Pakistan is a land blessed with enormously rich historical heritage, diverse culture,
high adventure, and unmatched natural beauty. From the relics of famous Civilizations
of Kandahar and Indus to gigantic icy peaks, lush green valleys, meadows and lakes
of crystal clear waters, we offer a unique and contrasted destination to behold
the caravan of mankind across ages and precious beauties of nature, to the tourists
of the world.
At an average elevation of 8000 feet above sea level, Ayubia National Park is located
between Pakistan’s most popular hill stations, Murree and Nathiagali. Superb
scenery, pine forests, green mountain slopes, clear water streams and lots of wild
flowers and colorful butterflies combine together to offer an enchanting panorama.
We have planned for you a hiking trip to Ayubia National Park during the summer
holidays. We will drive to Ayubia from Islamabad and enjoy the beautiful scenery
enroute. After check in at the hotel, you will be free to acclimatize yourself to
the mountain environment. Next day we will do the pipeline walk through the National
Park area and climb the Mukshpuri Top (elevation 9800 feet). On the way, we are
likely to see hundreds of wild flowers and colorful butterflies. You will also have
superb views overlooking Kashmir and Abbottabad.
The rivers of Pakistan, spread like a net through its length and breadth. Right
from the heights of the Karakorams, the Himalayas and the Hindukush, Pakistan’s
rivers change its courses and flows until they all meet the mighty Indus, at different
points, which ultimately falls into the Arabian Sea. These rivers are ideal for
all types of water sports like, rafting, canoeing, boating and sailing. Following
rivers in the Northern Pakistan, are open for water sports, besides the Indus, the
Ravi and the Chenab in NWFP, Punjab and Sindh provinces;
Best time to visit: November to March
The Salt Range comprises two rows of low lying rugged hills that run east to west
between the Soan and Jhelum rivers from the Grand Trunk Road, near Jhelum city to
the River Indus, near Kalabagh. This area is said to record 600 million years of
Earth’s history. Its name comes from the vast deposits of rock salt exposed
and mined at Khewra. The salt was left behind when the sea, which extended over
the Indus plains and the Potowar plateau, evaporated 600 million years ago. The
rocks and fossils found around the salt range provide a complete record of the history
of Earth. Layers of rock in the range have been tipped vertically or in some places
are inverted, so that the older fossil-strewn layers now lie on the surface.
The tour will take you to Khewra, the largest Salt Mines in the world, the fort
and temples of Hindu Shahi period (8-10 century A.D.) at Katas and Malot and the
beautiful lakes at Kalar Kahar, Uchali, Khabaki and Jhalar which attract thousands
of migratory birds each year. This tour will also give you a chance to take a close
look at the typical village lifestyle of Northern Punjab.
A drive to the beaches of Hawks Bay and Sandspit (near Karachi) is one of the greatest
sources of pleasure to a nature lover. This unique tour will take you to the shores
of the Karachi coast where the Green Turtle and Olive Ridley are found during the
nesting seasons on the beaches of Hawks Bay and Sandspit. During autumn, after the
monsoons when the sea is calmer the visitors sit quietly on the beach on a moonlit
night and watch to see the turtles come up and repeat what they have been doing
for generations. That is, laying their eggs and leaving them in the enclosing warmth
of the soft sand for the heat of the sun to incubate till young hatchlings, perfect
miniatures of the adult, emerge and scramble to the sea. The tour will also take
you to Somiani Bay Mangrove Forest that is the breeding ground for fish and shrimps
and home to many resident and migratory birds.
In the northeast of Karachi, forming the end of the chain of the great lakes, lies
the beautiful fresh water lakes of Haleji and Keenjhar in the district of Thatta.
Some forty thousand birds including over 70 species of waterfowl find refuge over
here during the winter months. These lakes can be regarded as one of the most important
wintering areas for waterfowls in Eurasia. Flamingos, Pelicans, Purple Gallinules,
Ducks, Coots, Herons, Pheasants, Tailed Jacanas, to name but a few can be observed
undisturbed in their natural habitat.
Besides providing you with an excellent opportunity for bird-watching, our tour
will also allow you to explore the historical monuments of Thatta and Chaukandi.
Thatta has the largest necropolis in the world with beautifully engraved sandstone
on the graves. The Shah Jehan Mosque of Thatta, built in the mid 17th century A.D.,
has 99 domes and is considered a masterpiece of Mughal architecture.
The length of the Karakoram highway is 800 km from Havelian (100 km north of Islamabad)
and winds through Abbottabad-Mansehra-Thakot-Besham-Pattan-Chilas-Gilgit-Hunza to
Khunjerab Pass beyond which Chinese territory begins. Abbottabad is 1255 meters
high open valley with green surrounding mountains, cultivated fields, orchards and
streams. The fauna in this area is oriental and the bird species are replaced by
palae-arctic species as we proceed further along the KKH beyond Thakot.
Birds likely to be seen
Buzzard, Golden Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lammergeier, Kestrol, Snow Partridge,
Seesee Partridge, Himalayan Snow-cock, Chukor Partridge, Monal Pheasant, Snow Pigeon,
Hill Pigeon, Rufous Turtle Dove, the Cuckoo, Great Horned Owl, the Swift, European
Bee-eater, European Roller, Scalybeltied Green, Woodpecker, short-toed Lark, Horned
Lark, Grey Martin, Swallow, Golden Oriole, Brahminy Myna, Magpie, Nutcracker, Alpine
chough, Redbilled chough, Rook, Rufous tailed Flycatcher, Booted Warbler, Orphan
Warbler, Chiffchaff and other Phylloscopus species, several other warblers, Blue
throat and Ruby-throat, Chats, Thrushes, Wren, Dipper, Accentors, Tits, Tree creeper,
wall creeper, pipits, Redpols, Wagtails, Finches and Buntings.
Mammals likely to be seen
Markhor, Shapu, Ibex, Marcopolo sheep, Marmot, Pikas, Brown Bear.
The Deosai Plains are 32 km south of Skardu. This plateau is the habitat of the
greatly threatened Himalayan Brown Bear and many other wild animals. At an average
elevation of 4000 meters, Deosai is designated as a National Park and protected
area for wildlife. The rolling grassland here supports no trees or shrubs and the
area is snow covered for seven months of the year. Spring comes to Deosai in August
when millions of wild flowers begin to bloom all over the lush green grassland.
This is a time when Deosai looks like a paradise with a landscape full of wild flowers
on green rolling hills and crystal clear water streams with snow covered peaks in
The Adventure Jeep Safari will take you right across the beautiful mountain ranges
of the Himalayas and Karakorams. Travelling on Karakoram Highway (KKH), you will
enjoy the most spectacular scenery on earth. Before reaching Deosai, you will also
witness the magical views of Nanga Parbat (8126 m), the ninth highest peak of the
world, from different angles. At Deosai, our first stop will be at Sheosar Lake.
This place offers beautiful views of south face of Nanga Parbat and a panoramic
view of Deosai Plains. At Bara Pani, you can spend one day and visit the core zone
of National Park for Bear Watching or you may enjoy fishing in the cold waters of
Barwai Stream. From Deosai, we will drive back via Skardu and Gilgit and have a
chance to enjoy the most thrilling drive along the River Indus.
Indus is one of the greatest rivers of the world. It originates high in the mountains
of Tibet and flows through Ladakh and Pakistan before flowing into the Arabian Sea.
On its 3200 kms journey it passes through the great Himalayan and Karakoram ranges,
the fertile plains of the Punjab and the vast desert of Sindh. Near the great Nanga
Parbat (8126 m), it forms the borderline between the Asian and Indian continental
plates. The Indus is blessed with a rich variety of wildlife throughout its journey.
Among these are various resident and migratory birds, mammals, reptiles and fish.
The Indus Blind Dolphin is one of its most famous inhabitants. Through this tour,
we will take you to Taunsa Barrage, which is a two and a half hour drive from Multan.
From Taunsa Barrage, you will travel down the river Indus on a traditional fishing
boat where you will catch unforgettable glimpses of rural life in the Southern Punjab
and the innumerable species of birds that stop by in these areas on their north-south
migratory route. You will also have the opportunity to see the remarkable blind
dolphin skirting to the surface near your boat.
The boat safari will end at Ghazi Ghat Bridge from where we will drive back to Multan.
The people with typical costumes, folk dances, music and sports like polo and buzkashi
provide the traveler an unforgettable experience. Nowhere in the world there is
such a great concentration of high mountains, peaks, glaciers and passes except
Pakistan. Of the 14 over 8000 peaks on earth, 4 occupy an amphitheater at the head
of Baltoro glacier in the Karakoram range. These are: K-2 (8611 m, world second
highest), Broad Peak (8047m), Gasherbrum I (8068m) and Gasherbrum II (8035m). There
is yet another which is equally great, that is, Nanga Parbat (8126m) at the western
most end of the Himalayas.
