Mountains and Tribes

Hunza
K-2

This is the North to lure any one away from the concrete jungles of modern life. The Northern region is known for its majestic landscape with lofty and green hills, eye-catching shining lakes, beautiful arts and crafts, exotic culture, and indigenous sports like polo. The area is beautifully painted with varied culture, customs, and habits of various tribes and clans. This is precisely a land of highlanders where people live with unique beliefs and life-style.


In fact, it is a scenic wonderland having real asset in its outlook but its inside lifestyle propping of primitive culture, is also second to none. The peace loving innocent people are semi-nomadic, although most of them now lead a more or less settled life in the mountain regions of the heavenly vales perched at the world’s end. Their remote culture holds a strange fascination. The pretty, rosy-checked children elsewhere in the Northern Areas, flock together excitedly with their eiders which, in all probability, is the height of excitement and contact with the ‘other’ world for these simple country-folk who are for centuries isolated rest of the world.
The bountiful nature, the exciting hills, fascinating wildlife seem to be a perfect setting to lure a tourist to the north region. For those with an innate love of mountains this region offers the unique pleasure of world greatest concentration of mountain ranges the Himalayas the Hindukush and the Karakoram superior to ail others in the world.
We have selected a fantastic and majestic land where many legends and superstitious stories have been spun around. Some of the armies of Alexander the great shrouded in mystery, today known as Kalashies, a racial wonder. They are still far removed from the mainstream of modern civilization. The journeys of early Buddhist pilgrims, preachers, adventurers like Marco Polo and trade caravans on famous silk route and many mysterious explorer-cum-spies playing the ‘Great Game’, even lost their lives in this wild land. Those who trod the paths of this legendary land became a part of history. The Arab explorers counted as the “Bam i Dunia”, The Roof of the World. Besides enormous hazardous experiences they solemnly depicted this part of land as ‘Shangri- La’, ‘Roof of the World’, ‘Heaven on Earth—reflecting its eternal beauty.
But there is a time for everything, the hardships have vanished away, now you can peep into these valleys and see mighty mountains simply by yours car windows. And we are here to facilitate you.

We will take you to the lanes of ancient and modem civilizations where culture of yore steadily melting into those of today. During this uncommon journey, the visitor witnesses a divergent mix of cultures and hues as travel through the dean, posh areas of Islamabad, Peshawar and to the historical Khyber Pass in the arid desolate tribal belt sparsely inhabited by the fair-complexioned, handsome, militant-looking race of the region. Wandering in the villages that are hangouts on sharp ridges against the imposing lofty mountains in the landlocked and stunning valleys of Chitral, Swat, Hunza and Baltistan. You will spy half a dozen peaks above 7000 including 8126m Nanga Parbat beside many others from the roadside. Travelling through Karakoram Highway that snacks under the shadows of lofty mountains is another feature of this tour. Finally, we will have a spectacular aerial view of mountains during flight from Skardu to Islamabad, if luck favors us. It is adventurous and alluring experience of this legendary land, you will wish to repeat over and over again. 

Beyond the high level adventures, the region offers a fascinating and enchanting scenic beauty, the sparking lakes, the glittering glaciers, snow covered peaks, green carpeted valleys, high passes and mighty rivers supplementing the unspoiled mountain culture. All of them present a marvelous aesthetic combination that can be availed by a jeep safari.

In a day’s drive you can come across people speaking totally different languages. Nowhere else in the world one can find so much variation consisted in such a small area. A jeep tour in the foothills of three of the world’s largest mountain system provides opportunity to observe cultural mosaic of the people of northern region of Pakistan. Living an isolated life for centuries has let these people develop distinctive cultures and languages.

You will travel in the shadows of mighty mountains, viz., Nanga Parbat (8126m), Rakaposhi (7788m), Tirich Mir (7708m), Mashabrum (7 m), and numerous lesser but equally spectacular peaks. We drive over the spectacular high-altitude passes like Lowari, Shandure, Babusar, and Khunjerab.
It may be pointed out that all of nature’s most spectacular work, which has been gifted to mankind, rests peacefully in the north of Pakistan, yet to be discovered. The breathtaking combination of towering Peaks, Deep and steep gorges, moonlit lakes, cool streams, wooded hills, rapid rivers, whistling deserts, frosty glaciers and fairy meadows are the features of this tour.
Driving days are supplemented with free days for local walks. Enjoying camp life in higher meadows. Enjoy the local food mixed with continental cousins. Geographical variations and wild scenery provide exciting experience.In the bustling city life you will find Northern Areas are always enveloped in dark quietness except the natural music.
Mountain Jeep Safari while traveling Northern mountainous areas, in a day's drive yon can come across people speaking four totally different languages. Nowhere else in the world one can find so much variation consisted in such a small area. A Jeep tour in the interest of travelling for visiting three of the world's largest mountain systems also provides opportunity to observe cultural mosaic of the people of Northern Areas of Pakistan. Living an isolated life for centuries let these people develop distinctive cultures and languages. The thrilling Jeep rides reprint your foot steps on Marco Polo's path which he laid centuries ago on the ancient. Silk Route and traces the routes taken by Alexander the great, when he marched, Starting from Peshawar and passing through towns of Chitral, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu arid Naran crossing passes of Lowari, Shandure and Babusar and remote places: excursions to Khyber and Khunjerab passes/Darra Adam Khil(gun factories); visiting Kalashi, Hurizakuts and Balti people you will end your Journey at Islamabad after three weeks. Shorter versions of the same program are also available.

