What you get
Pakistan. Main sights and the Indus Valley civilizations
Pakistan can astonish you with its stunning ethnic and religious diversity and unique historical heritage. And with local hospitality as well. We will travel from the Arabian Sea coast to the Hindu Kush foothills to understand this country, its turbulent past, and fascinating present.
- Know the traditions of Sufis and Sikhs
- See ancient Buddhist monuments of the pre-Islamic era
- Explore the ruins of Mohenjo-daro, a contemporary of the Egyptian pyramids
- Admire the Mughal and the British architecture
- Learn about Pakistani truck art
- Taste Sindhi, Punjabi, and Pashtun cuisine
Day 1 - 2
We arrive in Karachi and check into a hotel. This is where our journey begins. Being one of the world’s biggest cities, this metropolis has become the main port and economic center of Pakistan. People of various ethnicities from all over the country flock here. A monstrous system of bustling streets filled with cars, rickshaws, wheeled carts and buses adorned with stickers, paintings and metal decorations.
In the morning we cross this gigantic city to see its main sights. We take a look at Masjid-e Tuba, one of Pakistan's unordinary mosques. This building is covered with a single huge dome. Inside it is decorated with thousands of small mirrors sparkling like stars. We visit marble Mazar-e-Qaid — the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the father of the Pakistani state. We explore the colonial buildings of the Victorian era. They are distinguished by the so-called Indo-Saracenic style, which incorporates elements of British, Mughal and Hindu architectures.
We taste the cuisine of the Sindh region. It has a lot in common with the Indian one, but people here eat beef, lamb, chicken and fish. However, fans of Indian food will find their favorite dishes: palak paneer, biryani, dal, bhaji.
Overnight in Karachi.
In the morning we drive east to Hyderabad (about 4 hours in total). We make our first stop on the outskirts of Karachi near the Chaukhandi tombs, which appeared here in the XV-XVIII centuries. Each tomb has a pyramid-shaped monument lined with sandstone tiles and decorated with carved patterns.
The next point of our route is the ruins of the Bhanbhore Port founded in the 1st century AD. Then we will head to Thatta town. It hosts the UNESCO-listed Makli Necropolis, one of the world’s largest cemeteries. The heyday of the Thatta lasted from the 14th to the 18th century. During this time hundreds of thousands of people were buried here. The tombs of monarchs, saints, scientists are decorated with exquisite stone carvings and ceramic tiles.
In the evening we arrive in Hyderabad, where we check into a hotel and spend the night.
In the morning we set off for the Manchar Lake (about 3 hours). It is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Pakistan. We see local floating villages — huge boat houses where local fishermen live. Some of them are so large that they are divided into rooms inside.
After lunch we head to Mohenjo-daro (about 3 hours), the ruins of a huge city built in the third millennium BC. It is one of the most important monuments of the Harappan civilization, included in the UNESCO heritage list. Now, after excavations, you can observe specific parts of the city: residential areas for people of different classes, a Buddhist stupa, public baths, granaries, a drainage system, wells.
From Mohenjo-daro we leave for Sukkur (2 hours), where we stop for the night.
Day 5 - 6
In the morning we head to Multan (about 6 hours in total). On the way, we make a stop in the town of Uch Sharif. There are several monumental Sufi shrines here — medieval mausoleums and mosques, made of bricks and decorated with blue tiles. In the evening we reach Multan and check into a hotel.
After breakfast we start our tour around Multan. The City of Saints — that’s how it was nicknamed for the huge number of mausoleums of Sufi preachers. We visit the most significant ones. We also walk through the colorful bazaar in the historical part of Multan and see the products of local artisans: potters, tanners, jewelers, shoemakers.
All the country knows Multan halva, which is made from sugar, ghee, flour and nuts. Here you can taste it fresh, just taken out from an oven.
We spend the night in a hotel in Multan.
Day 7 - 8
In the morning we leave for Lahore (about 6 hours in total). On the way, we stop at the town of Nankana Sahib to get to know the non-Islamic part of Pakistan. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was born here, and the majestic gurudwara, a Sikh religious building, is built on the site of his house. A large Sikh diaspora lives in Nankana Sahib, and many pilgrims regularly come here, from neighboring India as well.