Northern Pakistan has the greatest concentration of the highest peaks of the world.
It has 05 peaks over 8,000 metres including the world’s second highest, K-2
(Chogori, 8611 m), 29 peaks of over 7,500 metres and 121 of over 7,000 metres. Hundreds
of peaks are still lying un-climbed. This, is a great challenge for the mountaineers
and mountain climbers the world over.
All peaks/routes for mountaineering have been designated as open zone or restricted
zone. Permits for climbing peaks in open zone, are issued by the Ministry of Tourism,
within 24 hours of the receipt of application. However, for peaks/routes in restricted
zone, permit is issued within 14 days form the date of receipt of the application
in Ministry of Tourism, Government of Pakistan (Operation Section), 1st Floor, Green
Trust Towers, Blue Area, Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad. Tel:+92-51-9205768 Fax:+92-51-9201696
). Pakistani Liaison Officer would accompany all mountaineering expeditions. The
Government of Pakistan has fixed following rate or royalty for climbing peaks in
Stretching north from the Arabian Sea, the plains of Pakistan culminate into the
lush valleys of Dir, Swat and Kaghan. Beyond them, lie the great northern valleys
of Chitral, Gilgit, Hunza and Baltistan. Separating the two river systems which
drain from these valleys is the Hindu Raj range, a chain of mountains which forms
one of the sharpest cultural boundaries in the world: the cultural line between
Central and Northern Asia. Still further north, the Karakoram and Hindu Kush ranges
shape the western extension of the Himalayas.
Tough and sparsely populated, Pakistan’s northern valleys exhibit the diversity
one would expect of a boundary area. In the east, Baltistan shows an affinity with
Tibet; in fact, its language is a dialect of archaic Tibetan and many remnants of
Tibetan culture can still be observed, In the Gilgit region, Shina is the dominant
language. Gilgit’s most prominent contribution to the area seems to be the
Gilgiti cap worn throughout most of northern Pakistan. To the north, legendary Hunza
confirms its reputation as one of the world’s great mountain communities.
Its Language – Burushaki – seems unrelated to any other and its origins
remain a mystery. Like Chitral to the west, Hunza manifests its age-old-contact
with Central Asia, the consequence of lying abreast of the Caravan routes that spread
south from the all-important passes. Within the borders of Chitral are the Kafir
valleys of Birir, Rambur and Bomburet. In a nation that is almost entirely Muslim,
the Kafir are unique; they are Pagans (Kafir means infidel) with their own very
original beliefs, customs and art forms.
The land of these northern valleys is best described as mountainous. During winter,
heavy snow separate the valleys from the rest of the world for six months. In the
summer, temperatures over 100 degrees are common. In Skardu, one is immediately
struck by the juxtaposition of sand dunes and show-capped peak.
Trekking in Pakistan
Pakistan is a paradise for trekkers. Most of the trekking routes lies in the northern
mountains of the Hindukush, the Karakorams and the Himalayas. For most of the treks,
trekking season is between May to October. The Ministry of Tourism, Government of
Pakistan, has defined trekking as walking below 6000 m. It has designated three
zones for trekking; open, restricted and closed. Foreigners may trek anywhere in
open zone without a permit or services of a licensed mountain guide. For trekking
in restricted zone, foreigners must pay a fee of US$ 20 per person per trek to obtain
a trekking permit from the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of Pakistan Islamabad. It
also requires to hire a licensed mountain guide; buy a personal accident insurance
policy for the guide and the porters and to attend mandatory briefing and de-briefing
at the Ministry of Tourism, on the beginning and end of the trekking trip. No trekking
is allowed in closed zones which are the areas near Pak-Afghan border and near the
Line of Control with Indian-held Kashmir.
FOR APPLYING FOR PERMISSION
Trekking means the act of traveling on foot to a maximum height of six thousand
meters (6000 M) with the purpose of sight-seeing and recreation at various natural
and cultural sites in places where means of modern transport are either not available
or are purposely not used.
Issue of permits to trekking parties shall be regulated as follows: -
Treks situated in the Open Areas:
Foreigners are allowed to trek in the Open Zone without permit and guide etc.
Specified treks in the Restricted Areas:
Specified trekking routes in Restricted Areas (comprising of districts of
Chitral, Gilgit and Skardu)
A trekking party desirous of walking on the restricted routes would be required
to submit application on prescribed form (Annex “A”) in duplicate, along-with
two photographs each.
The trekking party will be required to hire an approved guide. Such guides
are also available with the tour operators approved by the Ministry of Tourism.
The travel-cum-trekking agency is required to make sure that the guide and
the porters accompanying a party have properly been insured for the sum specified
by the Government of Pakistan and that other instructions issued by the Government
in this regard from time to time are strictly adhered to.
All trekkers shall be required to register their particulars at the check
posts to be set up at important junctions.
Permits for these treks would be issued by the Tourism Division within 24
hours of receipt of complete applications.
Unspecified treks in “Restricted Areas”
Applications for treks other than specified shall be submitted to the Tourism
Division on prescribed form in duplicate.
Permission of rejection for undertaking these treks would be communicated
within 15 days of receipt of complete application in the Tourism Division.
Parties so permitted shall be accompanied by a Registered trekking guide/Liaison
Officer to be detailed by the Government of Pakistan.
The trekking permit issued by Tourism Wing will be valid for 30 days.
Government reserves the right to cancel the permission issued in favour of any party/trekker
at any time without assigning any reason.
In case, however, a party postpones/cancels its visit, it shall so inform the Tourism
Division by the quickest possible means.
BRIEF / DE-BRIEFING
The leader of party using treks in restricted area shall, on arrival in Rawalpindi/Islamabad,
inform the Officer concerned in Tourism Division of their arrival. The said Officer
would furnish him relevant information on matters like insurance, purchase of rations
etc., arrangement about special weather forecast by Radio Pakistan and other miscellaneous
matters. After completing these formalities, the leader shall take from the said
Officer a date for formal briefing. For this purpose he shall give a minimum notice
of 24 hours excluding Fridays, Saturday and Holidays. This preparatory work may
necessitate a stay of about 4-6 days in Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
On return from the mountains the leader of the party shall forthwith inform the
concerned Officer in the Tourism Division and obtain a date for debriefing by giving
him a minimum notice of 24 hours.
IV. FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES
LIAISON OFFICER/MOUNTAIN GUIDE:
A party shall include in the expedition, as it member, at least one Liaison Officer/Mountain
Guide to be detailed by the Government of Pakistan, travel cum trekking agency as
the case may be.
A party shall for the transport of L.O./M.G. from Rawalpindi/Islamabad to mountains
and back to Rawalpindi/Islamabad from the date he reports to a leader till the date
a party is debriefed or returned to Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
A party shall normally accommodate a L.O./M.G. in Rawalpindi/Islamabad in the premises
where it stays. In this case he shall use the same accommodation as other members.
In case a party is not in a position to accommodate a L.O./M/G. in the premises,
a L.O./M.G. shall stay in a transit camp/hotel or any other suitable place and charge
a party $ 10/- per day for accommodation and $ 10/- per day for food.
While in Gilgit, Skardu and Chitral, a L.O./M.G. shall stay with a party in the
premises in which it is staying. In this case he shall share food, accommodation
and transport with the party.
While in the mountains it may be difficult for a L.O./M.G. to live on the party’s
food. If he so chooses he may have independent arrangements for food. In that case
a party shall purchase for the L.O./M.G. such items of food and rations as he may
Total amount of money to be expended on these items shall not exceed $ 10/- per
day. In this case a L.O./M.G. shall also be provided with the services of a porter-cum-cook
so that he may not face any difficulty in preparing his food. Daily wages
to the said porter-cum-cook shall be paid by the party.
In no case a party shall advance money for the purchase of rations etc. to a L.O./M.G.
Instead, it shall depute a member to go to the market with a L.O./M.G. and purchase
for him the identified items by making payment to the shopkeepers.
For the purpose of para-12 above, a L.O./M.G. shall indicate in advance, the approximate
number of days for which he would be having independent arrangements in the mountains
so that a party may arrange for items of rations.
The question of provision of food/accommodation for M.G. would be settled by the
party with the sponsoring agency on mutually agreed terms.
A L.O./M.G. shall carry his personal equipment like any other member of the party.
A L.O./M.G. shall be consulted on matters such as adopting of non-traditional routes
by the party, objectives, pitching of tents near the villages and on local customs
in his capacity as representative of the Government of Pakistan. Leader of the party
shall, however, not be bound to accept the advice of L.O./M.G.
