Taxila is the modern form of Takshashila, the center of the Gandhara civilization from the first millennium BC to the first millennium AD. It was the seat of inspiration and learning that created an expansion of Buddhism throughout the region. The great Mauryan king, who had embraced Buddhism, established his capital as the center of spiritual enlightenment. It was from here that Buddhism spread to the eastern regions through the northern valleys of Karakoram, the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. Buddhism is just one aspect of the legacy of Gandhara. One can find lively impression of the Romans, Greeks, Huns, and Iranians. While Alexander the Great came here from the west, the famous Chinese piligrim Xuan Zang came from the east. The vivid heritage of its golden period is preserved not only in the form of ancient artifacts and monuments, but it can also be observed in the daily life of its people. While visiting the historic cities of Taxila, Peshawar, Swat and many other places one can relive in the glorious period of Gandhara.
* Private tours can also be arranged and adapted for your needs and budget.
Day 1: Lahore
Arrival at Lahore, Half day city tour after lunch
Day 2: Lahore
Full day city tour of Lahore, in the evening visit Wagah Border
Day 3: Lahore – Khewra – Katas – Islamabad (actual driving 6 hours)
Drive to Islamabad via Khewra Salt Mines & Katas Temple
Day 4: Islamabad/Rawalpindi
Full day city tour of Islamabad & Rawalpindi
Day 5: Islamabad – Hassanabdal – Taxila – Peshawar (actual driving 3 hours)
Visit Gurduwara Panja Sahib & Taxila. In the afternoon drive to Peshawar
Day 6: Peshawar
Full day city tour of Peshawar
Day 7: Peshawar – Takh-e-Bhai -Swat
Drive to Swat en-route visit to Takht-e-Bhai
Day 8: Swat
Full day exploration of historical sites in Swat
Day 9: Swat – Islamabad
Drive back to Islamabad (6 hours)
Day 10: Homebound flight
My husband and I (late 30’s) spent 12 days travelling from Karachi to Islamabad. We had a great time and our experience really lived up to our expectations. In case in any one is interested, we would be very happy to recommend our agent, Xperience Pakistan, based in London UK for a private organised trip. We visited the main heritage sights on this route with the help of our guide and driver who made it easy to get engaged with the history and with people that we met on our whilst travelling. I have no idea how much bureaucracy they were having to deal with in the background, but from our point of view everything was seamless and we seemed to make friends with a lot of policemen who wanted selfies with us! We encountered no security issues at all. We ate in local restaurants without a westerner in sight, all chosen by our guide and we did not have any challenges with the power of curries or, indeed, misbehaving digestive systems. We stopped to watch cricket games by the side of the road, we galloped horses on the beach in Karachi, we rode camels in a camel market somewhere near Hyderabad and generally caused hilarity – and our guide found so many more opportunities to enjoy the Pakistani hospitality and warmth. From the outset of our inquiries into travelling to Pakistan as well as during our trip, Saadia, the founder of the company was always on hand and responsive to our queries, including helping us make last minute changes to our plans when we had left the organised trip and were staying with friends in Lahore. We really enjoyed our trip through the southern half of the country and are likely to go back next year to the north, although timing is everything as the weather is so different south to north.