discrimination.

Our Values: We adhere to a set of values that guide our company in delivering the best travel experiences to our clients. These values include:

Integrity

Communication
Client Safety and Security
Customer-Oriented Services
Continuous Improvement
Customer Satisfaction

RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS COMMUNITY

We recognize our responsibility towards the local communities, their customs, and the environment. Therefore, some of our income is dedicated to humanitarian activities, such as student support, skill development programs, and interest-free micro-credit loans for women. Detailed information can be provided upon request.

THE CLIENT

We have successfully collaborated with local and foreign clients, and we take pride in the long list of satisfied partners and individual clients that Discover Pakistan has served worldwide. We maintain a balance between cost and quality. Our business philosophy and the key to our success is “LESS PROFIT EQUALS MORE CLIENTS, AND MORE CLIENTS EQUALS MORE PROFIT.”

  1. What is the duration of the Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour?

    The tour lasts for 9 days, including the arrival and departure days.

  2. What are the main destinations covered in this tour?

    The main destinations include Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Swat Valley in Pakistan.

  3. Can I customize the tour itinerary?

    The tour itinerary can be customized to some extent according to your preferences. Please contact the tour operator for further details.

  4. Are there any specific clothing requirements for visiting religious sites?

    It is recommended to dress modestly when visiting religious sites. Wearing conservative attire that covers the shoulders and knees is appropriate.

  5. Is it safe to travel to these destinations?

    The tour operator ensures the safety and security of the travelers. However, it’s always advisable to follow general safety precautions and stay updated on the travel advisories for the region.

  6. Do I need a visa to visit Pakistan?

    Yes, most international travelers require a visa to enter Pakistan. It is recommended to check with the nearest Pakistani embassy or consulate for specific visa requirements.

  7. Can I join the tour as a solo traveler?

    Yes, solo travelers are welcome to join the tour. You will have the opportunity to meet and interact with fellow travelers during the tour.

  8. What is the best time to undertake this pilgrimage tour?

    The best time to undertake this pilgrimage tour is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons when the weather is pleasant in Pakistan.

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Dates Trip Status Price (PP) Single Supplement  
October 5, 2024 - October 14, 2024
Available
$2,270.00
$265.00
November 2, 2024 - November 11, 2024
Available
$2,270.00
$265.00
December 2, 2024 - December 11, 2024
Available
$2,270.00
$265.00
Extensions

Discover Istanbul: Four-Day Tour Extension

Immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty and rich history of Istanbul with our four-day tour extension. This vibrant city, straddling two continents, offers a captivating blend of East and West, where ancient traditions meet modern delights. Join us as we explore the iconic landmarks, vibrant markets, and cultural treasures of Istanbul.

Day 1: Arrival and Istanbul City Highlights Upon your arrival in Istanbul, you will be greeted by our team and transferred to your comfortable hotel. Take a moment to settle in and prepare for an exciting adventure. In the afternoon, embark on a city tour to discover the highlights of Istanbul. Visit the awe-inspiring Hagia Sophia, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture, and marvel at its intricate domes and stunning mosaics. Explore the magnificent Blue Mosque, known for its elegant minarets and exquisite blue tiles. End your day with a leisurely walk through the historic Sultanahmet Square, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 2: Bosphorus Cruise and Grand Bazaar Experience the beauty of Istanbul from a different perspective with a scenic Bosphorus cruise. Sail along the strait that separates Europe and Asia, passing by iconic landmarks such as the Dolmabahçe Palace, Rumeli Fortress, and the picturesque waterfront mansions. Enjoy the panoramic views and capture stunning photos of the city’s skyline. After the cruise, dive into the bustling atmosphere of the Grand Bazaar, one of the world’s oldest and largest covered markets. Explore its labyrinthine alleys filled with vibrant stalls, offering a treasure trove of Turkish carpets, jewelry, spices, and handicrafts.

Day 3: Topkapi Palace and Spice Bazaar Step back in time as you visit the opulent Topkapi Palace, the former residence of Ottoman sultans. Explore its exquisite courtyards, opulent chambers, and the famous Harem section. Immerse yourself in the history and grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. Afterward, indulge your senses at the Spice Bazaar, known as the Egyptian Bazaar. Wander through the aromatic stalls filled with colorful spices, teas, dried fruits, and sweets. Take the opportunity to savor traditional Turkish delights and experience the rich flavors of the local cuisine.

Day 4: Breathtaking Views and Farewell On your final day, experience the breathtaking views of Istanbul from the Galata Tower. Climb to the top and be rewarded with panoramic vistas of the city, stretching from the historic peninsula to the modern skyline. Capture the perfect postcard-worthy photographs. End your tour extension with a visit to the vibrant Istiklal Avenue, a bustling pedestrian street lined with shops, cafes, and art galleries. Stroll along this lively thoroughfare, immersing yourself in the vibrant energy of Istanbul. Bid farewell to this remarkable city, taking with you cherished memories and a deep appreciation for its rich cultural heritage.

Join us on this four-day tour extension in Istanbul and allow us to unlock the secrets of this captivating city. From the grand palaces to the bustling bazaars, immerse yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Istanbul’s history, culture, and beauty. Get ready for an unforgettable journey of discovery in the heart of Turkey.