In case, however, a L.O./M.G. feels strongly that non-acceptance of his advice would
jeopardize the security of the country or would create law and order problems, he
shall ask the leader to give him a note, in writing indicating. Therein, reasons
for dis-agreement with his advice. He shall keep this not with him and take action
in accordance with paragraphs 20 and 21 below.
If a L.O./M.G. thinks that danger to the security of the country would increase
if activities of the party are not checked, he shall inform the nearest Police Station,
by the quickest possible means and obtain police assistance in stopping the party
from carrying out its mission.
On return to the district headquarters from the mountains, a L.O./M.G. shall lodge
a complaint with the Deputy Commissioner, specifying therein, exact violation of
the terms and conditions, or any other rule etc. he shall also send its copy to
the Ministry of Tourism.
A L.O./M.G. shall extend maximum assistance to a party in making its mission a success.
He shall not handle any cash nor undertake any financial transactions on behalf
of a leader/party.
A L.O./M.G. shall act as an interpreter from the starting place of the trekking
party till its return to district headquarters. He shall also help solve problems
of a party on its trek to his best judgment and secretion and assist the team.
A L.O./M.G. shall maintain discipline among the porters and shall avoid the situation
of ill-will or dispute among them.
A L.O./M.G. shall in the event of dispute or undesirable incident arising between
any member of the party, porters and locals shall try to settle the depute by his
If, however, he feels that the situation is beyond his control he shall seek help
from the nearest Police Station etc.
A L.O./M.G. shall also inform by the quickest means the nearest Police Station any
incident of the death or disability of any member of the party or a porter etc.
He shall also inform the nearest Police Station about the commission of any serious
crime, along-with a report to be sent to the Deputy
Commissioner and Tourism Division.
(I) For Liaison Officer/Mountain Guide:
A party shall provide to a L.O./M.G. free of cost necessary equipment in order to
enable him to perform his duties without any risk to his person.
Kit/equipment for L.O./M.G. shall be brought according to his measurements, which
shall be sent with the permission letter.
The question of supply of kit/equipment to M.G. would be settled between party and
the sponsoring agency.
(ii) For Porters:
A party shall also provide to porters standard kit/equipment, free of cost.
Kit/equipment for porters shall be handed over to them in the presence of L.O./M.G.
prior to the start of ascent.
No party shall be allowed to proceed to its destination if the kit/equipment provided
by it to L.O./M.G. porters is found incomplete or sub-standard in quality. Before
leaving Rawalpindi/Islamabad, a L.O./M.G. shall satisfy himself that the kit/equipment
is complete and of required standard,
A party shall be at liberty to ask for the return of the kit/equipment given free
of cost to L.O./M.G. and porters after completing its mission.
Equipment, non-consumable and consumable stores imported by a party into Pakistan
shall be subject to the following conditions: -
and non-consumable stores: -
Shall be allowed temporary entry free of customs duty and sales tax subject to an
undertaking being furnished by a leader of the party to the effect that the equipment
etc. will be re-exported out of Pakistan on completion of the mission and
that no part of it shall be sold or otherwise disposed of in Pakistan, failing which
customs duty and sales tax leviable thereon shall be paid.
stores and medicines: -
Will be allowed exemption from customs duty and sales tax subject to the said undertaking
being furnished by the leader of the trekking party to the effect that they shall
be used for the purpose for which they have been imported and shall not be sold
or otherwise disposed of in Pakistan failing which customs duty and sales leviable
thereon shall be paid. the un-consumable portion will be re-exported out of Pakistan
on completion of the mission.
The above conditions shall not apply when donation of consumable and non-consumable
stores and medicines etc, is made in Pakistan with the prior permission of the government.
A party stall send to Tourism Division in three copies the said undertaking along-with
three copies of the list of all the equipment non-consumable stores and consumable
stores. Cost price of all the items shall also be shown on the said lists. Tourism
Division shall return on copy to the party after affixing signatures/seal. Another
copy shall be sent to the customs authorities at the point of entry who shall clear
the equipment when it arrives with the party.
If some equipment is to be sent to Pakistan in advance, Tourism Division shall be
so informed. In that case one copy of the under taking along-with its enclosures,
shall be handed over to a clearing and forwarding agent to be sent to the customs
authorities at the point of entry.
After clearance of the equipment a clearing/forwarding agent shall have to arrange
for its transport, stores and protection till it is handed over to the party on
arrival. He shall also pay local octroi duty, if any. He shall be advised to contact
a representative of Tourism Division in case of difficulty.
Rates of wages for hiring porters and the charges for hiring animal and mechanical
transport shall be fixed by the Government and circulated to all concerned.
Payment of wages to porters shall be made in the following manner: -
(a) Porters engaged for 7 days or less shall
be paid 50% of the daily wages for the said period on the day they are engaged.
The remaining 50% shall be paid on the day they are discharged.
(b) Porters engaged for a period of more than
7 days shall be paid 50% of the daily wages for a week on the day they are engaged.
The other half shall be paid at the end of the said week. Thereafter payment shall
be made on weekly basis. In case a period falls short of a week then full payment
shall be made for the said period on the day they are discharged.
In addition to daily wages, a party shall provide to a porter free rations money
in lieu of rations, as fixed by the Government, from the day he is engaged till
the day he is discharge.
Similarly, because of forced halts on bad weather days a party shall pay to a porter
full daily wages and rations or rations money in lieu thereof. Decision of a leader
about ‘march’ on such days shall be final. If the leader dis-agrees with the advice
of L. O. /M. G. feels that the weather is too bad to march, he will ask the leader
to that the party. If the leader dis-agrees with the advice of L. O. /M. G., he
shall give him in writing the reasons for his disagreement.
A L. O. /M. G shall be covered by an insurance of Rs. 100,000/- (Rupees one
thousand) only. In case of partial disablement the amount of compensation shall
be proportionate to the percentage of disablement as declared by the competent authority.
A porter shall be insured for a sum of Rs.50, 000/-(Rupees fifty thousand) only.
In case of partial disablement, the amount of compensation shall be proportionate
to the percentage of disablement as declared by aw Civil Surgeon.
Insurance cover, shall be provided by the trekking party through a Pakistani company
and the Tourism Division shall help a party in getting this facility in Pakistan,
if so requested.
IX. MEDICAL TREATMENT
A party, shall be accompanied by a qualified physician/surgeon who shall also pay
due professional attention to L. O. /M. G and porters.
If, however, a party comprises of 5 or less than 5 persons and is not in a position
to brig a physician/surgeon as its member, then the said party shall bring a qualified
first-aid specialist as one of its members.
A L. O. /M. G and porters shall become entitled to free medical treatment
from the party’s surgeon/physician from the date they report to a party till the
date their services are no longer required.
In case of sickness/injury of a L. O. /M. G. detailed by Pakistan Army,
Travel Agency leader of a party shall immediately inform the nearest Army Formation/Deputy
In case a L. O. /M. G is so sick as to be unable to walk he shall be
transported to the nearest jeepable point by engaging porters. From there he shall
be sent to a hospital of his entitlement in a jeep. Payment for this transportation
shall be made by the party.
If in the opinion of the leader/physician/Surgeon the sickness/injury is likely
to aggravate if the L. O. /M. G is transported by porters/jeep to the
nearest hospital then the Deputy Commissioner of the area shall be contacted to
arrange for a helicopter for evacuation of Liaison Officer/Mountain Guide. A party
shall pay charges of helicopter used for this evacuation.
If in the opinion of a physician/surgeon evacuation of a sick/injured porter from
the mountains to a hospital in a District headquarters like Gilgit, Skardu or Chitral
is necessary then the party shall pay for his evacuation by a helicopter of other
means. the decision of the leader about evacuation etc. shall be final. In case
a L. O. /M. G feels that a porter is very sick and is not being evacuated,
he shall ask the leader to arrange for his evacuation. If the leader dis-agrees
with the advice of L. O. /M. G he shall give in writing the reasons for such dis-agreement.
The said statement would also need to be countersigned by the expedition doctor/First
During sickness/Injury in the mountains and hospitalization, a party shall pay half
of the daily wages to a porter till the date he leaves the district headquarters
Medical facilities including surgical operations etc. are generally provided free
of cost in Pakistani hospitals. Should sickness/injuries to L. O. /M.
G Porters entail some expenditure, a party shall pay for the same.
(i) Aerial Photography:
Aerial photography of mountains/speaks enroute to Northern Areas and Chitral is
allowed after seeking permission from Captain of an aircraft.
Party shall not photograph the following objects during its stay in Pakistan: -
Any Army, Navy and Air force installations
Any equipment of Armed Forces, such as ships/establishments
guns, tanks, vehicles, aircrafts and arms etc.
Any Pakistan Aerodromes or its connected building
Any tribal lady/ladies.
