Islamabad to back Islamabad
NOTE :- Although, we try to adhere to the schedule listed below, this itinerary is subject to change due to numerous reasons beyond our control such as bad weather, canceled or delayed flights, road washouts, vehicle breakdowns, sickness, accidents, govt restrictions & all other unforeseen exigencies for which we cannot make provisions.
DAY 01 ISLAMABAD
Upon arrival met and transfer to your hotel in Islamabad or Rawalpindi with your representative after short rest in hotel and then go out for a Sightseeing of Rawalpindi/Islamabad.
The twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are situated at the edge of Potohar Plateau & 25 minutes apart by car. Rawalpindi was originallyaknown as Fatehpur Boari. It was destroyed during 14th century by a Mughal invasion & remained deserted for a number of years. 350 years ago,during the reign of Emperor Jehangir, a Sikh Saint by the name of Rawal Jogi came to the deserted Fatehpur Boari & was instrumental in recreating the glory of the city. In appreciation the town became known as Rawalpindi. Today, Raja Bazaar, Saddar & Murree Road are the main shopping centers. The cantonment area created by the Britishers is comparatively a new establishment. It has a saddar Bazaar with modern shops & has subsequently become the hub of all shopping.
Islamabad on the other hand,is a city that is barely a quarter century old. Two sleepy villages, Saidpur & Nurpur existed here prior to the sudden sprouting of buildings. This gleaming new capital of Pakistan is a superb example of modern architecture With a wide tree-lined streets, it is a carefully planned city with large houses, elegant public buildings and well organized bazaars. The walkways are shaded and safe and separated from traffic by rows of flame trees, jacaranda and hibiscus. Roses, jasmine and Bougainvillea fill the parks. Almost 350 square miles site has been set aside for parks.Sightseeing of Islamabad. Visit the Faisal Mosque – the biggest in the world; Damen-e-Koh – a scenic hill view point presenting the bird eye’s view of Islamabad; & National Art Gallery – housing the rich collection of the contemporary artists; Folk Museum – The only museum of its kind in Pakistan presenting the preserved folk heritage of Pakistan. Tomb of Bari Imam – one of the greatest saints of the sub continent Indo-Pakistan. Super Market – center of western fashion wear & consumer products.
Sightseeing of Rawalpindi. Beginning with some of the most exotic spots of the town including; Raja Bazaar – The multicolored “king” of bazaars ; Sarafa Bazaar – Where gold smiths still use primitive tools ; Moti Bazaar – Exclusive for ladies ; The Bara.
Overnight Paradise Hotel. All meals included.
ISLAMABAD -TO- BESHAM
M : After an early breakfast, drive to Besham, a major town on the upper course of the Indus & a gateway to Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu, Nanga Parbat & Kaghan Valleys. The whole journey will proceed on the Karakoram Highway, also known as the “eight wonder” of the world.
Karakoram Highway – connects Pakistan to China, twisting through the three mighty ranges of the world, the Karakorams, the Himalayas & the Pamirs – & follows the ancient Silk Route along the Indus, Gilgit & Hunza Rivers up the Chinese border at the Khunjerab Pass where it concludes in the Taklamakan Desert after winding through the Pamirs & Kashgar districts.
Enroute visit Taxila Museum, Taxila is an archaeologist’s paradise. It contains a well maintained museum whose 8 mile circumference contains 8 archaeological sites. Among the best preserved are Sirkap, Julian, Mohra Muradu & Bhirmond.
On arrival transfer to Besham Continental Hotel Besham. All meals included.
Distance: 280 km, Drive : 07-08 hrs, Altitude : 950 meters
BESHAM -TO- GILGIT
AM: Resume road journey to Gilgit on the Karakoram Highway via Chilas whose ancient name was “Silvata”, a Sunsikrit word which meant Rock or Stone. The name went in vogue because of the 06th & 08th century’s carvings & paintings on the nearby boulders at the banks of the Indus. Lunch at Panorama Hotel Chilas.
PM: On arrival at Gilgit, transfer to Mir’s Lodge or Riveria Hotel or Park Hotel.
