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Pakistan Cultural Triangle

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Duration

7 days, 7 nights

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Tour Type

Daily Tour

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Group Size

16 people

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Languages

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Overview

Pakistan Cultural Triangle tour allow you to savor the pristine beauty of the land and get familiar with its traditional background. It also lets you admire, contemplate and ponder at the excellence achieved in the field of arts, crafts and architecture. Offering unforgettable experiences of the cultural legacy of Pakistan, This tour take you back to a bygone era and allow you to relive history again, while you catch a glimpse of the diverse Pakistani ethnicities. This tour will take you through the vibrant culture, charming people with varied lifestyle, valued customs and traditions of the Pakistani states. Taking you on a roller coaster ride across some of Pakistan’s most popular cultural destinations like Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Lahore, you will experience the unique, charming and enriched culture of Pakistan.

Pakistan is a kaleidoscope of cultures. It is said that after every five miles language and culture in Pakistan changes. This cultural heritage has been handed down from generation to generation and has been preserved very carefully. The cultural and architectural tradition of Pakistan has been influenced and has changed according to the different dynasties that ruled this great land. Pakistani culture is a numerous blend of varying styles and influences. Understanding Pakistan with its long history of conquests and complex social and religious systems can be daunting. Tough we have an array of tailored tour packages yet we provide you the opportunity to get customized itineraries to cater your needs and requirements.

Departure Dates 

2019 Departures

September :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

October :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

November :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

December : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

January : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

Feurary : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

March : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

2020 Departures

September :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

October :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

November :  1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

December : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

January : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

Feurary : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

March : 1st,  5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th

Quick Facts:

 

Difficulty Level: Easy

Apart from the Ordinary.
10 Great reasons to choose Vertical Explorers Trips:
1. Beautiful Hotels, Properties, and More
We stay in some of finest properties, and where possible, we offer a choice of hotel and room categories. We carefully select prime locations that offer wonderful views, amenities, and proximity to attractions. In remote locales, we revel in knowing that we are enjoying the best accommodations available.
2. The Best Travel Experts
Our legendary Travel Experts carefully watch over the smallest details to ensure that you have a wonderful time. They also draw upon years of established V E relationships to ensure that your journey is seamlessly enjoyable and memorable.
3. Epicurean Choices Abound
We believe travel is made better by experiencing culture you can taste. Our Dine-Around program provides you with the freedom to choose renowned restaurant, an inviting neighborhood eatery, or room service at your hotel its all included.(Subject to Package)
4. Small Group Advantages
Limited to just 10 guests averaging around 7-8 our small group size sets the highest standard in personal service. Our journeys remain intimate and create camaraderie, yet allow for independence, flexibility and discovery. Along the way, we re granted access to exclusive events and stay in one-of-a-kind accommodations not available to larger groups.
5. Experts Offer In-Depth Enrichment
Expert local guides to share their experiences and insights about the cultures and places you explore.
6. The Best Wonders
We visit nook and corner of the country. We travel on aircraft, jeep, horse and legendary trains, Whatever your choice, we likely have something to fit your sense of adventure.
7. Responsible Eco Tourism Policy

Vertical Explorers is committed to adopting a responsible attitude to the areas we visit. We are guests of the communities visited and with some thought and care we can ensure that everyone benefits from the experience. We have developed a Responsible Tourism policy which aims to ensure that V E and its clients act in a way that is socially, environmentally and culturally sound. All areas of our operations are planned with responsible tourism in mind, and we require our business partners to support this vision.
8. Unforgettable Moments
Part of what makes a Vertical Explorers trips so special are the surprises and delights along the way. Unexpected doors open and lead to the kind of authentic cultural experiences that make unforgettable memories.
9. Guaranteed Departure Dates 
Plan with confidence knowing that once your deposit is accepted, your departure date is confirmed. Our journey dates are timed to take advantage of local flavors, special events, natural occurrences or simply the best weather.
10. It’s All – Not about the Money

Our prices are competitive and good value, and we offer quality, service, security and an ethical stance on tourism. We don’t want to be so expensive to run fewer trips and have our staff idle, but on the other hand we believe that running  cheap trips that promote the practice of skimming budgets would result in the porters getting next to nothing, which is something we cannot consider. Additionally we plan treks with sufficient rest days and with achievable daily altitude increases which gives good time to acclimatise. Reducing the number of days may make the price cheaper but the chances of successfully completing the trek also greatly reduce.

Besides the finest accommodations, all meals and sightseeing your escorted Journey includes:
� A professional travel Expert, dedicated and attentive to your needs throughout your journey
� Small group size that allows for personal enrichment, exclusive access and flexibility
� Our unique Dine-Around program
� Unique experiences that allow for a real cultural understanding
� Expert local guides, such as archaeologists and professional naturalists
� All the extra comforts that make sightseeing a personal experience, like a guaranteed window seat and complimentary refreshments along the way
� Itinerary can be customized build your exact dream trip. Customize My Itinerary
� Leaves any day you desire. Lengthen or shorten trip, if you like.
� Best itinerary in terms of acclimatization, enjoyment and safety with options of extensions.
� Lowest Price and best value for money –Save 40-50 % vs. comparable tours of this same quality.
� Group Discounts Available. [ Details ]

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • See the best of Pakistani, culture & nature
  • In depth local and authentic experiences
  • Enjoy varied traditional Pushtoon, Pujabi cuisines
  • Pass through indigenous villages & see the local life
  • Explore colonial architecture in Pakistan
  • Fall in love with the sights, sounds and tastes of Pakistan
  • Barter for rare items (precious stones & handicrafts etc) at shops
  • Lowest Price and best value of money --Save 40-50 % vs. comparable tours of this same quality.
  • Dream trip can be.......Itinerary can be customized.
  • Guided by highly experienced professionals with the help of the best supporting staff available in Baltistan, having undergone on the job training over many seasons with us. They are highly experienced at catering to the needs of our members, and do a tremendous amount to contribute to the overall success and satisfaction of our groups.