Making of Commercial film including T. V:
Subject to above a party visiting the zone (i.e. 10 mile belt and 30 mile belt of
Pakistan border with foreign countries) may take photographs/make films under the
direct supervision of a L. O. /M. G.
For this purpose, a party shall identify one member of its team as the photographer
for making of a film of academic interest. If, however, a party wants to include
the team some professional photographers for making of a commercial film in addition
to making of a professional film, the professional photographer (s) in that case
shall be accompanied by an additional L. O. /M. G. under the same terms
and Conditions as for the L. O. /M. G. Under this arrangement, professional photographers
shall not be allowed to break into separate units.
Export of such films out of Pakistan shall be allowed only after the
L. O. /M. G. has certified that defence installation and prohibited areas/places
were not photographed.
A L. O. /M. G. shall inform a party of the objects which are allowed
to be photographed/filmed. If he is convinced that key/defence installations are
being photographed, he shall forbid the photographer from taking such photographs
or making of such films. If a photographer does not comply with his advice, the
matter shall be reported to the police who shall proceed against such photographer
under Official Secrets Act, 1923.
Still photographs, commercial films and films of academic interest taken/made in
the rest of Pakistan shall be subject only to restrictions mentioned at paras 59
Permission to photography is subject to the conditions that a party shall supply
to the Government of Pakistan, free of cost, and freight, one copy/print of a film
of academic interest/commercial film made and one set of photographs taken.
In case of accident/death of a member of a party, the leader shall notify the L.
O. /M. G. who shall report the matter to the nearest police station and get in touch
with Deputy Commissioner of the area for any assistance that may be felt necessary.
If any assistance from the Pakistan Army is needed, the L. O. /M. G. shall so inform
the Deputy Commissioner who shall arrange such assistance.
If a helicopter is needed, a Deputy Commissioner shall arrange for the same on payment
basis, but the party will have to a bear the expenses.
In case of death of member, a L. O. /M. G. shall obtain necessary death certificate
from the local Deputy Commissioner before leaving the area.
In case of accident/death of a low/high altitude porter, action shall be taken on
the above lines. In addition, a L. O. /M. G. shall obtain from the Civil
Surgeon concerned a certificate of his/their disablement/death for insurance purposes.
In case of injury/death of L. O. /M. G. the leader shall inform the Deputy Commissioner
of the area who, in turn, shall inform the army authorities/Tourism Division.
A party shall invariable encash foreign exchange from an authorised bank/money changer.
For this purpose a certificate about the amount of foreign exchange tendered shall
be obtained from the said bank/authorised money changer. There are no restrictions
on the import of foreign exchange instruments either personally or by post or otherwise.
This applies only to foreign currency notes and coins.
Any person maintaining an account expressed in a foreign currency and held under
any permission, general or otherwise granted by the State Bank of Pakistan to take
or send to Pakistan, cheques or drafts drawn on such account.
Any person, other than a person to whom foreign exchange issued for travelling purpose
only, to send out of Pakistan foreign exchange issued to him by an authorised agent.
Any person to take out of Pakistan without limit any foreign currency.
A party shall confine its activities only to the trekking.
A party shall not indulge in any activity that might offend the religious sentiments
and social moral usages and customs of the local people.
A party shall not at any stage operate in more than one area.
A party shall not split into small groups while in the mountains. In case of emergency
only a L. O./ M. G. has the authority to allow splitting of a party.
A party shall not deviate from the specified route except in an emergency and with
the permission of the L. O. /M. G.
Maps etc. if applied for and issued to a party, shall be returned to the Government
of Pakistan through L. O. /M. G. before an expedition departs from Pakistan. A nominal
amount of non-refundable money may also need to be deposited with the Government
for use of these maps.
Duplicate copies of topographical data collected during mountain climbing etc. shall
be handed over to L. O. /M. G.
Export out of Pakistan of data/specimen/collections without the prior permission
of the Government of Pakistan is prohibited.
A leader shall also provide a set of all such specimens to the government of Pakistan.
Trekking fee would be charged from parties @ US $ 5-/- per person per trek debitable
in head of account No. “1391- Fees, Fines and Forfeitures” for accounting
of the receipt relating to Royalty/Trekking fee realized from Mountaineering and
Leader and members of a party shall be responsible for the safety of the life
of a L.O./M.G. They shall also ensure that members of the party extend to him due
A party shall engage porters through local administration.
A party shall carry a maximum weight of 25 kilos. He shall walk in a day the distance
from one traditional halt to another. The decision of L.O./M.G. about a traditional
halt shall be final.
A porter shall sign an undertaking of good behaviour. One copy of the said undertaking
shall be deposited with a representative of local administration. Another copy shall
be handed over to the leader. The third copy shall be provided to the porter.
A party shall try to follow the date of arrival as fixed by the Government in order
to avoid pressure on local transport and accommodation in the “take off “ area.
As soon as the party gets the permission letter it shall immediately inform the
nearest PIA Office or an office of any other airline for reservation of seats and
booking of equipment from Rawalpindi to Northern Areas/Chitral by giving the following
Number of persons.
Total weight to the flown
Probable dates of flights from Rawalpindi to Northern Areas/Chitral.
Copy of this communication shall also be sent to Tourism Division.
Flights to Northern Areas and Chitral are subject to weather conditions and as such
PIA or any other airline may not be able to given firm dates of bookings. In such
cases, a party would need to request the PIA/any other airline to pass on the above
information to Officer Incharge, Northern Areas, PIA Offices, Shahrah-e-Quaid Azam,
A party shall come prepared to stay for a period of 2-3 weeks in Rawalpindi and
Northern Areas/Chitral, respectively, in case the weather suddenly turns bad.
A party may, however, travel by road from Rawalpindi to Northern Areas/Chitral and
A party shall have to register itself with the Foreigners Registration Office in
the Office of Senior Superintendent of Police, at Rawalpindi before leaving for
mountains. Similarly a party shall inform the said Foreigners Registration Officer
before leaving Rawalpindi/Islamabad on departure from Pakistan.
To obviate language difficulty, a party coming from non-English speaking country,
shall invariably include in its party an English speaking member.
A party shall leave a camping site clean by appropriate disposal of all bio-degradable
material and bring back to Skardu/Gilgit/Chitral or any other nearest major town
the non-biodegradable like plastics and empty-tins etc. On return, a L.O./M.G. shall
furnish a certificate that the condition has been fully complied with by the party.
A party or its porters shall not damage the forest or animal wealth of the area.
On return, a L.O/M.G. shall furnish a certificate that the condition has also been
fully complied with by the party.
A party shall not serve for bidden items like pork etc. to L.O./M.G./Porters.
In case of breach of these rules, a party or all the members of such a party and
the sponsors of such a party shall be dis-qualified for any future trekking in Pakistan
for a maximum period of 5-years. In addition to this they may also be proceeded
against under the relevant law.
Heli Safaris to the roof of the World – A great opportunity for those who
have limited time but still like to have a bird’s eye view of Pakistan’s Northern
paradise. All these safaris begin from Islamabad. We use Mi-17 (24 passengers) and
ALT-III (5 passengers) helicopters for these heli-safaris.
Fairy Meadows – The last mountain wilderness of the Himalayas, lying under
the shadow of Nanga Parbat (8,126 m), waiting for you to explore by helicopter.
Trango Towers – It is a freestanding shaft culminating in the Trango Group,
located on the left of Baltoro Glacier. It is the highest granite tower and considered
to be the finest rock pinnacle in the world.
Concordia –This chaotic jumble of ice and rocks looks like an amphitheater
rimmed by ice streams descending from four highest mountains of the Karakorams (K-2,
Gasherbrum-I, Gasherbrum-II and Gasherbrum-IV). The point rests on the junction
of two great glaciers – Baltoro and Godwin Austin. Being at Concordia means to be
face to face with K-2 (8,611 m), a real soul stirring experience.
K-2 – “It was one of those sights which impress a man for ever, and produce
a permanent effect upon the mind” (Francis Youghusband (1896) – First view of K-2).
“The sight was beyond my comprehension and I sat gazing at it with a kind of timid
fascination” (Eric Shipton).
Kalash Tribes & Chitral Valley – Chitral, an area which was focus of
the “Great Games”, at the turn of the 19th Century, is a land of ancient forts,
rivers, springs and unique culture. The valleys of Brir, Rambur and Bamburet are
the home of the only pagan tribe – Kalash, ‘the wearers of black robes’.
The World’s highest mountain ranges – the mighty Himalayas,
the rugged Karakorams, the magnificent Hindu Kush and the mysterious Pamirs congregate
along the far Northern frontiers of Pakistan to form an awesome natural bastion
along its borders with India, China, Afghanistan, the Central Asian Republics and
In fact, Pakistan’s towering Northern frontiers bestow upon this country the
most endowed mountain region on Earth, making it the only country to boast of literally
ALL of the highest mountain ranges of the World.