Gilgit is the Capital of Northern Pakistan is a thriving frontier town that has expanded rapidly to include over 40,000 inhabitants since the Karakoram Highway was opened in 1978. It sits in a wide irrigated bowl 1500 M above sea level at the Eastern end of the Gilgit Valley. The quaint little town of Gilgit has a cluster of interesting places in it short radius, including a beautiful rock carving of Buddha, a victory monument of Taj Mughal, built 700 years ago and the longest suspension bridge in Asia (600 ft long) The favorite sport in Gilgit is Polo, which the locals claim originated here. It is a more rugged style than the sedate variety known in the plains. The polo tournament held in the 1st two weeks of November is a festive occasion and attracts a large number of spectators.
Overnight at in Hotel All meals included.
Distance: 326 km, Drive: 06-07 hrs, Altitude: 1500 meters
GILGIT -TO- HUNZA
AM : After breakfast proceed for a brief tour of Kargah Nulla, & Gilgit Bazaar. The Kargah Nulla is famous for its huge rock carving. This sculpture was carved in seventh century. A monastery, 03 stupas and Gilgit manuscripts were also found in the vicinity between 1931-39. They are now housed in London, Delhi, Rome and Karachi. The interesting legend behind this sculpture narrates – the villagers asked a passing saint to help them get rid of a man- eater ogress called Yakhshini who lived at Kargah. The saint succeeded in pinning her to the rock and declared she won,t bother them for as long as he was alive, however, if they buried him at the foot of the rock, she would never be free. So the villagers killed the saint and buried him below the rock. The Yakhshini is still slave and villagers are now safe.
The Gilgit Bazaar is famous for its handicrafts such as woolen gowns known as chughas, waist coats, shoes, musical instruments, silver jewelry, caps, woolen rugs and embroideries. The Gilgit town has also become a major dry port for trade between Pakistan and China through Khunjerab Pass. Due to this dramatic reform one can easily purchase China wares, paintings, silk clothes, glass and various other Chinese products of excellent quality. Later, proceed to Chinar Bagh, where trees as much as 300 years old haughtily overlook the Gilgit river. This beautiful park is adorned with a bronze ibex mounted on a tall marble pillar. The monument was built to pay tribute to the local soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of their motherland.
On our way back to hotel, we will drive across the Asia‘s longest suspension bridge (600 feet long 6 feet wide).
PM: After lunch, drive to Gulmit, the prettiest valley of Hunza. Eric Shipton declared it as the ultimate manifestation of mountain grandeur Yes! the Legendary Hunza – whose very name is overwhelming ! is known for its towering snow covered peaks, creeping glaciers, fragrant apricot orchards & the longevity of its people. Lord Curson noted that “The little State of Hunza contains more summits of over 20,000 ft than there are of over 10,000 ft in the entire Alps”. This magical land of contrasting geology abounds in glaciers too, including the 58 Km (world’s 5th longest ) Batura Glacier. The Nubra, Braldu, Hushe and Saltoro Rivers are born in the Karakoram glacial vastness: the Shayok River encircles the entire flanks of the range: but only the Hunza River literally cuts through the width of the Karakoram Range. Hunza’s extreme isolation thus imposed by the unbelievably steep gorges of the Karakoram, rise to a long standing, wholly indigenous & pure diet consisting almost entirely of apricots, wheat and “Hunza Water”, a locally brewed wine, & hence the long living inhabitants. The hardy people of Hunza are thought to be the descendants of the Alexander’s lost column of army. Until 1974, Hunza remained a semi – autonomous princely state presided over by a benevolent “MIR” who personally held a daily court & the subjects paid taxes in goods rather than money. Nestled under the shadows of Rakaposhi 7788 m, perches its capital Karimabad – guarded with centuries old sentinel of Altit & Baltit. Our approach to Hunza is by jeep on the Karakoram Highway, a thin ribbon of pavement carved into the walls of the stupendous Karakoram. This road completed in 1978 , now links the ancient trails of the Silk Route from Gilgit to Kashgar. Hunza’s 35000 inhabitants have been ruled by the same family since the 11th century. A legend relates that the Hunzakuts, (as the people of Hunza are known) are the descendants of the 05 lost soldiers of the Alexander’s Army. Brushuski, an aboriginal language is spoken in the central Hunza & Wakhi, related to Chinese Turkistan is spoken in the upper Gojal. Hunzakuts lived off the fruits of caravan- raiding, slave trading & attacking their neighbors. The kingdom retained independence until the British took over in 1891 and became part of Pakistan in 1974. The society is co-operative rather than competitive. Each family grows enough food for its own use. As the Hunzakuts lived aloof from the outer world, each citizen was self sufficient in making his own shoes, clothes & bowls, until, the Karakoram Highway linked them with the world. The people are cheerful & friendly. Almost the entire population belongs to the Ismaili Shias sect headed by the Prince Karim Agha Khan. The women wear bright clothes, long shirts over baggy trousers and little embroided pillbox hats over which they drape their shawls.