Itinerary

Day 01: Islamabad Meet & Greet
Day 01: Islamabad Meet & Greet

One of our staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel. Today either you can relax or (depending upon your arrival time) you can enjoy an exploratory walk in he old part of Rawalpindi; wander past the vegetable and spice markets, beautifully carved old houses and trucks, cows pestering the vegetable vendors, catch traditional craftsmen at work in silver and gold bazaars .You will then continue on the main street linking the Twin cities – Murree Road – before arriving at the gleaming new capital, Islamabad. You pass shining new buildings and thousands of park areas – a full 50 percent of the 350 square mile site is set aside for parks. You will then stop at the Shakar Parian to catch a bird’s eye view of Islamabad. Our next stop will be Shah Faisal Mosque which is the landmark of Islamabad.

Drive: 40 minutes
Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 02: Peshawar
Day 02: Peshawar

After breakfast drive to Peshawar.
In Peshawar our first stop will be Peshawar Museum formerly Victoria Memorial Hall built in 1905. It has one of the best collection of Gandhara art and sculptures illustrating the life of the Buddha are laid out in chronological order. The ethnological section has a Mughal Gallery. Our next stop will be the massive Bala Hisar Fort built by Emperor Babur in 1530. Mughals really turned Peshawar into a city of flowers by planting trees and laying out gardens. In the evening we will go out for bazar tour which is the most exciting part of the tour as its elements date from Sikh, Mughal and even Buddhist time. The Qissa Khawani Bazaar was described by the British Commissioner in Peshawar, Sir Herbert Edwardes as the Piccadilly of Central Asia. You will see people sitting there, sipping green tea and gossiping for hours and hours. Quick visit of Peshawar university, a beautiful and imposing colonial architecture with vast grassy lawns recall us the gone days of British era. Other places we visit are Khyber Bazaar, Chowk Yadgar, Banjara Bazaar and Mohabat Khan Mosque built in the 1670s.
A walk through Sarafa Bazaar (jewellers bazaar) will allow you to measure the degree of adoration that the Pakistani women have for the yellow metal, the gold Chappal kabab restaurants and small tea houses (Qehwa Khana) along the road sides could be an interesting experience.
Note: If you like, your guide will take you to visit the carpet market located at hardly 5 minutes drive from your hotel. Here, you will find a very large variety of Pakistani, Iranian and Afghan carpets and rugs. Pakistan is known in the world for its top quality carpets and for such a purchase, Peshawar is certainly the ideal place where prices are reasonably low compared to the other parts of the country.


Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: History & Culture, Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 03: Nowshera - Jehangira- Taxila- Islamabad
Day 03: Nowshera - Jehangira- Taxila- Islamabad

After breakfast we will start our journey towards Taxila. Peshawar is further 43 kilometers from Jehangira passing through Nowshera, a beautiful and well maintained cantonment by British in 18th century. Next we pass by a town Jahangira laid out by Emperor Jahangir in 16th century.
Next we stop at 16th century hotel with four rows of small rooms set around a huge court yard on the junction of River Indus and River Kabul where ladies of Mughals families use to stay. Attock’s massive fort’s, built by Mughal Emperor Akber in 1581 AD. view can get from the new bridge on River Indus.
Our next stop is Hasan Abdal a sacred place of Sikhs and Hindus. The seventh century Chinese Buddhist pilgrim Xuan Zang who stayed here recorded in his journal that a water tank dedicated to the Hindu serpent King Elapatra.