It is because of this, that Pakistan International Airlines offers, perhaps the
most unique Air Safari on Earth: a grandiose flight into the ultimate realm of the
mountains! It is a flight through a virtual forest of literally hundreds of over
7000 meter peaks, inclusive of five that fall into the 14 highest mountains of the
world that are over 8,000 meters.
The second highest mountain, the majestic K-2, the ninth highest Nanga Parbat, universally
dubbed “the killer mountain”, on account of its forbidding reputation
in the mountaineering community, the 11th highest Hidden Peak, the 12th highest
Broad Peak and the 13th highest Gasherbrum-II, are all part of this amazing region.
Four of these awesome peaks come together in the most spectacular theatre on Earth
– the Concordia, called the Darbar of the Emperor of the Jinns from the Arabian
Nights! The locals believe that the “Badshah” of this land of Jinns
chose this spot for his court as it was the loftiest and most remote on Earth. It
offers all this and much more.
Come and witness all of it with us on board, the PIA Air Safari that can be
chartered at just two weeks’ notice.
Richard Travithick produced the first locomotive by bringing the locomotive and
railway invention together in 1804. Britishers brought this technology to the Subcontinent
and in order to augment their defence to stop the Russian invasion on India, a 42
kms long Khyber Railway lines was built by them in 1920s from Peshawar to Landi
Kotal at an enormous cost of 6 million Rupees. This is one of the most historical
and interesting train journeys in the world today.
The train coaches are pulled and pushed by two 1920s vintage oil fired steam engines
to climb 1200 meters through 34 tunnels and 92 bridges and culverts. At one point
the track climbs to 130 meters after a journey of 1.4 kilometers. A section of the
track is shaped like a W and the train has to move in changing directions.
The tribal people travelled free as part of the contract agreed upon when they allowed
the British to build the railway through their territory.
Pakistan is important for many religions of the world. The Indus Valley
gave rise to one of the first great civilizations. Mahayana Buddhism also
developed here as did the Sikh religion under Guru Nanak. Pakistan was
created in the Indus Valley specifically to provide the Muslims of South
Asia with a state of their own, and there are very few countries where religion
plays such an important role in the lives of people.
Muslims make up over 98% of the population of Pakistan, of which
roughly 80% are Sunni and 20 % are Sh'iah. About 1 % of the population is
Christian with slightly more protestants than Catholics. The Hindus,
mostly nomads living in the South account for less than 1%. In Karachi,
Lahore, Rawalpindi and Quetta there are small communities of Buddhists and
there are a tiny group of animist Kalash living in Chitral on the Afghan
Islam ('submission to God') plays a very important role in the
lives of Pakistani people, in fact, it prevails in every aspect of
society. The muezzin's call to worship from the minarets of the mosques;
men bowed in prayer in the fields, shops and airports; qibla (Urdu for
'the direction of Makkah') is marked in every hotel bedroom; the veiled
women in the streets - all constantly remind you of the devotion and
passion of the Pakistanis for their religion.
The message of
Islam was brought by the Prophet Muhammad in the Arabian city of
Makkah. He saw himself as God's messenger and taught that all human beings
equal in the sight of God. It is also believed by all Muslims that he was
the one who God sent the Qu'ran so that its word may be spread among the
masses. The Qu'ran is believed to be infallible and the
words of God.
Sufism is Islam's mystical tradition, the Sufis being Muslim holy men who
develop their spirituality through prayer and meditation. Sufi comes from
the Arabic 'safa' meaning purity, so Sufis are those whose hearts and
souls are pure. The first Sufis wandered through Persia and Afghanistan
and into the South Asia, preaching love, peace and brotherhood. Some of
Pakistan's finest music and literature were written by Sufi saints; verses
set to music that tell of the love of God, and stories in which virtue
receives its reward. Sufi saints portrayed life at its most perfect. The
shrines of the great saints draw many who come to pray and make offerings.
Each shrine has a festival (urs) each year on the death anniversary of
the saint's death. The shrine then becomes a fairground, with musicians
playing traditional instruments and singers performing mystical folk songs
while dancers dance themselves in to a devotional frenzy. Trade fairs,
sports competitions and traditional martial arts also take place such as
fighting with daggers and riding.
The founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, was born near Lahore. He
took elements from Hinduism and Islam and combined them with new ideas.
They controlled an empire centered on Punjab, with Lahore as their
temporal capital and nearby Amritsar (in India) as their religious
At partition, all the Sikhs migrated to India where they are now asking
for a separate Sikh state in the Indian part of Punjab. Their shrines in
Pakistan are maintained by the government and are visited at festival
times by Sikh pilgrims.
and a system of
Buddhism is also known in Sanskrit or Pali, the main ancient languages of
Buddha Dharma or Dhamma,
which means the teachings of "the Enlightened One". Thus was called
hereinafter referred to as "the Buddha". The Buddha was born in
(now in Nepal), and that he died aged around 80 in
(India). He lived in or around the fifth century
Buddhism spread throughout
Asia in the
following the Buddha's passing, and thence into
over the next
Eventually, South Asian Buddhism became virtually extinct, except in parts
of Nepal. Buddhism is usually classified into the three traditions;
Eastern and Northern Buddhism both
Buddhism continues to attract followers worldwide and is considered a
major world religion.
According to one source, "World estimates for Buddhists vary between 230
and 500 million, with most around 350 million." According to one analysis,
Buddhism is the fifth-largest religion in the world behind
traditional Chinese religion.
The monks' order (Sangha),
which began during the lifetime of the Buddha in India, is amongst the
oldest organizations on earth.
In Buddhism, any person who has
awakened from the "sleep of ignorance" by directly realizing the true
nature of reality is called a
the Buddha, is thus only one among other buddhas before or after him. His
are oriented toward the attainment of this kind of
Part of the Buddha’s teachings
regarding the holy life and the goal of liberation is constituted by the
"The Four Noble Truths",
which focus on
a term that refers to
or the sorrow of life. The Four Noble Truths regarding suffering state
what is its nature, its cause, its cessation, and the way leading to its
cessation. This way to the cessation of suffering is called
"The Noble Eightfold Path",
which is one of the fundamentals of Buddhist
Greco-Buddhism, is the cultural
which developed over a period of close to 800 years in the area
corresponding to modern-day
between the 4th century BCE and the 5th century CE. Greco-Buddhism
influenced the artistic (and, possibly, conceptual) development of
Buddhism, and in particular
before it was adopted by Central and Northeastern Asia from the 1st
century CE, ultimately spreading to
The interaction between
and Buddhism started when
Alexander the Great
conquered South in 326 BC, crossing the
rivers, and going as far as the
thus establishing direct contact with
the birthplace of Buddhism.
Alexander founded several cities in
his new territories in the areas of the
and Greek settlements further extended to the
These regions correspond to a unique geographical passageway between the
mountains, through which most of the interaction between the South and
Central Asia took place, generating intense cultural exchange and trade.
The interaction of Greek and Buddhist cultures operated over several
centuries until it ended in the 5th century CE with the invasions of the
and later the expansion of
Pakistan, the crucible of many cultures and civilizations from the Stone
Age to the British Rule, has remains of ancient civilizations scattered
all over the country. However, the most popular are the Indus Valley and
Gandhara Civilizations. Almost all the major museums of the world has
pieces of Gandhara Art exhibited in their galleries.
Gandhara, the ancient Peshawar
Valley and the cradle of Buddhist Civilizations, gave birth to the famous
Gandhara Art, is first mentioned in the Rigveda, and remained one of the
provinces of the Achaemenian Empire as per Darius inscription of the 6th
century BC. Pushkalavati (Balahisar – Charsadda), its first capital from 6th
century BC till 1st century AD, was invaded in 327 BC by
Alexander of Macedonia, ruled by Mauryans, Indo-Greeks, Scythians,
Parthians and Kushans who established their capital at Pushpapura or
Peshawar in 1st century AD. In 7th century AD, the
Shahi Dynasty established the capital at Hund, which remained their
capital till the invasions of Ghaznavids in 998 AD, thus ending the rule
The sites and
antiquities of Takht-e-Bahi, Sahri Bahlol, Jamal Garhi, Rani Gat, Aziz
Dheri, Butkara, Saidu Stupa, Andan Dheri, Chat Pat, Dam Kot, Khanpur and
the monasteries in the Taxila Valley provided the richest collection of
Gandhara Art to the Peshawar, Taxila, Swat, Dir and Peshawar University
museums through the excavations by British, Italian and Pakistani
Pakistan has played an important role in the historical development of
Buddhism and Hinduism, the latter taking its name from the Indus river.
