Tours - Buddhist Archealogical Study Tours

SEASON: ALL YEAR.
DAYS: 05


The rich historical and cultural past of Pakistan will take you through some of the most interesting historical cities of the world, enabling you to see and understand the diversity of their rich cultural and archeological heritage.

Tracking history itself, we scrutinize the ruins of the excavated city of Taxila, one of the most important Buddhist sites in Indo-Pak subcontinent dating back from 6th century BC to 7th century Ad. Then we travel onwards to the frontier town of Peshawar, which was founded 2000 years ago at the mouth of the ancient Khyber pass, explore its ancient bazaars, visit the impressive archeological Museums, old walled cities and Buddhist Monasteries.

Moving north to the beautiful Swat valley, an important seat of Buddhism and a cross road of invaders and Buddhist pilgrims we travel through the Ancient Silk Road to China and Central Asia. In 4th and 6th century Ad famous Chinese historians and Buddhist pilgrims Huan Tsang and Fa-Hian had visited Buddhist holy Shrines of Swat and Taxila and found these cities in ruins as the white Huns had cause absolute havoc and destroyed most parts of these cities.

Alexander the Great Invaded the Gandhara region in 327 BC. He then marched forward to Taxila, crossed the salt range in south of Islamabad, defeated the King Porus across the Jehlum River, followed the Indus river and finally headed west wards marching across the Makran Desert in Baluchistan. In 321 BC Chandar Gupta founded the Mouryan empire. Emperor Ashoka promoted Buddhism and Buddhist missionaries under his royal patronage had traveled all over the Gandhara region to preach the noble Teaching of the Lord Buddha.

Buddhism Flourished under the Kushans King Kanishka, 128 to 151 Ad. Thousand of Monasteries and stupas were built in Peshawar, Swat and Taxila. Gandhara became the Holy land and center of pilgrimage. The Gandhara school of Art was developed, combining the traditions of east and west. Gandhara art forms are so dynamic that they have survived for over a millinuim.
The Kingdom of Gandhara has fully documented history. Wave after wave of Invaders from Persia, Afghanistan and central Asia have entered through the passes of the north western frontiers.

Buddhism evolved in 6th century BC in the Gandhara region. Taxila and Peshawar were the greatest universities of the ancient world and brilliant centers of learning.


ITINERARY:
       
Day 01     Islamabad –Taxila.
Morning drive to Taxila, visit the archeological museum, the well displayed of the Buddhist archeological heritage, Life of Buddha and the Gandhara Art. After the museum visit the Dharmarajika Stupa built by the Emperor Asoka, Bhirmound the first city built by the Achmenid Empire, Sirkap second and Sirsukh the third city built by the bectrian Greeks. Julian Monestry and Mohra Murado were the learning center of the Philosophy, Art and medicine. After lunch at Taxila drive back to Islamabad. Overnight at hotel.

Day 02     Islamabad - Peshawar.
After the breakfast drive to Peshawar through the Grand Trunk Road, Peshawar has been crossroad for Invaders, Traders and religious missionaries for over the centuries. The old walled city and Balahisar fort has witnessed many Invasions and glory because of its Geographical and strategic position. on the way to Peshawar a short stop at the Kund to have view of the confluence of Indus and Kabul River, after then we drive continuously to Peshawar. Arrive Peshawar and Transfer to Hotel. After lunch a brief visit to the Peshawar Museum, the rich collections of Buddhist and tribal Artifacts, the old Kissa Khawani Bazar and old walled city of Peshawar. Meals and overnight at hotel.

Day 03     Peshawar - Swat.
Morning drive to Saidu Sharif the capital of Swat valley, enroute visit the Buddhist Monestry in Takht Bhai and Ashoka Rock carvings at shabazghari near Mardan, continuosly drive through the Malakand pass and visit the Chakdara Archeological Museum at Chakdara, after brief visit of the Museum and Shighardara Stupa we continue drive to Swat arrive Saidu sharif and transfer to the hotel for meals and overnight.

Day 04     Swat.
After breakfast visit the archeological Museum at Saidu Sharif and archeological sites of Butkara visit the udiana Archeological sites, drive to Marghzar for lunch at the White palace the former summer residential palace of the Ruler of Swat. Meals and overnight at hotel.

Day 05     Swat - Islamabad.
After breakfast drive to Islamabad, through the Malakand Pass. Enroute visit the Churchill picket built by the British Army to Guard the Tribal warriors of the Malakand agency and Malakand pass to have the view of Malakand Fort and surroundings. Arrive Islamabad and transfer to hotel for meals and overnight.
       
     
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