On grand trunk road we will stop at Wah Moghul Garden which is a pale reflection of the Moghul Garden in Srinagar and being laid out by the Moghul emperor Akber in late 16th century. It was a favorite resort of Akber and Jahangir on their journeys to Kashmir.
Afterward will start our journey towards Taxila,” The World Oldest Existing City”, 32 kilometers from Islamabad spanning a rich history from 516 B.C to 600 A.D. In the 6th century B.C, the Achaemenians of Persia made it the Gandharan capital. Alexander the Great paused here en route from Swat.
Situated strategically on a branch of the Silk Road, Taxila linked China to the West, Taxila reached its apogee between the 1st and 5th centuries. It is now one of the most important archaeological sites in Asia. The ruins of the four settlement sites at Taxila reveal the pattern of urban evolution on the Indian subcontinent through more than five centuries.
The Mauryan emperor Ashoka, a patron of Buddhism, built a university here in 2nd century B.C biggest of its time in the world, to which pilgrims and scholars came from all over Asia. It requires two days to explore this richest archaeological sites of Asia but we will spent one day to view its excellent museum houses one of the best collections of Gandharan Buddhist in the world. Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around Taxila Museum. For over the thousand years, Taxila remained famous as a center of learning Gandhara art of Sculpture, architecture, education, and Buddhism in the days of Buddhist glory.
There are over 50 archaeological sites scattered in a radius of 30 kms around Taxila. Some of the most important sites are: Dhamarajika Stupa and Monastery (300 BC 200 AD), Bhir Mound (600-200 BC), Sirkap (200 BC 600 AD), Jandial Temple (c.250 BC) and Julian Monastery (200- 600 AD).
One of these sites, the Bihr mound, is associated with the historic event of the triumphant entry of Alexander the Great into Taxila. The archaeological sites of Saraikala, Bhir, Sirkap, and Sirsukh are collectively of unique importance in illustrating the evolution of urban settlement on the Indian subcontinent. The prehistoric mound of Saraikala represents the earliest settlement of Taxila, with evidence of Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Iron Age occupation. The Bhir mound is the earliest historic city of Taxila, and was probably founded in the 6th century BC by the Achaemenians. Its stone walls, house foundations, and winding streets represent the earliest forms of urbanization on the subcontinent. Bihr is also associated with Alexander the Great’s triumphant entry into Taxila in 326 BC.
Sirkap was a fortified city founded during the mid-2nd century BC. The many private houses, stupas, and temples were laid out on the Hellenistic grid system and show the strong Western classical influence on local architecture. The city was destroyed in the 1st century by the Kushans, a Central Asian tribe. To the north, excavations of the ruins of the Kushan city of Sirsukh have brought to light an irregular rectangle of walls in ashlar masonry, with rounded bastions. These walls attest to the early influence of Central Asian architectural forms on those of the subcontinent.
The Taxila serial site also includes Khanpur cave, which has produced stratified microlithic tools of the Mesolithic period, and a number of Buddhist monasteries and stupas of various periods. Buddhist monuments erected throughout the Taxila valley transformed it into a religious heartland and a destination for pilgrims from as far afield as Central Asia and China. Other Buddhist archaeological sites at Taxila include the Khader Mohra grouping, the Kalawan grouping, the Giri monasteries, the Kunala stupa and monastery, the Jandial complex, the Lalchack and the Badalpur stupa remains and monasteries, the Pipplian and the Bahalar stupa and remains.
Evening drive back to Islamabad.

Drive: 3-4 hrs

Activities: History & Culture, Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 04: Islamabad - Rawalpindi
Day 04: Islamabad - Rawalpindi

After breakfast, we will visit Rawalpindi, which is located on the Pothohar Plateau, known for the existence of a Buddhist community, particularly in neighboring town of Taxila, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city was destroyed during the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni before being taken over by Gakhars who went on to name the city as “Rawalpind” in 1493. In 1765, the Gakhars were defeated as Rawalpindi became part of the Sikh Empire. The city became part of the British Raj in 1849 and in 1851 became the largest garrison town for the British Indian Army. After the partition of India in 1947, the city became home to the headquarters of Pakistan Army hence retaining its status as a major military city.
We will visit famous Raja Bazar for sights and smell of Rawalpindi, followed by the visits of alleys of old Rawalpindi town including visits of Haveli Man singh and Lal Haveli.
We will also visit the jewelers’ bazar, where the artisans are at work as well as embroidery workers to see their working.
After this we will visit Truck Art painting site for an insight of this living art in Pakistan and meet the artist at work there.
Pakistan’s ‘truck art’ is now quite a well-known ‘genre’ around the world. For long, it has been an homegrown art-form in South Asia, especially in Pakistan, where the whole idea of decorating trucks (also, lorries and even rickshaws) with complex floral patterns and poetic calligraphy, has evolved in the most radiant and innovative manner.
Our next stop would be Heritage(folk lore) Museum.
The Heritage Museum is the first state museum of ethnology in Pakistan which presents the history and living traditions of the people of Pakistan both from the mainstream and the remotest regions of the country.
The Lok Virsa Folk Heritage Museum offers an enchanting journey spanning from the neolithic cultures of South Asia to the present day folk heritage and traditions of Pakistan. One can traverse through several thousand years of history in the space of a walk through the extensive corridors of the museum.
The museum shows the evolution of culture and tradition through the ages, accounting for most of the cultural changes and influences along the way. Every gallery of the museum imparts the essence of a bygone era, replete with the traditions, costumes, jewelry and folklore, and ending with depictions of the present folk heritage of the four provinces of Pakistan. Passing through the gallery called ‘Pottery through the ages’ one sees ancient pottery from thousands of years ago, including artifacts such as cooking stoves and pots, pitchers, plates, and grain containers etc.
After museum our next stop would be Shah Faisal Mosque, which is a major tourist attraction, and is referred as a contemporary and influential feature of Islamic architecture. Combined the structure cover an area of 54,000 square ft, the mosque dominates the landscape of Islamabad.
It is located on an elevated area of land against a picturesque backdrop of the national park on the foothills of Margalla Hills, the westernmost foothills of the Himalayas. The largest mosque in Pakistan, the Faisal Mosque was the largest mosque in the world from 1986 until 1993.
The mosque features a contemporary design consisting of eight sides of concrete shell and is inspired by a Bedouin tent.
Construction of the mosque began in 1976 after a $120 million grant from Saudi King Faisal, whose name the mosque bears. The unconventional design by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay was selected after an international competition. Without a typical dome, the mosque is shaped like a Bedouin tent, surrounded by four 260 feet (79 m) tall minarets. The design features eight-sided shell shaped sloping roofs forming a triangular worship hall which can hold 10,000 worshippers, while the surrounding porticoes and the courtyard up-to 200,000 more.
After Faisal Mosque, our next stop would be Pir Sohawa view point Islamabad , where we would have to retreat our evening and dinner.

Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: History & Culture, Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 05: Katas Raj Temple - Khewra Salt Mine-Lahore
Day 05: Katas Raj Temple - Khewra Salt Mine-Lahore

After break fast will drive toward Katasraj Temple, which is a Hindu temple complex situated in Katas village near Choa Asidan shah.
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 and later Krishna himself laid the foundation of this temple and established his hand made Shelving in it.
Prehistoric tools and weapons such as axes and knives made of granite, and artifacts like terracotta bangles and pottery have been unearthed at the Katas Raj site. The latter have been found to be similar to those excavated in Harappa, but have not been dated for want of expert opinion. The fascinating Salt Ranges have a vast archaeological treasure still hidden underground. The Salt Ranges have also been yielding prehistoric finds. While some local experts place the fossils discovered in the period between 6000 and 7000 BC.
The Katas site houses the Satgraha, a group of seven ancient temples, remains of a Buddhist stupa, a few medieval temples, havelis and some recently constructed temples, scattered around a pond considered holy by Hindus.
The temples at Katas are mostly constructed on square platforms. The elevation of the sub shrines seems to form a series of cornices with small rows of pillars, crowned by a ribbed dome.
From here we will visit to Khewra Salt mine.
It is Pakistan’s largest and oldest salt mine and the world’s second largest and a major tourist attraction. Its history dates back to its discovery by Alexander’s troops in 320 BC, but it started trading in the Mughal era.
The main tunnel at ground level was developed by Dr. H. Warth, a mining engineer, in 1872 during British rule. After independence, the Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation took over the mine, which still remains the largest source of salt in the country, producing more than 350,000 tons per annum of about 99% pure halite.
The salt reserves at Khewra were discovered when Alexander the Great crossed the Jhelum and Mianwali region during his Indian campaign. The mine was discovered, however, not by Alexander, nor by his allies, but by his army’s horses, when they were found licking the stones. Ailing horses of his army also recovered after licking the rock salt stones. During the Mughal era the salt was traded in various markets, as far away as Central Asia. On the downfall of the Mughal empire, the mine was taken over by Sikhs.
We will go into the mine on a train. There are numerous pools of salty water inside. The Badshahi Mosque was built in the mining tunnels with multi-colored salt bricks about fifty years ago.
Other artistic carvings in the mine include a replica of Minar-e-Pakistan, a statue of Allama Iqbal, an accumulation of crystals that form the name of Muhammad in Urdu script, a model of the Great Wall of China and another of the Mall Road of Murree
A clinical ward with 20 beds was established in 2007, costing 10 million rupees for the treatment of asthma and other respiratory diseases using salt therapy.
We will also visit 75-meter-high (245 feet) Assembly Hall; Pul-Saraat, a salt bridge with no pillars over a 25-meters-deep (80-foot-deep) brine pond; Sheesh Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), where salt crystals are light pink.

Then we will drive to Rohtas Fort,a historical garrison fort located near the city of Jhelum in Punjab, Pakistan. It was built under Afghan king Sher Shah Suri, to subdue the rebellious tribes of the northern Punjab region, in the 16th century. This fort is about 4 km in circumference.
The Rohtas Fort was built to crush the local Ghakhar tribes of Potohar, who rebelled against the Sur dynasty after the Mughal emperor Humayun was ousted by the former.It took eight years to build the fort, it was captured by Mughal emperor Humayun in 1555. Nadir Shah, the Turkic ruler of Persia, Afghan ruler Ahmed Shah Abdali and the Maratha army also camped here during their respective campaigns in the Punjab region. Rohtas was also occasionally used for administrative purposes by the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh after he captured it in 1825. Due to its location, massive walls, trap gates and 3 Baolis (stepped wells) it could withstand a major siege although it was never besieged.Most of the fort was built with ashlar stones collected from its surrounding villages such as Tarraki village. Some parts of the fort were built with bricks.
The fort is irregular in shape and follows the contours of the hill it was constructed on. The fort is exactly 5.2 km in circumference. A 533 metre long wall divides the citadel (for the Chieftain) from other parts of the fort.
The fortification has 68 bastions (towers) at irregular intervals. Out of the 3 Baolis, one of them is in the citadel and the rest are in the other parts of the fort. One of the Gates (Langar Khani) opens into the citadel and is a trap gate because it is in the direct line of fire of the bastions.
The Khwas Khani gate is an example of double walling. A small enclave on the western side is a citadel within a citadel. It is accessible by only one gate and also had a very fine Baoli which suggests that it was meant for the Chief and his family. In this citadel there is a beautiful Mosque called the Shahi Mosque (Not to be confused with the one in Lahore). There are no palaces in the Fort except for a structure built by Raja Man Singh called the Haveli of Man Singh. It is built on the highest point of the citadel.
After Rohtas Fort, we will go for lunch

After Rohtas in the evening we will drive to Lahore.

Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: History & Culture, Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 06: Lahore
Day 06: Lahore

