The largest civilization in the ancient world developed in the Indus Valley of India over 5,000 years ago. The Indus was the home to the ancient civilization of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa.
The early cities of India developed along the Indus river starting around 3500 bce. They are called the Indus civilization or, sometimes, the Harappan culture. It was the largest and most advanced civilization in the ancient world. There are 2,600 known Indus sites, from enormous urban cities like Mohenjo Daro and Mehrgarh to small villages like Naushahro. The cities of the Indus Valley Civilization were well-organised and solidly built out of brick and stone. Their drainage systems, wells and water storage systems were the most sophisticated in the ancient world. They also developed systems of weights and trade. They made jewellery and game pieces and toys for their children. From looking at the structures and objects which survive we are able to learn about the people who lived and worked in these cities so long ago. But the mighty Indus River changed its path, and what was once a fertile area became a desert. The people of the region moved to other parts of India and beyond. By 2000 bce the civilization had entered a period of decline.
3 Hours Before Flight Time
Arrive in Karachi. A representative of Karakorum Adventures will meet you outside the customs and immigration area at the airport. This representative will answer questions, brief you on the immediate arrangements, and escort you to the hotel in Karachi.
Pakistan’s largest city and only major port. Our tour includes an excellent photo opportunity at the Dhobi Ghat, or the Great Laundry, a stretch of riverbank which is used by all for washing and dyeing their clothes. We will also visit the National Museum of Pakistan, with its collection of Indus civilisation artifacts dating back 4500 years; and we will stop at the Tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Karachi’s most impressive monument. The tomb is in remembrance of the first governor-general of Pakistan, and commemorates the emergence of holy Muslim state on the Indian subcontinent. We will also see the large port, with its shipping facilities. Our city tour also takes us to the bazaars of the old city. We will have a chance to watch daily life in Pakistan as we witness the bargaining technique used to purchase a wide variety of wares – everything from spices to clothing to pots and pans. Overnight in the hotel,
Morning fly to Moenjodaro, visit Mohenjo Daro archaeological sites.
Moenjodaro, the premier site of the Indus Valley civilisation. The city thrived from 3000 to 1700 BC; contemporary with Pharaonic Egypt and Mesopotamia. This makes Moenjodaro one of the oldest organized cities in the world. In fact, most of what we know about the Indus Valley culture comes from what has been excavated at Mohenjo Daro. The city was progressive for its time, with its wide avenues, an elaborate and effective system of waste management and garbage collection, diverse industries and a wide network of trading contacts. The advanced civilization that flourished here seems to have ended abruptly but we do not know why because the Mohenjodaro script has never been deciphered. Many archaeologists postulate that it was the invasion of the Aryans from central Asia around 1700 BC which finally led to the collapse of the great cities of the Indus Valley civilisation.
We will visit the museum here, with its interesting display of relics found during excavation. Among the treasures are engraving seals, utensils, ornaments, weapons, sculpture work and pottery. Afternoon drive to Sukkur, overnight in Hotel
Lahore has long been revered as the cultural, educational and artistic capital of Pakistan. As the capital of Punjab for over 1000 years, Lahore played an important role in the development of trade between the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. Lacking natural protection, historically Lahore has been invaded and captured time and time again. Its origins and most of its pre-Islamic history are shrouded by legend. One tale tells of how the city was founded and named by Loh, son of Ramachandra, the hero of the Hindu epic Ramayana. In 1021, the first Muslim ruler conquered Lahore. Mahmud of Ghazni made Lahore the capital of his empire several years later, and managed to keep control of the city for more than one hundred years. For more than three hundred years to follow, Lahore was tossed between various rival rulers, until it faced stability under the Moghuls in 1524– but only for two centuries. After the Moghuls, the Sikhs ruled until the British arrived in 1846.
Lahore became an affluent city in the British era, and today it has many beautiful architectural wonders to explore. Today, we see The Mall, a wide boulevard engineered in 1851 under the British. The Mall has a collection of beautiful colonial buildings, fashioned in the Moghul Gothic style. We also visit the beautiful Bagh-i-Jinnah, or Lawrence Gardens, an extensive park, with tree-covered lanes and an important cricket ground, where we may be able to catch a few minutes of a match. We also visit the Summit Minar. Commemorating the second Islamic Summit Conference, this tall, marble column houses gifts from the conference guests–the minar is a testament to Islamic solidarity. We will end today’s sightseeing by visiting the Lahore Museum. Founded in 1894, the museum houses exhibits from all over the subcontinent. There are seventeen galleries, spanning time from the Stone Age to the present. We will see sculpture works, manuscripts, Qurans, miniatures, carpets, Islamic art, articles from Mohenjo Daro and other Indus Valley civilisation sites, and stamps from modern day Pakistan. The most stunning piece in the museum is the statue of the so-called “Starving Buddha.” Overnight in hotel.
Harappa is a large city of the Indus Civilization and one of the best known sites in Pakistan, located on the bank of the Ravi River in Punjab Province.
This early urban archaeological site was occupied between about 3300 and 1500 BC. Harappa includes an area of about 250 acres, and may be about twice that, given that much of the site has been covered by the flooding of the Ravi. Intact structural remains include those of a citadel, a granary, and two cemeteries. The mud adobe bricks of significant architectural remains were robbed in antiquity.
During the Harappan phase (2600-1900 BC), a faience and steatite bead production workshop was identified, by several layers of ‘faience slag’, chert blades, lumps of sawn steatite, bone tools, terracotta cakes and large masses of vitrified faience slag. Also discovered were abundant broken and complete tablets and beads, many with incised scripts. Afternoon drive back to Lahore, hotel. Overnight In Hotel
Today we continue our tour of the capital of the Punjab seeing the Badshahi Mosque. Built in 1674, it is an excellent example of some of the finest Mughal architecture. Nearby, the massive walls of the Lahore Fort tower over old Lahore. We will visit several of the pavilions of the fort, including Shish Mahal, the “Palace of Mirrors”, built by Shah Jahan in 1631 as private apartments for his empress. Surrounding a main hall are many smaller rooms where intricately latticed windows look out over the
riverbed. From here we will visit Shalimar Gardens, also built by the Moghuls, but still much enjoyed and appreciated today. The latter part of this afternoon is free for you to explore and shop in the fascinating streets and bazaars of old Lahore. Fly to Islamabad, transfer to l Hotel.
Today we will visit Taxila, one of the richest archeological sites in south Asia. In the sixth century bc, the Achæmenians made Taxila the Gandhara capital, at a site now called Bhir Mound. Alexander the Great paused here en route from Swat. The Mauryan emperor Ashoka, a patron of Buddhism, built a university here, to which pilgrims and scholars came from all over Asia. Later, the Kushans came to Taxila, and built their own city at a site called Sirkap. Until the third century, Taxila was the capital of an empire that stretched across the subcontinent into Central Asia. In the museum, we will see tools and ornaments, temple friezes and Buddha figures. It is fascinating to see the mixture of ancient Greek and Buddhist influences in the art of Gandhara. On the excavation sites, spreading over some 25 km² (15½ sq miles) we will see the ruins of a classical Greek temple at Jandial; twisting streets aligned with the remains of shops at Bhir Mound; and Buddhist temple ruins at Sirkap. In the late afternoon, we return to Rawalpindi.
overnight hotel in Islamabad. Overnight In Hotel.
Transfer to airport for flight to onward destination.