PM: Arrive Hunza for overnight at Hill Top or Hunza Baltit Inn. All meals included.
Distance: 100 km, Drive: 03 hrs, Altitude: 2500 meters
HUNZA -TO- GULMIT OR PASSU:
AM Upon arrival transfer to Silk Route Lodge or Hunza Marco Polo hotel, Evening free to explore the Gulmit village or overnight Hotel Ambassador in Passu all meals included .
PASSU TO KARIMABAD
AM: Proceed for a sightseeing excursion of Nagar, another princely state across Hunza. Inhabited by the colorful & peaceful Shia Muslims, this spectacular valley domains blossoming fruit orchards & multi terraced fields irrigated by the rich mineral laden waters of the Hispar, Trivor, Barpu, Bualtar & the Silkiang Glaciers. The jeep road ends at Hopar, a magnificent bowl, terraced and fertile, with excellent views of Miar Peak, Golden Peak and Malubiting. The Bualtar Glacier snouts here and is one of the two valley glaciers of the world racing forward. Its speed is incredibly fast @ 20 centimeters (8 inch) per day. After sightseeing of Nagar, return to Karimabad for lunch.
PM : Proceed for a walk tour of Karimabad town including several hamlets, streets & bazaars. We will taste delicious apricots & discover the secrets of the longevity of the people. Later visit the 400 years old forts of Altit & Baltit. Below the Ultar Glacier, this sentinel is said to be made by a princess who married to a reigning MIR & brought with her from Baltistan, a few masons, carpenters & craftsmen to build Baltit Fort as part of her Dowry. It stands on a cliff edge; behind the fort is the deep ravine of the Ultar stream. Its a curious rambling old palace with 53 rooms scattered on three stories. It contains guest rooms, prisons, storerooms, kitchens & dowager Queen’s Apartments. The museum room has a collection of weapons & drums. Altit Fort is even more impressive than Baltit & is perhaps 100 years older than Baltit. Perched on a sheer rocky cliff of 1000 ft, it overlooks the Hunza River & renders a picturesque view of the entire valley.
Distance : 100 km, Drive : 3 hrs, Altitude : 2408 meters
Overnight at your Hotel. All meals included.
KARIMABAD REST DAY
Another free day in Karimabad for sightseeing and exploration.
AM : Early in the dawn, begin a early morning jeep ride to Ducar view point rise above the Karimabad village, after taking pictures of sunrise and having breakfast at Eagle Nest drive down to Karimabad for trek to Ultar Peak base camp. Upon arrival at Ultar Peak base camp, camping for overnight. With Pack meals or fresh meals from the camping restaurant. All meals included. Walk: 04 Hrs Grade: Moderate Altitude: ________Mete
KARIMABAD TO BESHAM
After an early breakfast drive to Besham City of KPK overnight in Mid Way Hotel all meals included.
BESHAM TO ISLAMABAD
AM: After an early breakfast drive to Islamabad to Envoy Continental hotel or Guest house in evening sightseeing of famous Markets and Baazar of Rawalpindi. Overnight in hotel or guest house all meals is included.
Onward to fly your country with a nice memories from Pakistan.