After Breakfast we will go to Jahangir’s Tomb across the River Ravi ‘s bridge.
The Tomb was built by his son Shah Jahan , of Taj Mahal fame in 1627. A 180 room hotel Akbari Serai was also built here by Shah Jahan in 1637 around spacious garden. The Tomb of Asif Khan father of Mumtaz Mahal is also here , the lady for whom the Taj Mahal was built in Agra.
Lahore is considered the cultural capital of Pakistan because of its numerous colleges, places of learning, sports activities frequent stage plays etc.
We will now move to impressive Shalimar Garden built by Shah Jahan in 1642 for the royal household, it follows the Moghul concept of the perfect walled garden with geometrically arranged ponds, fountains and marble pavilions, surrounded by flowers and fruit trees.
Shalimar Garden ‘s Construction began in 1637 C.E. during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan and was completed in 1641.
The Shalimar Gardens were laid out as a Persian paradise garden. The gardens measure 658 metres by 258 metres, and cover an area of 16 hectares east of Lahore’s Walled City. The gardens are enclosed by a brick wall that is famous for its intricate fretwork.
In 1981 the Shalimar Gardens were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as they embody Mughal garden design at the apogee of its development. The gardens date from the period when the Mughal Empire was at its artistic and aesthetic zenith.
The gardens have been laid out from south to north in three levels of terraces, with levels spaced by 4–5 metres (13-15 feet) above the other, descending from south to north. The respective names of the three terraces have been listed as follows:
The middle level terrace of the garden, known as the Faiz Bakhsh terrace
The upper level or the third terrace named Farah Baksh meaning Bestower of Pleasure
The middle level or the second terrace named Faiz Baksh meaning Bestower of Goodness
The lower level terrace named Hayat Baksh meaning Bestower of Life
Architecture of Shalimar Garden
Shalimar Gardens draws inspiration from Central Asia, Kashmir, Punjab, Persia and the Delhi Sultanate. The Shalimar Gardens are laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. This garden was made on the concept of a Persian paradise garden. The gardens measure 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west.
Fountains
From this basin, and from the canal, rise 410 fountains, which discharge into wide marble pools. It is a credit to the creativity of Mughal engineers that even today scientists are unable to fully comprehend the water systems and thermal engineering from architectural blueprints. The surrounding area is rendered cooler by the flowing of the fountains, which is a particular relief for visitors during Lahore’s blistering summers, with temperature sometimes exceeding 120 °F (49 °C). The distribution of the fountains is as follows:
The upper level terrace has 105 fountains.
The middle level terrace has 152 fountains.
The lower level terrace has 153 fountains.
All combined, the Gardens has 410 fountains.
The Gardens have 5 water cascades including the great marble cascade and Sawan Bhadoon.
Later afternoon we will go to watch the Wahgah border flag lowering ceremony. The lowering of the flags ceremony at the Wagah border is a military practice, every evening before sunset at the Wagah border, which as part of the Grand Trunk Road was the only road link between these two countries before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir in 1999.
The spectacle of the ceremony attracts many visitors from both sides of the border, as well as international tourists.
The drill is characterized by elaborate and rapid dance-like maneuvers. It is alternatively a symbol of the two countries’ rivalry, as well as brotherhood and cooperation between the two nations.
The ceremony starts with a blustering parade by the soldiers from both the sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations’ flags. It is called the “beating retreat” border ceremony on the international level. One infantryman stands at attention on each side of the gate. As the sun sets, the iron gates at the border are opened and the two flags are lowered simultaneously.
The flags are folded and the ceremony ends with a retreat that involves a brusque handshake between soldiers from either side, followed by the closing of the gates again.
The soldiers of this ceremony are specially appointed and trained for this auspicious ceremony. Also they have additional beard and moustache policy in which they are paid additionally for it.
After the ceremony we will drive back to Lahore for dinner and back to hotel.

Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: History & Culture, Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: Hotel

Day 07: Lahore
Day 07: Lahore

Today morning after breakfast at hotel we will move out on The Mall Road, which was a modern thoroughfare lined with exquisite buildings of great public and private utility during British time.
We will stop over at Gymkhana Club or Little Britain opposite Lawrence Gardens to take a view of this symbol of prestige and a favorite haunt of men of diverse talents and fortune. The halls of club were built in memory of two Governors Sir John Lawrence and Sir Robert Montgomery.
We will move to The Lahore Museum built by the British in Moghul Gothic style and opened in 1894.John Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard’s father was the museum’s first curator. It is the best museum in Pakistan with a superb collection of Moghal period includes illustrated manuscripts, miniatures, rugs and carvings. It also has excellent galleries of pre historic Pakistan and a superb collection of Buddhist stone sculpture. The famous Zam – Zama gun casted in 1760 stand in front of the Museum.
From here we move to Royal Palace of Lahore Fort which rank in size and beauty with the Moghul forts at Delhi and Agra. Akbar began building it the 1560s on the site of an older fort. The fortress is located at the northern end of Lahore’s Walled City, and spreads over an area greater than 20 hectares. It contains 21 notable monuments, some of which date to the era of Emperor Akbar. The Lahore Fort is notable for having been almost entirely rebuilt in the 17th century, when the Mughal Empire was at the height of its splendour and opulence.
Though the site of the Lahore Fort has been inhabited for millennia, the first record of a fortified structure at the site was in regard to an 11th-century mud-brick fort.
The foundations of the modern Lahore Fort date to 1566 during the reign of Emperor Akbar, who bestowed the fort with an architectural style that featured Hindu motifs.
Additions from the Shah Jahan period are characterized by luxurious marble with inlaid Persian floral designs, while the fort’s grand and iconic Alamgiri Gate was constructed by the last of the great Mughal Emperors, Aurangzeb, and faces the renowned Badshahi Mosque.
After the fall of the Mughal Empire, the Lahore Fort was used as the residence of Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire. The fort then passed to British colonialists after they annexed Punjab following their victory over the Sikhs at the Battle of Gujrat in February 1849.
In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding repertoire of Mughal monuments dating from the era when the empire was at its artistic and aesthetic zenith.
From here we walk to Badshahi Mosque built by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1674 after the mosques of Delhi and Agra. It consists of a huge square with a minaret at each corner. You can climb up the 204 steps to the top of one of the minarets for a bird’s eye view of the old city of Lahore.
We will move for lunch to a local restaurant and enjoy the best local taste known the world over as Tanduri.