About 4 million Hindus left Pakistan during the partition, and 1.5 million
Chukundi Tombs – 27 kms on the National Highway, on the distant horizon you see clusters of unusual graves in the shape of stepped pyramids. The distinguishing features of these graves is the superb carving and engraving of the slabs with various designs of jewellery, floral patterns and even horses and their riders.
Makli (Thatta) - Driving further, about 101 kms from Karachi is the largest necropolis in the world (Makli). The use of profusely and beautifully engraved sandstone on the graves is a feature unique to this site.
Shah Jehan’s Mosque - Shah Jehan’s Mosque, situated on Thatta’s outskirts, is representative of Muslim architecture. It was built in 1647 A.D. by the Moghal Emperor Shah Jehan, and is said to have the most elaborate display of blue-and-white tile work in the sub-continent.
Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T)
Road leading to Lahore. The fort was built by Gakkhars, a fiercely
independent tribe of the Potohar Plateau, in early 16th century. The grave
of a Gakkhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died
in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. Rawat is a
corruption of the Arabic word “Rabat” meaning Serai. The Fort is oblong in
plan, measuring 306 feet 9 inches east-west and 348 feet 9 inches
north-south with semi circular bastions on the four corners and also on
either side of the two gates located on east and north. On the western
side of the fort, is located a mosque. The main gate is on the east.
Flanking the gates and the mosque along the fortification are small cells
each measuring 6 feet 9 inches. Originally, there were as many as 76
cells. In the northwest corner is located a massive tomb. The enclosure
wall is crowned with merlons created it the form of pointed arch. The
entire construction is in course rubble of sandstones with a sprinkling of
brunt bricks. The surface of the mosque, tomb and the gateways was
originally treated with lime-surkhi plaster in glaze, only traces of which
exist now. The bricks have been used in arches, domes and stringcourses,
which also serve as ornamental element.
Rohtas Fort is 109 km from Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
You have to travel on G.T. Road towards Lahore for 100 km to Dina. The
road to Rohtas forks off G.T. Road one kilometer past Dina. The Fort is 8
km away to the right from this turn. It is one of the most impressive
historical monuments in Pakistan. It was built on the orders of Afghan
ruler Sher Shah Suri (1539-45 AD) to serve as a huge fortified base for
military operations against Gakkhars. The fort
is the symbol of strength and determination of its builder Sher Shah Suri
who ruled over
South Asia only for six years, 1540-45 A.D., but even during that short
period he created many splendours including Rohtas fort and the Great
Grand Trunk Road, connecting Kabul with Calcutta.
The Fort was later used by Mughal emperor
Akbar and the Sikhs.
Olaf Caroe described his
initial impression of this fort in the following words; "There it stands,
sprawling across a low rocky hill a few miles north of Jhelum. Its great
ramparts growing from the cliff like the wall of China, looking north a
sandy streambed to the low hills of the salt range and beyond them, to the
snows of Pir Panjal. The circumference is large enough easily to hold a
couple of Divisions of troops. As you approach the fort, the crenellations
look like ominous rows of helmeted warriors watching you with disapproval.
It is an awe-inspiring sight".
The plan of the fort is adapted
to suit the terrain and it is defended by a number of deep ravines as well
as the river Ghaan, which breaks through the low eastern spur of the Tilla
range. Within its huge terraced
rampart walls (4 km in circumference) with 68 robust bastions and twelve
gates, is located another fortress, palaces and ancillary building.
Besides providing strength to the wall, these
bastions give a touch of elegance and grandeur to the fort. The wall,
usually composed of two or three terraces, varies in thickness at
different points, the maximum being 36 feet near the Mon Gate. The
terraces are interlinked with each other by way of stair-line and the top
most terrace is the line of the merion shaped. The height of the
fortification wall ranges from 30 to 40 feet and a considerable number of
galleries have been provided in the thickness of the wall for the soldiers
and for use as storage space. The wall is built in sand stone coarse
rubble masonry laid in lime mortar mixed with granular brick grit.
Although built for purely
military purposes, yet a few of its twelve gates were exceptionally fine
examples of the architecture of that period. The Sohal Gate, guarding the
south west wall, is in fair condition even today and it is being used as a
rest house. This gate is an example illustrating that how a feature built
for strength could also be made architecturally graceful. As it is more
than eighty feet in height so it provides a grand entrance to the
magnificent fort complex. Every part of its structure has been carried out
in broad and simple manner, each line and plane has a sober and massive
elegance, while the whole is aesthetically competent.
Within the fort a small town has developed
and several thousand people live here.
The Indus Valley Civilization was at its
peak from the 3rd till the middle of the 2nd
millennium BC. Discovered in 1922, Moenjodaro (in Sindh province) was
once a metropolis of great importance, forming part of the Indus Valley
Civilization with Harappa (discovered in 1923 in the southern
Punjab), Kot Diji (Sindh) and recently discovered Mehrgarh (Balochistan).
Moenjodaro is considered as one of the most spectacular ancient
cities of the World. It had mud and baked bricks’ buildings, an elaborate
covered drainage system, a large state granary, a spacious pillared hall, a
College of Priests, a palace and a citadel. Harappa, another major
city of the Indus Valley Civilization, was surrounded by a massive brick
wall fortification. Other features and plan of the city were similar to that
of Moenjodaro. The Kot Diji culture is marked by well-made pottery
and houses built of mud-bricks and stone foundations. Mehrgarh, the
oldest Civilization (7,000 B.C), remains of which were found in the district
Kachhi of Balochistan recently, was the pioneer of the Indus Valley
Civilization. The evidence of crop cultivation, animal husbandry and human
settlement have been found here. The inhabitants of Mehrgarh were living in
mud-brick houses and learned to make pottery around 6,000 B.C.
Neolithic Mehrgarh is a 9,000 years old site of settlement of Kachi
district at the foot of Bolan Pass near Sibi. It is one of the
earliest sites with evidence of farming (wheat and barley) and herding
(cattle, sheep and goats) in south Asia. The
site is located on the principal route between Afghanistan and the
Supported by Pakistan's Department of Archaeology, Mehrgarh was
discovered and excavations begun by a French team led by Jean-François
Jarrige; the site was excavated continuously between 1974 and 1986. The
earliest settled portion of Mehrgarh was in an area called MR.3, in the
northeast corner of the 495-acre occupation. It is a small farming and
pastoral village dated between 7000-5500 BC, with mud brick houses and
granaries. The early Mehrgarh residents used local copper ore, basket
containers lined with
and an array of bone tools. They grew six-row barley, einkorn and emmer
wheat, jujubes and dates. Sheep, goats and cattle were herded at Mehrgarh
beginning during this early period.
Mehrgarh people lived in houses and were involved in hunting,
domestication of animals and farming cereals like barley and wheat and
later cotton too. This hunting-farming society developed gradually and
their pursuits were creative. During the early period these people used
stone and bone tools i.e. polished stone-axes, flint blades and
bone-pointers. By the 6,000 B.C. the hand-made pottery appeared and in 5th
millennium B.C. Metallurgy and potter-wheel were introduced and they
produced some fine terra-cotta figurine and pottery with geometric
designs. Subsequently they produced and wore ornaments of beads, seashells
and semi-precious stones like Lapis Lazuli. A museum has been set up at
Sibi where a wide range of rare finds from the site of Mehrgarh is on
Later periods included
craft activities such as flint knapping, tanning, and bead production;
also, a significant level of metal working. The site was occupied
continuously until about 2600 BC, when it was abandoned.
excavations, studied and research have led to pushing back the chronology
of civilizations in
Pakistan established through the study of Meonjodaro and Harappa by over
is the region that now comprise of Peshawar valley, Mardan, Swat, Dir,
Malakand, and Bajuaur agencies in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP),
Taxila in the Punjab, and up to Jalalabad in Afghanistan. It is in this
region that the Gandhara civilization emerged and became the cradle of
Buddhism. It was from here that Buddhism spread towards east as far away
as Japan and Korea.
intriguing record of Gandhara civilization, discovered in the 20th
century, are found in the archeological sites spread over Taxila, Swat and
other parts of NWFP. The rock carving and the petroglyphs along the
ancient Silk Road (Karakoram Highway) also provide fascinating record of
the history of Gandhara.
Taxila is the abode
of many splendid Buddhist establishments. Taxila, the main centre of
Gandhara, is over 3,000 years old. Taxila had attracted Alexander the
great from Macedonia in 326 BC, with whom the influence of Greek culture
came to this part of the world. Taxila later came under the Mauryan
dynasty and reached a remarkable matured level of development under the
great Ashoka. During the year 2 BC, Buddhism was adopted as the state
religion, which flourished and prevailed for over 1,000 years, until the
year 10 AD. During this time Taxila, Swat and Charsadda (old Pushkalavati)
became three important centers 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 The Gandhara
civilization was not only the centre of spiritual influence but also the
cradle of the world famous Gandhara culture, art and learning. It was from
these centers 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 a vast collection in the museums of
Pakistan. Buddhism left a monumental and rich legacy of art and
architecture in Pakistan. Despite the vagaries of centuries, the Gandhara
region preserved a lot of the heritage in craft and art. Much of this
legacy is visible even today in Pakistan.