In the evening we arrive in Lahore and check into a hotel, and in the morning we start exploring the city. Lahore is considered the Pakistani cultural capital and one of the country’s most interesting places. We visit the medieval fort and walk along the streets of the old city — it is chaotic and crowded, but you can find genuine architectural gems here. We explore beautiful Badshahi Mosque and Wazir Khan Mosque. We take a look into haveli, traditional merchant houses, walk through the bustling Anarkali bazaar and relax in the quiet Shalimar garden.
In the afternoon we drive to the Indian border to the Wagah border crossing. Here we watch the daily border closing ceremony. Every evening soldiers from both sides perform a real show, marching while their supporters are shouting. Regarding the tensions between India and Pakistan, it looks like a mix of a military parade, a football match and a circus show.
After sunset we return to Lahore to see dhamal, a traditional Sufi ritual. This is a drum improvisation lasting several hours during which dancing Sufis falling into a trance.
We spend the night at a Lahore hotel.
In the morning we leave for Islamabad (about 5 hours in total). First we stop at the Hiran Minar complex. These are several buildings and a huge pool built by the Mughal padishah Jahangir built in the middle of his hunting reserve. One of the buildings — a thirty-meter tower — has been erected in memory of Jahangir‘s beloved antelope, whose remains are buried under the roof.
We descend into the Khewra salt mine. Local salt deposits are believed to be discovered by Alexander the Great. Khewra is the world’s second largest salt mine. Its tunnels have eleven levels, and their total length is forty kilometers. Local mine workers have their own mosque and even a post office.
We visit the Hindu Katas Raj Temples. According to the Hindu tradition, the Pandava brothers, heroes of the Mahabharata epic, were living in exile in this place. Now the buildings are abandoned, but Hindu pilgrims still come here.
In the evening we arrive in Islamabad and check into a hotel.
In the morning we continue our journey and drive to Peshawar (about 5 hours in total). We visit the UNESCO-listed site of Taxila/ This place has an amazing concentration of historical heritage. There are still preserved monuments of the Neolithic times, Buddhist kingdoms, the empires of the Achaemenids and Alexander the Great — all those civilizations that left their marks during the more than five thousand year history of Taxila.
We explore the ruins of another Buddhist monument — the Takht-i-Bahi monastery. It was founded at the beginning of the 1st century and survived during the repeated foreign invasions only due to its location on the top of a high hill.
In the evening we arrive in Peshawar and check into a hotel.
In the morning we start exploring Peshawar. The majority of the local population are Pashtuns, whose clothes and appearance notably differ from the ones of Southern Pakistan people.
Peshawar has a surprisingly ancient and rich history: in different times the city was ruled by Greeks, Persians, Mughals, Sikhs, Afghans and the British. We walk through the old city quarters, where dark narrow streets are filled with stalls and small shops, mules, rickshaws, and bearded locals. Here, Asian chaos mingles with oriental bazaar and British architecture.
In the evening we return to Islamabad and check into a hotel.
Day 12 - 13
We have our tour around Islamabad. It is a very young city: it was founded in the second half of the 20th century specifically to become the capital of the young Pakistan state. We visit the country’s modern sights: the Pakistani monument located on a hill and the unordinary Faisal mosque, which was sponsored by the Saudi king and built by Turkish architects.
Near Islamabad there is the city of Rawalpindi. It has lower administrative status, but a much longer history. We drop in one of the local bazaars and visit a workshop where famous Pakistani trucks are decorated. In this country, every truck driver turns his vehicle into a work of art. Decorated with paintings, stickers, wood carvings, and tin ornaments, brightly colored trucks move along Pakistani roads, jingling with their decorations. The subjects of the drawings can be very different: from Indian movies characters to Quran quotes or just simple ornaments.
We spend the night in an Islamabad hotel, and the next day we leave for the airport and say goodbye to Pakistan.
Подходит ли вам это путешествие?
Стоимость путешествия включает:
- All the transportations
- Entrance fees and services of local guides
- Travel insurance that covers costs in case of COVID-19 symptoms during the journey
- Guiding service
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Karachi and back from Islamabad (we will help you find the best tickets)
- Tips for local guides (optional)
- Meals (about $20–30 per day)
Citizens of most states need a visa to enter Pakistan. It can be got on the governmental website.
We provide free visa consulting for our clients.