Drive: 5-6 hrs

Activities: History & Culture, Sightseeing, Interaction with locals
Meals provided: Breakfast
Accommodation: None

Included/Exclude

  • ACCOMMODATION:
  • Accommodation in 2-3 Star Hotel. The style of accommodation is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
  • TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS: Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis with ensuite bath (on request multi share basis). Please note there may be times in remote and far flung areas where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite and rare occasions when you share a room with passengers travelling on our different trips than your own. Some of the accommodation along the way is basic or simple, staying in local guesthouses and home stays. Some areas of Pakistan experience daily load shedding. This is where the power may be turned off at certain times of the day and usually occurs for a few hours. Most hotel properties have a restaurant or cafe serving local meals. All restaurants and hotels (except a few) do not serve alcohol for religious reasons or due to local laws.
  • SHOWERS: Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.
  • ROOM ISSUES: If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.
  • CHECK-IN TIME: Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. (In Pakistan, normal check-in is at 14:00 hrs, check-out is at 12:00 hrs). This may not be always possible to manage early check-in for you; in that case you won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.
  • PRE/POST TRIP ACCOMMODATION: If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.
  • SHOWERS: Showers at some hotels only have hot water at peak times (usually morning and evening). Outside of these times you may need to speak to reception to obtain hot water.
  • ROOM ISSUES: If you have any issues with your room, please speak to the hotel and your tour leader right away rather than your travel agent so that the problem can be addressed without delay.
  • • MEALS:
  • Daily breakfast at coffee shop or restaurant at the hotel.
  • This tour offers vegetarian and special food options on request. Simply let our Customer Support team know the food option that you prefer.
  • TRANSPORT:
  • All transfers and sightseeing by an air-conditioned vehicle with a courteous experienced professional driver so you can easily sit back, relax and enjoy the tour in complete privacy. Drivers of our private vehicles are experienced with good knowledge of the road conditions and well trained. Main roads in Pakistan are usually very busy with an assortment of vehicles from the biggest trucks (who always have right of way) down to bikes (and animals!). Overtaking on blind corners at speed is common as is the total use of the horn as a form of communication. If you are uncomfortable with your driver, please always let your tour guide know immediately.
  • TRAVEL TIMES: Distances in Pakistan do not reflect the driving time and to cover hundred km may take much longer than you would expect at home, even if much of the route is on a highway. The type of vehicles provided are as follows;
  • Passenger Vehicle type
  • • 1-2 persons Air-conditioned medium car such as Toyota Corolla or similar
  • • 3-4 persons Air-conditioned large car such as Toyota MPV or similar
  • • 5-10 persons Air-conditioned mini-van such as Toyota Hiace/Commuter or similar
  • • 10-15 persons Air-conditioned mini-van such as Toyota Coaster or similar
  • GUIDE:
  • The aim of the guide is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. We provide English speaking local guides at each destination of your trip, the chosen local guide will strike a great balance between knowledgeable storytelling, humor, and giving you sufficient space and personal time to enjoy the awe-inspiring sites. Your guide will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. If you were interested in diving deeper into the local culture at a specific site, you can count on your assigned local speaking guide.
  • ADDITIONAL SERVICES:
  • Sightseeing as per the itinerary (However you have the flexibility to explore more )
  • Experienced professional English-speaking driver and guide throughout tour
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Charging facilities
  • Personal assistance by our representative & offices during arrival and departure
  • All interstate taxes, permits, parking, road tax, toll taxes and fuel charges etc are included
  • All government applicable taxes and service charges
  • All the departures are guaranteed. Even if you are a single person, the tour will still depart.
  • 24 x 7 Assistance.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Letter of Invitation (LOI) and supporting documents for visa processing
  • PASSPORTS AND VISAS :
  • All travelers listed on the Participant Information form must be in possession of a valid passport and all relevant visas. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have valid travel documentation, including but not limited to passports and visas, which meet the requirements of immigration and other Government authorities at every destination. If your itinerary includes travel to any other country besides Pakistan, please check on visa requirements for each country that you will visit. Any fines, penalties, payments or expenditures incurred as a result of such documents not meeting the requirements of those authorities will be your sole responsibility.
  • INSURANCE
  • Travel insurance is not covered in the tour price. You can organize travel insurance with your preferred insurance company. We recommend World Nomads, RoamRight.
  • FLIGHTS
  • The flight tickets are not included in the package cost. Once you tell us the dates of your travel, we will advise you the exact flight fare.
  • International flight tickets have to be booked on your own, once you book your flight tickets, please share with us your schedule so that we can arrange your smooth pick-up and drop off from airport to hotel on your arrival day and hotel to the airport on the departure day.
  • To enter the airport, you must have a copy of your flight ticket and passport. Schedule changes and delays do occur, especially when weather conditions make visibility poor.
  • OPTIONAL
  • If you want to upgrade Hotels or Vehicle, we can definitely do that. Please contact us for more information.
  • Additional Services
  • Monument Entrance & Camera Fee
  • Airport and departure taxes
  • Hotels- early check-in and late check-out
  • Cost incurred from early leaving the trip
  • Travel Insurance of member
  • Any airfare (International or Domestic)
  • Any mandatory Gala Dinner of any occasion
  • Any item of personal nature viz. Laundry
  • Charges, telephone bills, drinks, shopping, etc
  • Any items that is not mentioned under Inclusions Pre and post tour accommodation
  • Single supplement (Optional)
  • Excess days beyond the itinerary
  • Lunch and dinner. We make stop at clean and quality restaurant. You may dine as you wish.
  • Satellite phone with solar charger (can hire)
  • Any expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances like flight delay/cancellation/hike in fare, strike or any other natural calamities
  • • Tips : Tipping is a common custom and we always suggest our travelers to comply. No tip is compulsory, however in case of good services rendered, it is advisable to pay by a few rupees (driver / guide)