The very earliest examples of Buddhist Art are
not iconic but aniconic images and were popular in the Sub-continent even
after the death of the Buddha. This is because the Buddha himself did not
sanction personal worship or the making of images. As Siddhatha Guatama
was a Buddha, a self-perfected, self-enlightened human being, he was a
human role model to be followed but not idolized. Of himself he said,
'Buddha's only point the way'. This is why the earliest artistic tributes
to the Buddha were abstract symbols indicative of major events and
achievements in his last life, and in some cases his previous lives. Some
of these early representations of the Buddha include the footprints of the
Buddha, which were often created at a place where he was known to have
walked. Among the aniconic images, the footprints of the Buddha were found
in the Swat valley and, now can be seen in the Swat Museum.
When Buddha passed
away, His relics (or ashes) were distributed to seven kings who built
stupas over them for veneration. The emperor Ashoka was later said to
have dug them out, and distributed the ashes
over a wider area, and built 84,000 stupas. With the stupas in place, to
dedicate veneration, disciples then initiated 'stupa pujas'. With the
proliferation of Buddhist stupas, stupa pujas evolved into a ritual act.
Harmarajika stupa (Taxila) and Butkarha (Swat) stupa at Jamal Garha were
among the earliest stupas of Gandhara. These had been erected on the
orders of king Ashoka and contained the real relics of the Buddha.
At first, the object of veneration was the
stupa itself. In time, this symbol was replaced by a more sensitive human
image. The Gandhara schools is probably credited with the first
representation of the Buddha in human form, the portrayal of Buddha in his
human shape, rather than shown as a symbol.
As Buddhist Art developed and spread
outside India, the styles developed here were imitated. For example, in
China the Gandhara style was imitated in images made of bronze, with a
gradual change in the features of these images.
land of romance and beauty, is celebrated throughout the world as the holy
land of Buddhist learning and piety. Swat acquired fame as a place of
Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha himself came
to Swat during his last reincarnation as the Guatama Buddha and preached
to the people here. It is said that the Swat was filled with fourteen
hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as
many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and
education. There are now more than 400 Buddhist sites covering and area of
160 Km in Swat valley only. Among the important Buddhist excavation in
swat an important one is Butkarha-I, containing the original relics of the
Among the numerous
Buddhist monuments present in Pakistan a few important ones, from
historical and religious point of view, are:
Dhararaja, a title of the Mauryan emperor
Ashoka, in the middle of the 3rd century, erected the Dharamarajika Stupa,
the oldest Buddhist monument in Taxila. The Dharamarajika Stupa contained
the sacred relics of the Buddha and the silver scroll commemorating the
relics. A wealth of gold and silver coins, gems, jewellery and other
antiques were discovered here and are housed in the Taxila museum.
Takht-i-Bhai is another well-known and
preserved monument, a Buddhist monastery located on a rocky ridge about 10
miles northeast of Mardan. This structure dates back to two to five
century AD and stands 600 feet above the plane. The feature, which
distinguishes this site from others, is its architectural diversity and
its romantic mountain setting. The uphill approach has helped in the
preservation of the monument.
The exposed buildings here include the main
stupa and two courtyards in different terraces surrounded by votive stupa
and shrines, the monastic quadrangles surrounded by cells for the monks,
and a large hall of assembly. In one of the stupa courtyard is a line of
colossal Buddhas, which were originally 16 to 20 feet high.
The site's fragmentary sculptures in stone and
stucco are a considerable wealth but its most remarkable feature is the
peculiar design and arrangement of the small shrines, which surround the
main stupa. These shrines stood upon a continuous sculptured podium and
were crowned alternately with stupa-like finials forming an ensemble. The
beauty and grandeur provided by the entire composition is unparallel in
the Buddhist world.
Takht-i-Bhai had a wealth of ancient Buddhist
remains. A long range of different sized Buddha and Buddhistavvas from
Takht-i-Bhai fill many museums. Some of the best pieces of Gandhara
sculpture, now to be found in the museums of Europe, were originally
recovered from Takht-i-Bhai.
Pakistan is a treasure house of Muslim architecture. Lahore, the cultural hub of Pakistan, is situated along the bank of Ravi River. The city has witnessed the rise and fall of many dynasties like Ghaznavis (1021-1186 AD), Ghoris (1186-1202 AD) and Slaves (1206-1524 AD) before the arrival of the Mughals. The city was conquered by Babur of Ferghana (situated in Uzbekistan), the founder of the Mughal dynasty (1524-1764 AD).
All the important monuments like the Royal Fort and the Mosque, Wazir Khan’s Mosque, Tombs of Jehangir, Asif Jah, Noor Jehan and the Shalimar Gardens, Hiran Minar etc., were constructed during this period. On the other hand, the shrines, mosques and forts located in and around Multan and Bahawalpur are masterpieces of the early Muslim architecture. Some important buildings are; Forts at Multan and Derawar (Bahawalpur), shrines of Shaikh Bahauddin Zakaria, Shah Rukan-e-Alam, Hazrat Shams Tabrez at Multan and Tomb of Bibi Jiwandi at Uch Sharif near Bahawalpur. The tombs at Chaukundi, 27 km out of Karachi, the remains at Banbhore (64 km from Karachi) and the necropolis of a million graves scattered over an area of 10 sq.km at Makli Hills, near Thatta, together with the Shahjehan Mosque of Thatta, are exquisite specimens of Muslim architecture, stone carving and glazed tile decorations.
Uch, 75 km from Bahawalpur, is a very old town. It is
believed that it existed even in 500 B.C. Some historians believe that Uch
was there even before the advent of Bikramajit when Jains and Buddhists
ruled over the sub-continent. At the time of the invasion by Alexander the
Great, Uch was under Hindu rule. Some historians say that Alexander came
to Uch after conquering northern parts of India and spent over a fortnight
in the city and renamed it Alexandria. Some have mentioned Uch by the name
of Sikandara or Iskalanda. They have described it as the most flourishing
and beautiful town perched upon the plateau near the confluence of the
Chenab and Ravi rivers. Famous shrines existing at Uch include those of
Hazrat Bahawal Haleem, Hazrat Jalaluddin Surkh Bukhari, Makhdoom Jahanian
Jehangasht, Bibi Jawandi and Shaikh Saifuddin Ghazrooni etc.
small town today and divided into three different quarters known as (i)
Uch Bukhari, after Hazrat Syed Jalaluddin Bukhari Surkhposh, (ii) Uch
Jilani, after the name of Hazrat Shaikh Mohammed Ghaus Qadri Jilani (Bandagi),
who came from Halab in 887 A.H., and (iii) Uch Mughlan after the Mughal
Makhdoom Sahib of Uch Bukhari has some rare Islamic relics in his
possession e.g., (i) turban of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h.), (ii) a mantle
of Prophet (p.b.u.h.), (iii) 'Samsan' (Sword) of Hazrat Imam Hasan, (iv) a
cap and turban of Hazrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani of Baghdad and (v)
mantle of Hazrat Salman Farsi.
Makhdoom Sahib Uch Jilani is the custodian of (i) Holy Prophet's
footprints (ii) a few chapters of the Holy Quran written by Hazrat Imam
Hussain and (iii) a tooth of Hazrat Awais Qarni.
The rivers of Pakistan are spread like a net through its length and breadth. Right from the heights of the Karakorams, the Himalayas and the Hindukush, Pakistani’s rivers change their courses and flows until they all meet the mighty Indus, at different points, which ultimately falls into the Arabian Sea. These rivers are ideal for all types of water sports like rafting, canoeing, boating and sailing. Following rivers in the Northern Pakistan, are open for water sports, besides the Indus, the Ravi and the Chenab in NWFP, Punjab and Sindh Provinces;
• Indus (from Jaglot to Thakot)
• Kunhar (from Naran to Kaghan)
• Swat(from Bahrain to Saidu Sharif)
• Pankora (from Dir to Batkhela)
• Hunza (from Aliabad to Gilgit)
Pakistan is well known for high altitude climbing but not many people come for Rock climbing. Pakistan in fact has equal opportunity for Rock climbing as well. The Trango Towers in Baltoro area are well known all over the world. Besides Trango Towers, Kondus valley in Khuplu area is a paradise for rock climbers. There are numerous untouched rock faces in the Karakoram, Himalaya and Hindukush ranges of Pakistan which are ideal for rock climbers.
