Pakistan Holiday Tours

PAKISTAN

We have extended our travels in Pakistan and established our South Pakistan and the Indus tour. Beginning in Islamabad and journeying through via Lahore to that very atmospheric City Multan with its Sufi traditions, down the the Indus river, visiting parts of the Cholistan Desert, covering Mohenjo-daro, that slightly mysterious ancient Indus Valley Civilisation city and completing in Karachi.


SOUTH PAKISTAN and the INDUS
November 13th 2016, February 12th 2017, November 12th 2017

This area is little covered by other tour operators and it is a fascinating part of the Sub continent. With our first and highly successful tour this February we found it a delightful travelling experience. We have carefully chosen what we believe is the best weather periods for the next tours. We have a highly professional team running this tour and can only urge you to join them.

Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival Islamabad airport in early morning and transfer to minibus for short drive to Taxila, an ancient Ghandaran city and an important Hindu and Buddhist centre of learning from the 6th century B.C to the 5th cent A.D .We visit the the remains of the Jaulian Monastery, ancient Sirkap, a city known to Alexander The Great and the Ghandhara Museum. Continuing to the frontier city of Peshawar stopping at Greens Hotel.
Day 2 A city walking tour : visit Qissa Khawani Bazaar(story tellers Bazaar) Khyber Bazaar, Sarafa Bazaar, Peshawar Museum, Islamia College. A day also to enjoy shopping for those who do. Overnight Peshwar.
Day 3 Drive to Islamabad. Visiting Rawalpindi. Overnight Islamabad Hotel.
Day 4 Early start. Drive to Ketas Raj Hindu Temples. Built from the 9th to 11 Cent when the Salt range was part of the Hindu Kingdom of Kashmir the large complex houses 7 ancient temples dedicated to Shiva. Next drive to Rohtas Fort, one of the finest castles in the sub continent commanding the Gorge of the Kaghan river and a section of the Grand Trunk road. Finally to Lahore - overnight Lahore.
Day 5 A day in Lahore City, visiting Badshashi Mosque, Lahore Fort, Lahore Museum and city. Overnight Lahore.
Day 6 Jahangir's tomb, and a visit to Wagh Border. Overnight Lahore.
Day 7 Drive to Multan via Harappa, ancient Indus valley Civilisation site from 2,500 BC. Overnight Multan.
Day 8 Visiting the Sufi tombs and Mosques for which Multan is famous including the Eidgah 16/17 cent Mosque. Overnight Multan.
Day 9 Visit Shar Rukh-e-Alam Mausoleum and then drive to Bahawalapur, visit museum and City. Overnight Bahawalapur.
Day 10 Drive to Cholistan Desert, visit Derawar Fort and camel safari. Overnight Bahawalapur.
Day 11 Ucch. Drive to Ucch Sharif famous for its shrines, visit Panjnard and taking a boat. Back to Bahawalpur.
Day 12 Drive to Sukkur, en route we visit another Indus Civilisation site Kot Diji situated at the foot of the Rohri Hills where the Kot Diji Fort was built around 1790. Overnight Sukkur.
Day 13 We visit Sadu Bela, and visit Bukkur island. Overnight Sukkur.
Day 14 Driving now to Mohenjo-daro, the most important site of the Indus River Civilisation. This is the major site in Pakistan. En route we stop at Larkana (home town of the Bhutto family and their family shrine). Overnight at the Mohenjo-daro Guest House.
Day 15 Drive to Sehwan famous for its 13th cent Sufi shrine of Hazrat lal Shahbaz Qalander. Also we visit Manchar Lake home to the Mohanas tribe and we take a boat on the lake. Overnight Hyderabad.
Day 16 To to the capital Karachi. En route visiting Thatta, Makli Hills and Chaukundi. Overnight Karachi.
Day 17 A days tour - the Museum, Manghopirwith its Sufi Shrine and the hot springs and crocodiles. Some final shopping if required. Overnight Karachi.
Day 18  Departure for International flights.
 
Tour cost - minimum 2 persons - costs per person £2,800, 3 persons and over £2,300 per person.

Included in tour cost. All hotel accommodation, full board,English speaking guide /Tour leader, Driver and transport 4x4 vehicle, over 3 persons air conditioned minibus, bottled water, airport transfers.

Not included -Flights/International flights, visa,insurance, items of a personal nature. There is a single room supplement and this will be £170 extra on the tour cost.

