[show_gd_mylist_btn]

Lahore Khewra Rawalpindi Taxila History Tour

Lahore Khewra Rawalpindi Taxila History Tour Overview

On 6 days of history and culture tour, a delightful journey that takes you from the Mughal era Gardens of Lahore, Forts and Mosques to the ancient cities of Taxila and myriad of cultures.

Lahore Silk Route caravan Kashgar Tour Highlights

  • Visit the most holy sites and destinations in Pakistan
  •   Step closer to birth pace of Buddhism; try to understand the faith, and the unique related activities there.
  • If you are a believer, just take a pilgrim along the way and enjoy the spectacular scenery and profound culture in this land.
  • enjoy the amazing and mysterious places, mountains, temples & stupas in scared places!
  • Encounter the paths trodden by Buddha in all their splendour and majesty

Lahore Khewra Rawalpindi Taxila History Tour Itinerary

  Days        Activities

  • ARRIVAL in Lahore

    One of our staff will meet you at the airport and escort you to the hotel.

    Today either you can relax or you can enjoy an exploratory walk in the old part of Lahore Punjab Pakistan; 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 Mall Road – before arriving at the gleaming provincial capital, Lahore. You pass shining new buildings and  park areas.

    Activities: Cultural exploration , Sightseeing

  • 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.

    Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration, History

    Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • 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.

    Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration, History

    Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Lahore - Rohtas fort - khewra salt mine- katasraj temple- Islamabad

    After break fast will drive toward Rohtas Fort near Dina. is 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 followed by 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.

    After salt mine we will visit 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 Katasraj 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.

    After Katasraj visit, in the evening we will drive to Islamabad.

    Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration, History

    Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

    Drive: 8 – 9 hrs

  • 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.

  • taxila

    After breakfast,  we 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.

    Activities: Sightseeing, Cultural Exploration, History

Departures Dates

No minimum passengers required, 100% guaranteed departures. Small groups. All our itineraries are fully customizable with flexible departure dates.

Pricing Packs

Basic

bed & Breakfast
$ 000
  • 2-3 Stars Hotels
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Standard

Double bed, Meals, Transfer
$ 000
  • 3-4 Stars Hotels, where available
  • Directed Flight
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Premium

All Inclusive
$ 000
  • 5 Stars Hotels, where is available
  • 24/7 Customer Support

Guides

M Ebran
Travel Guide

From early childhood a place somewhere beyond the horizon was where I wanted to be and in the passing years since, I have made it my goal to satisfy that yearning! growing up in Baltistan gave me a great love for that part of the world, from K2 to Nanga Parbat to makin the first venture on Gondogoro la and much in between.

REVIEWS & BLOGS

Video Overview

Extend your holiday

There are many ways you can extend your holiday with us: book extra hotel nights, take a warm-up/accalamatization trek,relax at a beautiful resort,  arrange a personal sightseeing tour or enjoy specialist activities such as paragliding or a history and culture tour.

We’re happy to suggest ideas, provide quotes and make all the arrangements. We can also assist with flight and hotel upgrades. Just call us on +92 (0) 342 9767 963 or email info@visitpakistanonline.com and we will be glad to help.

Fill in the Booking Form

  • ATTENTION TO DETAIL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
  • PROFESSIONAL, DEVOTED PASSIONATE TEAM
  • UNMATCHED VALUE
  • UNIQUE, DYNAMIC & CREATIVE ITINERARIES
  • PERSONAL IMMERSION IN LOCAL LIFE & CULTURE
  • UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE

Leave a Review

Your email address will not be published.