Tour's Location

FAQs

Can we customize trips?
We loves to customize personal trips -- for you, your friends, or organization. Our published land costs are typically based on number of individuals, so the number in your party may affect your land costs. Just give us a call/contact us and let us know what you're interested in, and we'll do our best to Make It Happen.
Who will be picking me up and where?
Our guide or representative will pick you up at the airport on the scheduled arrival date. We can help you arrange accommodations if you arrive earlier, and we are happy to make suggestions for transportation, restaurants and sightseeing.
Is it possible for me to store extra clothing that i will not need?
Yes, if you have a small bag of extra clothing for when you return from the trek, you will be able to store it safely in Islamabad for the duration of the trip.
Is there anything I need to know on visiting religious sites?
Is there anything I need to know on visiting religious sites?
Remember to dress on a little more conservatively while planning to visit religious sites. Also, you may need to take off your shoes or remove all the leather items while entering any temples and monasteries. But you need not to worry as our guide will alert you when such situation arises. Moreover, confirm that photography is allowed or not before taking any snaps. Keep in mind that some sites might not admit women or might be reserved for followers of that faith.
Who will my guide be?
All of our guides are highly skilled experienced professionals who have been selected based on their careful judgment, local knowledge, understanding of our client's needs, patience and supportive guiding styles, and great personalities. In addition to their impressive personal achievements in the field, our guides bring a wealth of natural history, cultural anthropology and linguistic knowledge for their group's enlightenment. Our guides and staff surpass the needs of our clientele and make the trip enjoyable beyond expectations.
Can i request single accommodations?
All accommodations are based on double or triple occupancy. If you are traveling solo and wish to share accommodations, we will pair you with another traveler of same gender. If you request single accommodations or a roommate cannot be assigned, you will be responsible for paying the single supplement fee.
What if i want to arrive earlier or depart later than the trip dates?
We are happy to help you arrange accommodations before and after your trip. Our area directors can recommend side excursions and restaurants for the extra time.

Should I tip my guide?
Tipping is always a personal choice, but is greatly appreciated by your guides. Check your departure packet for details.
Are there any restrictions for the Photography in Pakistan ?
Pakistani love to take pictures and photograph themselves !
Do not forget your camera !
Photography is a great fun in Pakistan as you will have enough sunlight most of the time. In some of the monuments one has to pay fee for the photography. Our guide will suggest you where it is worth to photograph and where not. At some of the locations photography is not allowed. It is prohibited to photograph military installations, which can include some the train stations, bridges and airports also.Do not photograph these objects otherwise your film can be confiscated.
Reserving a trip: how quickly do the trips fill up?
There is no way to know how quickly our trips are going to fill up. Many of our trips fill up months in advance. So send in your application and a deposit as soon as you have decided which trip date you want.

How do i sign up for a trip?
You can sign up for the trip directly on our website. To secure your place on this trip, please click on the BOOK NOW button at the side of the page, or the dates tab to the right. You will also need to have the below information to hand:
• Name as per Passport
• Home Address
• Email Address
• Telephone Number
• Date of Birth