In some countries the Tourist visa for Pakistan can take awhile - allow plenty of time for this visa.


KALASH FESTIVAL and KARAKORUM HIGHWAY

Northern Pakistan is very beautiful, with wonderfully scenic mountains and valleys and wonderfully hospitable people. We all are aware of the political problems in the region. However, these are sadly becoming more common throughout this part of Asia, and Central Asia in general and should not deter us.
The Kalash Valleys of Bumburet, Rumbur and Birir lie approximately twenty-two miles south of Chitral. Population is in the region of 10,000 inhabitants, of whom less than a third are Kalasha. These valleys are the last enclaves to withstand conversion to Islam in the Afghanistan-Pakistan area.
We would like to take you to see the unique tribal quality of the KALASH Valleys. The close-knit valley families celebrate with dance and music, hence the KALASH Festival. Allied to the mountain setting and the relatively remoteness, it is a truly memorable experience.

The Kalash have four colourful festivals. To the Kalash these festivals are the culmination of religious life and, like the big funerals, they unite the people.


Joshi/Chilimjusht - The Spring Festival
This festival takes place in the middle of May and lasts for four days. It honours the fairies and also safeguards the goats and shepherds before they go to the pastures.

Before the festival the women and girls gather from all over the valley and decorate their houses. Inside the houses local wine and milk products are shared The women then sprinkle milk on the goddess Jestak, the protector of their children and home. The festival begins at Rumbur where the Shaman and tribal chiefs lead a procession to the Malosh altar, high above Grum and sacrifice goats to the Gods.

Later, the festival moves on to Bumboret and finally ends up at Birir.

The first day of Joshi, "Milk Day", is celebrated in Bumboret. Kalash ladies move from homestead to homestead, singing and dancing and receiving libations of milk that have been saved for ten days prior to the festival.

Every religious ceremony is accompanied by dancing and rhythmical chanting to a beat of the drum. The women, wearing their traditional black robes, ornate cowries shell head-dresses and countless strands of coloured necklaces, dance in a circle. Then the men join in: it may be a man and a women or a man in the middle with a women on each side, lovers being free to intermingle. One hand holds the waist of the partner and the other goes around the shoulders. Elders in colourful dresses narrate stories of bygone days and events.

We will spend 4 nights in Rumbur Valley, staying at the Saifullah Guesthouse.

Rumbur is rugged and majestic; the mountain ridges are high and the river is wild. With its sparkling streams, shady meadows, groves of mulberry, apricot and walnut trees and yellow and green fields it is a beautiful, picturesque area. As there are few tourists, the Kalasha are less shy and less nervous, and no one objects, if asked, to having their photograph taken. Only seldom does the sound of jeeps destroy the peaceful silence of the valley. At the top end of the valley there is a Nuristani village.

Following our visit to the festivals, we travel on to Mastuj and beyond, exploring mountain forts, redolent of early British Colonial history, sleepy Hunza villages and towns, and touch the evocative Karakorum Highway before returning to Islamabad.


Kalash Festival

15 Day All Inclusive Ground Tour Trip including 4 days at the Kalash Festival

May 4th 2017 and May 2018

Cost - from £2,400 plus flights

Itinerary
May 4th Arrive Islamabad, city tour
May 5th Depart Islamabad to Besham on the Karakoram Highway via Taxila
May 6th Drive to Gilgit
May 7th Drive to Karimabad
May 8th In Karimabad a traditionl Hunza town visiting Baltit and Altit forts and enjoy the Sunset
May 9th Karimabad -a free day with a traditional music and dance evening
May 10th Drive to Gilgit
May 11th Drive to Gupis
May 12th Drive to Mastuj via Shandur Pass 3736m
May 13th Drive to Chitral and visit fort and bazaar
May 14th Drive to Rumbur for the Kalash Festival
May 15th In the Rumbur Valley
May 16th Drive to Bamborat for the fesitival
May 17th See the flnal day and drive back to Chitral
May 18th Fly or drive to Islambad
May 19th  Departure
 
Costs includes: -

• Breakfast, lunch and dinner
• All hotel accommodation
• Flight from Islamabad to Chitral
• Full services of English speaking guide
• Jeep transport (3 persons per jeep)
• Entrance fees to forts and museums
• Bottled water available every day in the jeep

And as a special bonus for this trip

• 2 pairs of local Pakistani dress for each passenger

Not included: -

• Return flight from the UK
• Single room supplement