Cholistan Desert Safari – Marvels of Cholistan

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13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : November - March
International Flights are EXCLUDED
Max People : 12
About Details

In this exclusive tour we follow the trail of Sufis and mystics who came to sub-continent from Central Asia, Afghanistan and Persia to preach the Islamic faith. They didn’t only bring the religion but also brought different types of architecture which we can see in shrines and mosques. Every year thousands of the followers of Sufis come to different parts of Pakistan to celebrate the URS (death anniversary) of these Saints. We can see the completely different atmosphere during the URS as compared to the rest of the year. Famous musicians from the entire region are called to sing “Qawali” (praising songs) and we can also enjoy the “Dhamal” dance of Malangs, who devoted their whole life for their saint and live at the shrines. 

Group Dates for 12 Persons: 

 8th February 2019 – 21st February 2019

15th November 2019 – 28th November 2019

* Private tours can also be arranged and adapted for your needs and budget.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Islamabad, after short rest sightseeing of Rawalpindi/Islamabad. Overnight in hotel

Islamabad the modern capital of Pakistan. In sharp contrast to the ancient and historical cities and towns of Pakistan, the Federal Capital Islamabad is a new city modeled on the pattern of many new and modern western capitals. Located on the Potohar Plateau and lying at the foot-hills of the picturesque Margalla range, Islamabad is a picture of scenic serenity. The sightseeing of Islamabad will include a visit to Shah Faisal Mosque Lok Virsa, National Monument & Museum, Shakarparian Hill & Dam-e-Koh. Overnight in hotel

Day 2: Full day city tour of Taxila, drive to Islamabad for overnight

Drive to Taxila, an archaeological site and the home to some important remains of Ghandhara civilization. Steeped deep in history, the excavations at Taxila take you back 2,500 years into the world of Buddha. It is here that you find endless images of Buddha. You find these in stone and in stucco. Important stages of Buddha’s life are depicted in the numerous panels that have been uncovered here. This great man of peace is depicted in exquisitely carved sculptures and statues glorifying him and his life. Each one of these sculptures is a collector’s pride. Drive back to Islamabad for overnight stay.

Day 3: Drive to Lahore en-route visit Katas Temple & Khewra Salt Mines, overnight in Lahore

Drive to Islamabad and en-route visit to Katas Temple, a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Saidan shah in the Chakwal district of Punjab. Dedicated to Shiva, the temple has, according to Hindu legend, existed since the days of Mahābhārata and the Pandava brothers spent a substantial part of their exile at the site. Later drive to Khewra Salt Mines is a salt mine located in Khewra, Jhelum District, Punjab in Pakistan, about 160 kilometers from Islamabad and 260 kilometers from Lahore. It attracts up to 40,000 visitors per year and is the second largest salt mine in the world. Situated in the foothills of the Salt Range, the Khewra Salt Mines are the oldest in the sub-continent. A tourist train runs inside the mine tunnels. Continue drive to Lahore for overnight in hotel.

Day 4: Full day tour of Lahore, overnight stay in Lahore

Full day sightseeing of Lahore, the capital of Punjab for nearly 1,000 years. Besides being the Mughal show-window, Lahore is the cultural, academic and intellectual centre of Pakistan. For 200 years, beginning from about 1525 AD, Lahore remained a thriving cultural centre of the great Mughal Empire, when the city was beautified with palaces, gardens, monuments and mosques. A full day city tour of Lahore includes a visit to

Lahore Museum – a visit to the Lahore museum is a must for any local and international visitor to Lahore. The history of the Pakistan movement in photographs, the mural of Sadequain, and the treasures of Buddhist civilization are a treat. This museum has the best and largest collection of Buddhist carvings and the only original statue of the starving Buddha. The armaments section, area based on the Indus civilization and the utensils used in the Indus civilization are also of interests.  

Badshahi Fort – the Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore. The trapezoidal composition is spread over 20 hectares. It is the main point of interest in Lahore. Some details of the palaces remind one of the Taj Mahal. You feel the vibrant history and the grandeur of past times in every corner.

Badshahi Mosque, for a long time it was the largest mosque in the world. Built by the Mughals, it is a living testament to the engineering and architectural grandeur of the Mughal era. The internal capacity of handling worshippers is more than 100,000. As you enter inside the mosque, the vast areas, marble arches, big minarets, marble floors gives you warm welcome.  

Wazir Khan Mosque – The Mosque is famous for its extensive faience tile work. It has been described as ‘a mole on the cheek of Lahore’. It was built in seven years, starting around 1634–1635 AD, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. It was built by Hakim Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, a native of Chiniot, who rose to be the court physician to Shah Jehan and a governor of Lahore. He was commonly known as Wazir Khan, a popular title bestowed upon him (the word Wazir means ‘minister’ in Urdu and Persian). The mosque is inside the Inner City and is easiest accessed from Delhi Gate. The mosque contains some of the finest examples of Qashani tile work from the Mughal period. Overnight stay in Lahore.