Before you embark on your trip, it is essential that we receive your passport, travel insurance, next of kin, medical details and dietary requirements (if applicable). If you have any medical conditions to declare or are over the age of 65, you will be required to complete a medical declaration form, signed and stamped by your GP. If you don’t have all this information to hand, you can still register your place today, and then re-log into the form before you depart by using your email address and the password you create upon registration.
What is the deposit amount to hold my space?
US$300 for scheduled trips. An application alone won’t reserve a space.
What happens if VE has to cancel my trip?
If we cancels a trip due to any reason, you will receive a full refund.
What is the recommended age and denomination of USD bills?
There is no specific age of USD bills, however, we recommend the guests to carry new crisp bills when traveling. All denominations are acceptable, however, it is easier if you have smaller denominations of 5’s, 10’s and 20’s.
can I extend my trip ?
Yes – why not stay on and explore more of what Pakistan has to offer! We can request with to change your return date with the airline. Places are limited and all arrangements are subject to availability.
How is VE able to offer such competitive prices?
Our unique style of off the beaten track, face-to-face travel is the only way to really experience a destination, but it also serves to keep the costs down. We spend your money providing an authentic experience, instead of on lavish hotels and expensive western-style meals. We pass these savings on to you with our low prices. Another thing you'll notice are the inclusions. While we don't include everything, we do throw in the major highlights of a destination, the things that everyone goes to see. On every trip page we show you the 'Included Highlights' of your trip, things that many other companies charge locally for. We leave many other activities as options, to provide you the freedom and flexibility to choose what you want to do on a daily basis.
What should I pack ?
It will depend essentially on your destination and the season of your departure.
It all depends on your destination and season of travel. Much of Pakistan has a patchy climate: warmer in the days and cooler in the evenings. A light jacket or layering is best to accommodate the varying temperatures. Also, we suggest shoes that are comfortable for walking, including sandals and tennis shoes. A head cover may be required for women and men at certain sacred sites and places of worship.
When is the best time to travel ?
It will depend on your destination, the season and the activities you have chosen :-)The southern zones are the good destinations in the winter months (November to March), as temperatures are mild and game viewing in the national parks will be the best options. Comparatively winter temperatures in the north may become harsh, but this is an excellent time for bird watching, as the migrant species arrive in this period.
It really depends on your destination, activities and season of travel. In much of Northern, the favored time to visit is from April – November, when the weather is most mild, while October - March is the best time to visit Southern and Central Pakistan. Our destination specialists will recommend certain travel times after learning more about your preferences.
How is Gilgit Baltistan as a destination? Which places can we see in winter?
Gilgit Gilgit Baltistan is a beautiful destination. So much so, that one should definitely plan a visit to this cold desert as a bucket list check box. With beautiful lakes and treks to offer, Gilgit Gilgit Baltistan is a must-visit place to go to. In winter, the temperature in Gilgit Gilgit Baltistan drops down severely and becomes even more picturesque. One can visit the frozen lakes, if not the Baltoro trek, one can do the trek on the Shigar, Khaplu valleys, visit Gilgit Gilgit Baltistani festivals that help you interact with the locals as well.
How should i travel around in pakistan ?
The best way to travel within Pakistan is to travel by road as this offers you an opportunity to have a glimpse of real PAKISTAN as you can visit en-route villages and small forts at your own pace which is not possible by air or by train.
Do you have experienced guides in different cities of pakistan ?
We have English speaking guides all over PAKISTAN. At many places , we also have french , German , Spanish ,Italian and Japenese and other language speaking guides. We can also provide accompanying foreign language speaking tourist guides for individuals and groups. The availability of foreign language speaking guides can be confirmed at the time of reservation.
who will i meet on my arrival in pakistan ?
You will be greeted by our representative at airport on your arrival. He shall be holding a placard of your name for identification. We shall also provide you list of emergency 24 hours contact numbers for any emergency.
Is the country safe to travel?
Pakistan is as secure as any other foreign location you visit for the first time. Pakistani people are very hospitable and helpful people. Moreover, we will be there to take care of you in every step of your way and to instruct certain basic precautions. Like it is a very good idea to lock away your spare currency, traveler’s cheques, passports and precious jewellery in the hotel safe. Moreover, be aware while walking around alone at late night, particularly in the deserted areas or small towns because everything closes early. If possible, avoid travelling late night and never leave your luggage unattended at the airport or train station.
Do I need a visa to travel to Pakistan?
This must be obtained before arrival and we recommend that you contact your local Pakistani embassy or consulate when planning your trip.
What is a customized itinerary?
In brief a customized itinerary is an itinerary prepared according to your personal needs. After all, you would have requested this to us as part of the process of customization. Your specific interest, preferences and needs are weighted with our knowledge of logistics and highlights of the area.
What currency is used in Pakistan and where can I exchange money?
The Pakistann currency is the rupee, which is made of 100 paisa. Major currencies such as US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easily exchanged throughout Pakistan. Most international airports of the country have the money exchange counters, and also some selected larger hotels and resorts have this facility to their customer.
Can I use my credit card in Pakistan?
Of course the most regularly used cards are Visa and MasterCard, but neither American Express nor Dinner’s Club are broadly accepted in Pakistan. While you are going out of the main cities to the small places, it is recommended that you carry enough Pakistann currency for purchasing and tipping purpose.
Where can I find an ATM in Pakistan?
ATMs linked to the international networks are situated in the main cities, as well as an increasing number of the smaller towns. But, make sure that you have a four-digit PIN code for your card, as Pakistann ATMs require this.
What is the electricity supply in Pakistan and what plugs are used?
The electricity supply is 230 – 240 volt, with three round pin plugs. Most western visitors will require an adaptor. If you plan to travel a lot in the future, it is better to get a combination voltage converter and a plug adapter.
Will I be able to access the internet?
Internet connections are available in the most part and places of Pakistan and are reasonably fast, except in some more remote rural areas. Wi-Fi access is accessible at most good hotels and growing number of cafés in the larger cities.
Is Pakistan a good destination for family traveler?
With its many diverse landscapes and attractions, Pakistan is an admirable destination for the family traveler. Some of the good options are beach holidays and wildlife adventures in the national parks, while many monuments have sight and light shows that will capture children’s imagination. For teenagers, the many outdoor activities, such as camel safari and trekking, are an illustrative card. Without the second thinking, the big challenge for families travelling in this country might be the distances that need to be covered between cities. Air travel and railway journeys are usually the most comfortable forms of traveling, and are strongly recommended to those with the young children.
How clean are the hotels?
Pakistan's five and four star hotels are pretty much like any high quality western hotel and many of them are the western hotel chains. But then the quality drops dramatically to three star hotels.
What kind of food will I be able to eat in Pakistan?
Pakistani cuisine has several variations, with each region famous for its own techniques, ingredients and spices. In northern regions, meat dishes are very popular, which are usually made with chicken, mutton or lamb whereas in southern part vegetarian cuisine is most favored. In addition, seafood is also readily available, particularly at the coast. While Pakistani cuisine tends to be spicy, most restaurants will gladly prepare a milder variation of the meals on the request of their customer.
Is the tap water safe to drink in Pakistan?
It’s best to avoid drinking the tap water. Bottled water is easily available, but it’s a good idea to check that the seal on the bottle is undamaged or not before you purchase it. In every area for the tourists packed bottled water is recommended. Though, local brands are also available but it's recommended to use the some popular and major brands like Nestle, Aquafina and Kinley to save you from the unwelcomed problem.
Should i wear closed in shoes to protect my feet from dirt & germs?
In the cooler months, you may want to have closed in shoes because it is cold. In the warmer weather and areas, you will probably be more comfortable in open sandals or slip-off shoes. Additionally, you will likely find that you need to take your shoes off regularly when going into mosques/shops/temples etc and slip offs are quick and easy.

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