Passion for Polo will be the highest on the world’s highest Polo ground. Every year, Shandur (3,734 meters) invites visitors to experience a traditional polo tournament between the teams of Chitral and Gilgit from 7th to 9th July. The festival also includes folk music, folk dance, traditional sports and a camping village is be set up on the Pass.
Polo is an equestrian sport with its origin embedded in Central Asia dating back to 6th century BC. At first it was a training game for cavalry units for the King’s guards or other elite troops. To the warlike tribesmen who played polo with as many as 100 players to a side, it was a miniature battle. It became a Persian national game in the 6th century AD. From Persia, the game spread to Arabia, then to Tibet, China and Japan. In China, in the year 910, death of a favourite relative in a game prompted Emperor Apao-Chi to order beheading of all players!
Polo was introduced in South Asia, by the Muslim conquerors in the 13th century. English word ‘Polo” is in fact a Balti word meaning, “ball”. In ancient times, there was no limit to the number of players and no time limit. Whichever team scored nine goals first, became the winner. Today, there are six players to each side, but this is by no means a rule in local polo games. The game lasts for one hour with a ten-minute break.
Gilgit, Chitral and Skardu have always played the game of polo closest to its original form. In the past, local Rajas, Mirs and Mehtars were the patrons of the game. At times, more than 50% of the annual budget of their principalities was spent on supporting the game.
Rawalpindi Golf Course:
It is Eighteen (18) holes, challenging course. Major tournaments of the country are organized by the Rawalpindi Golf Club, located near Ayub National Park on G.T. Road, Rawalpindi. It has one of the most beautiful surroundings.
Islamabad Golf Course:
It is an 18 hole course with a picturesque background, having grass and water channels around the fair-ways as well as around the greens, and the golfer has really got to be careful in playing his shots.
Kabal (Swat) Golf Course:
It is an 18 hole course with a picturesque background. This is an old golf course, constructed by the Wali of Swat for recreation during holidays in the valley.
Bhurban Golf Course:
This golf course is located at a distance of about 15 Km from Murree Hills. It is a 9 hole course at a height of 6000 ft. above sea level, with a picturesque background. It is one of the most challenging courses with small hills erected around. Major tournaments of the country are held here.
Lahore Golf Course:
It is an 18 hole very well maintained course. Most of the major tournaments of the country are held here. Leading professional golfers belong to this Golf Club.
Karachi Golf Course:
Golf as a game is being taken up enthusiastically in Karachi. The fact that so many excellent golf courses have been built in different parts of the city demonstrates the popularity the game enjoys.
Arabian Sea Country Club:
This club consisting of Golf and Swimming Pool Complex is set amidst scenic and picturesque surroundings. It’s specially designed 18-hole golf course is rated among the best golf courses available in the country.
Karachi Golf Club:
Karachi Golf Club is the oldest golf club of Karachi and has played a pivotal role in popularizing the game of golf. The original Golf Club started as a subsidiary of Sindh Club in 1888 and within three years had become an independent entity. Through a concerted effort the entire course was turfed, landscaped and planted with trees, providing the largest green area in greenery-starved city of Karachi. Presently, the 27-hole golf course is spread over 250 acres of land and is the only one of its kind in Pakistan.
Other Golf Courses: includes 18-hole golf courses of Carlton Hotel, off Zulifqar Street 1, Defence VIII and Dreamworld Family Resort, adjacent to Gulshan-e-Maymar, off Super Highway.
Peshawar Golf Course:
It is an 18 hole course with a picturesque background having grass and water channels around the fair-ways as well as around the greens, and the Golfer has really got to be careful in planning his shots.
Shandur Golf Course:
The highest golf ground in the world is located at 13000 ft. This course is infrequently used and is maintained by the Chitral Scouts.
Day 1: Arrive Islamabad, and transfer to hotel, night at Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
Day 2: Leave for Cheechawatni and spend night at Canal Rest House Cheechawatni.
Day 3: Full day hunting around Cheechawatni and night in Rest House.
Day 4: Full day hunting around Cheechawatni and night in Rest House.
Day 5: Leave for Kamalia and stay in Canal Rest House.
Day 6: Full day hunting around Kamalia and night in Rest House.
Day 7: Drive back to Islamabad and spend night in hotel.
Day 8: Fly back home.
Day 1 Arrive in Islamabad. Received at Airport and
transfer the group to hotel for breakfast an$d short rest. After breakfast
leave for Khushab by Coach, (4-5 hrs drive). Overnight stay in Canal Rest
Day 2: Whole day hunting in Khushab Jungle with dogs
and beaters. Over night stay.
Day 3: Whole day hunting.
Day 4: Whole day hunting.
Day 5: Whole day hunting.
Day 6: Hunting till lunch time after lunch leave for
Rawalpindi over night stay in hotel in Rawalpindi.
Day 7: Morning leave for home.
Buzkashi is not played regularly. But if held, the day chosen is a Sunday. The Organizers can inform us on a Friday if the match is to be held that particular Sunday.
The match has no entrance fee. A special match would cost between 60 and 70 thousand in cash. The Organizers require 10 days prior notice.
Day 1: Arrival in Islamabad. You will be met at the airport and transported to your designated hotel along with your luggage.
Day 2: Travel by coach to Mansehra. Overnight stay in hotel at Mansehra.
Day 3: Bike trip (50 km) Mansehra to Balakot. Night in hotel at Balakot.
Day 4: Bike trip (30 km) Balakot to Shogran. Night in hotel Shogran.
Day 5: Bike trip to (40 Km) Shogran to Kaghan.
Day 6: Bike trip (26 Km) Kaghan to Naran.
Day 7: Trip to Lake Saif-ul-Muluk, hiking or biking (25 km). Night in hotel at Naran.
Day 8: Bike trip (30 Km). Naran to Burawai. Camping at riverside.
Day 9: Bike trip (25 km), Burawai to Lake Lulusar. Camping at riverside.
Day 10: Bike trip (30 Km), Lake Lulusar to Babusar Pass and downhill to Babusar village. Camping by rest house.
Day 11: Bike trip (40 km). Babusar village to Chilas. Night in hotel at Chilas.
Day 12: Transfer by Coach via Karakoram Highway to Karimabad, Hunza. Overnight stay in hotel at Karimabad.
Day 13: Leisure day at Karimabad.
Day 14: Bike trip (11 Km) Karimabad to Gilgit. Overnight stay in hotel at Gilgit.
Day 15: Transfer by Coach via Karakoram Highway to Raikot Bridge. Trip to Fairy Meadows, Hiking or biking (21 Km). Camping in Fairy Meadows.
Day 16: Leisure day. Camping in Fairy Meadows.
Day 17: Downhill from Fairy Meadows hiking or biking to Raikot Bridge (21 Km). Transfer by Coach via Karakoram Highway to Barseen. Overnight stay in Barseen.
Day 18: Transfer by Coach at Karakoram Highway from Barseen to Rawalpindi. Overnight stay in hotel at Rawalpindi.
Day 19: Sightseeing of Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Overnight stay in hotel at Rawalpindi.
Day 20: You will be transferred from your hotel to the airport for your destination flight.
Day 1: Arrival at Rawalpindi. Check in hotel afternoon city tour of Islamabad/Rawalpindi (if arrival in the morning).
Day 2: Departure by coach to Balakot. Lunch at Balakot. Transfer by jeeps to Naran, which is the heart of Kaghan valley. Check in hotel in Naran.
Day 3: Full day tour fishing in Kaghan River with packed lunches and trout cooked on location for group. Overnight stay in hotel in Naran.
Day 4: Full day trout fishing at Saif-ul-Muluk lake with packed lunches. Overnight in Naran.
Day 5: Full day trout fishing on the Kaghan river at different locations. Overnight in Naran.
Day 6: Departure for Balakot in the morning. Lunch at Balakot. From Balakot group departs by coach to Besham. Overnight in Besham.
Day 7: Departure by coach to Gilgit. Overnight in hotel at Gilgit.
Day 8 Departure to Phander Lake. Overnight Rest House/Camp.
Day 9 & 10: Fishing at lake and neighboring streams. Overnight Rest House/Camp.
Day 11: Departure for Gilgit. overnight in hotel at Gilgit.
Day 12: Full day sight seeing of Hunza upto Gulmit. Overnight stay in Gilgit.
Day 13: Departure for Skardu. Check in hotel at Skardu for overnight. Afternoon trip to Satpara lake for fishing.
Day 14: Full day fishing at Satpara lake with packed lunches.
Day 15: Full day fishing at Sukh Nallah and Kachura lake with packed lunches. Overnight in Skardu.
Day 16: Fly to Rawalpindi. Sightseeing tour of city. Evening, end of tour – fly to next destination, or if no flight available overnight in hotel at Rawalpindi.
Day 17: Early morning departure for home destination.
Back to Top