Day 5: Full day city tour of Lahore, afternoon visit Wagah Border, overnight in Lahore

The sightseeing includes a visit to Mausoleum of Emperor Jahangir –It is built by Jahangir, who ruled the Mughal Empire from 1605 to 1627. The mausoleum is located in Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, Punjab. The mausoleum is a single story structure. The ground plan is a square; the structure consists of a platform with a tall, octagonal tower and a projecting entrance in the middle of each side. The exterior of the mausoleum, including the lowest stage of the towers, is clad with red sandstone facing with rich panel decoration inlaid with marble decorative motives. Mausoleum of Noor Jehan – Noor Jehan born as Mehr-un-Nissa, was Empress of the Mughal Empire as the chief consort of Emperor Jahangir. A strong, charismatic and well-educated woman, she is considered to be one of the most powerful and influential women of the 17th century Mughal Empire. She was the twentieth and favourite wife of the Emperor Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire at the peak of its power and supremacy. She died on 17 December 1645 at age 68. She is buried at her tomb in Shahdara Bagh in Lahore, which she had built herself. The tomb attracts many visitors, both Pakistani and foreign, who come to enjoy pleasant walks in its gardens.

Shalimar Gardens. The Shalimar Gardens were built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, spanning over many acres of land. Shalimar Garden offers an amazing view over the other gardens, lakes and shallow terraces. There is also a canal lined with polished stones running through the centre of the Shalimar Bagh. The garden is also known as the “garden of love”.

After drive to Wagah Border to witness Flag Lowering Ceremony –this is something very unique where rangers from both sides of the border put up a fabulous display of parade & ritualistic flag lowering in charged environment with people chanting slogans for their countries. This is something you can only witness here! Amazing place to see people from both sides of the countries (Pakistan & India). Overnight in Lahore.

Day 6: Drive to Multan via Harappa, overnight in Multan

We will start our journey for Multan, en-route we shall visit Harappa, an important archaeological site of Indus Civilization. Harappa is the site of an ancient and important settlement of the prehistoric Indus Valley civilization (3rd to 2nd millennium B.C.) and stands witness to the 5000-year-old cultural continuity of civilization in Pakistan. Harappa was the cradle of one of the earliest civilizations known to man and conjures up images of fifty centuries ago, a period about which very little is known. An interesting and well maintained museum at the Harappa site houses artifacts found in the area. Later continue drive to Multan for overnight in hotel.       

Day 7: In the morning visit Multan city, after lunch drive to Bahawalpur for overnight in hotel

Multan the city of shrines and mausoleums. The Old Fort of Multan is an eloquent example of the proud history of this city. Among the attractions there are elaborately decorated shrines of Sheikh Bahad-ud-din Zakriya, and Shah Rukn-e-Alam. Damdama, the highest point in the fort, provides a bird’s-eye panoramic view of the city, which has survived the destructions of invaders since Alexander the Great in the 4th century B.C. We will explore the Muslim architecture by visiting Qasim Bagh Fort and the countless mausoleums and Shrines. Later continue our drive to Bahawalpur, was founded in 1748 by Nawab Mohammad Bahawal Khan Abbasi I. The city is known for its famous palaces such as the Noor Mahal, SadiqGhar Palace, and Darbar Mahal, as well as the ancient fort of Derawar in the Cholistan Desert bordering India. Overnight in hotel.

Day 8: Drive to Derawar Fort, stroll through deserted city & fort, evening spend time meeting village people. Overnight in tents.

A visit to Derawar Fort which is situated in the Cholistan Desert. Derawar Fort is an impressive 08th century structure built by a Hindu ruler names Raja Dahir. This excursion provides plenty of opportunities to meet the friendly local people who are of Aryan descent. The women wear brightly coloured, long gathered skirts and the mean are particularly tall and handsome. Later we stroll through deserted city and mingle with village people in order to familiarize with their customs. Overnight in tents.

Day 9: Camel ride to Kotan Wala Toba & nearby villages, overnight in tents

Today will be an unforgettable experience on camel backs. Camels will be provided to ride to Kotan Wala Toba nearby village where there is a Toba (Water Ditch) Overnight in tents.

Day 10: Camel ride to Chanan Pir, overnight in tents

Camel ride to Chanan Pir village situated in the Cholistan Desert. This village is named after a holy man known as Chanan Pir and is famous for the annual URS (death anniversary) during springtime when thousands flock for pilgrimage to the holy man’s grave at this place. Overnight in tents.

Day 11: Drive to Uch Sharif, evening drive to Multan

Drive to Uch Sharif, a very ancient and historical place which still has some beautiful mosques and tombs. The architecture of the mausoleums and mosques still standing in Uch is refreshing and attractive, reflecting a central Asian influence, with superb blue and white glazed tiles not similar to those in Multan and Bahawalpur. The tomb of Bibi Jawindi is the most complete, octagonal in shape and with every inch decorated with faience blue and white tiles. Later drive back to Multan for overnight in hotel.

Day 12: Drive to Islamabad/Lahore*

Drive back to Islamabad if your international flight departure is from Islamabad or to Lahore if you are flying back from Lahore.

Day 13: Homebound flight

Transfer to airport for homebound flight.

 

Price Includes
  • Hotel Accommodation based on sharing double/twin rooms
  • Meals (Breakfasts, lunches & dinner in the restaurant mentioned in the list)
  • English speaking guide
  • Kitchen crew during camel safari
  • All camping equipment including tents, mess tent, kitchen tent, table & chairs
  • Food for camping days
  • Camel for guests and equipment transportation
  • Air-conditioned transportation (bus for all group sizes) throughout the trip
  • Entrance Fee to the Archaeological sites and Museums
  • ONE Tour Leader is free of cost when there are 8 pax or more
  • Porterage at the airport & in hotels
  • Tips at hotels/restaurant
Price Excludes
  • All items of personal nature such as telephone calls, mini bar and other Beverages
  • Other than above mentioned
  • Day use rooms if incase of flight delayed or cancellation
  • Tips for Guide & Drivers
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