The Northern Areas, “The Roof Of The World” is famed as much for the charms of its culture as for the tranquil beauty of its landscape and the workmanship of its craftsmen. The deep valleys of mighty ranges of Hindukush, Himalayas and Karakuram is splashed with towering peaks, glaciers, dense forests, meandering rivers & tumbling foaming streams, cascading waterfalls, serene lakes which shrines with fruit laden orchards, flower filled slopes connected by panoramic passes. The remote valleys of lofty mountains are the home for many ancient communities.

The area has round the year attractions. After half the year pile of snow the area takes on a new and stunning beauty by abundance of flowers and fruit blossom in spring gives great brilliancy of colors, in summer the area is at its best with ripen fruits. These beautiful valleys wear a different look in autumn colors. Invites you to experience nature at its best. Northern valleys exhibit the diversity of culture is a populous land, rich in flora and fauna forms a status of Eden on earth. Blend of leisure, culture and adventure let join a tour of lifetime. a wide choice of tours from day hikes to high level expeditions to above 8000, jeep safaris, cycling to luxury tours for mountain panorama is available. Or along the silk route (KKH) which blends many cultures and scenic beauty together. Choose a trip either for summer, winter; autumn or spring all has their exclusive splendors.

Itinerary

Day 1  lslamabad

Upon arrival at Islamabad airport meet your guide and transfer to your hotel. Afternoon sight-seeing of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. We drive on the Mall by an ancient basilica in gothic architecture and other buildings, Visit Raja Bazar the ancient city center in the old Rawalpindi city. Raja Bazar retains the hoary fervor with its lively oriental markets in bright, tinge, simmering with folks from different walks of life. Amidst the market festooned with garland shops and stalls of fortune tellers, chewing tobacco and snuff sellers, money changers, we might come across the astonishing sight, of a snake charmer with his cobras (gypsy people of dravadian ethnic origin). Proceed to Islamabad the modern capital of Pakistan, drive past by Government buildings, the presidency planned an American architect EwardDurrel stone. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and secretariats blocks planned by a group Italian architects Fernorolli, Rosils and Geo point .We arrive at Shah Faisal Mosque the largest in the world. Proceed to Damin-a-Koh an elevated  developed as a rendezvous of various cultures and ultimately a cosmopolitan metropolis. We drive back to the hotel. Over night at hotel.

Day 02   Islamabad-Peshawer                                       

Drive to Peshawer 170 KM.En-route visit Taxila site and museum. Taxila remained a cultural center for thousands of years and was visited by Alexander the great during his sojourn to Asia. It retained its significance in history by being the center for Buddhist teaching     in earlier centuries of Christian era.
Visit Taxila museum, archaeological sites of the buddhist university monastery of Jaulian and the cradle of Greco-Buddhist school of Gandhara Art, later visit Mohra Moradu and Sirkap sites. Proceed to Saidu Shariff, enroute visit Takht-a-bahi Monastery of 45 AD,visit Shangerdara Stupa and Churchill picket. Arrive Peshawar and transfer to hotel for over night.

Day 03   Peshawer

Morning visit to Khyber pass or Darra Adam Khil after noon city tour. Peshawar is situated at the southern edge of Central Asia and is the last of the Oriental Bazaar town still surviving. Walking through the markets is like visiting a museum of faces as you see people from so many ethnic diversities making their day to day bargains. In one crowd you can see, Pashtuns Afghans, Tajiks, Uzbeks, Russians, Hazaara, Kazakhs to name few. Peshawar is the orient, like 100 year old specimen of Bokharan Rugs and antique jewelry.To look for all the treasures under one roof we will take you to visit Peshawar museum. Over night in hotel.

Day 04   Peshawer-Saidu Shariff

Depart for Saidu Shariff (Swat) via Takht-i-Bahi, Upon arrival at Saidu Shariff transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 05   Saidu Shariff-Chitral

Early morning depart for Chitral via Dir and Lowari Pass offering picturesque views of thickly wooded green slopes with cedar trees. On arrival at Chitral transfer to hotel.Overnight at hotel.

Day 06   Chitral-Bomburet

Depart for Bomburet valley of Kalash,On arrival camp at Bomburet, visit the Kalash village and meet the people. Overnight in tents.

Day 07   Bomburet-Mastuj

Depart for Mastuj in the upper Chitral, on arrival camp near the river, overnight in tents.

Day 08   Mastuj-Phander

Depart for Phander a beautiful spot with a lake full brown trout, Phander often remembered as little Kashmir for its scenic charm. Overnight in tents.

Day 09   Phander-Gilgit

Depart for Gilgit the capital town of Northern Areas and an important junction on the Karakoram Highway ancient silk route since early times. On arrival transfer to hotel.Overnight at hotel.

Day 10  Gilgit-Karimabad (Hunza)

Depart for Karimabad the capital of Hunza valley and the abode of people known for longevity of life, surrounded by peaks and glaciers, overnight at hotel.

Day 11   Karimabad-Gilgit

Return to Gilgit. Overnight at hotel.

Day 12   Gilgit-Skardu

Depart for Skardu the Capital of Baltistan and anciently known as the Little Tibet. This is the gate way to K-2 the second highest mountain of the world. Upon arrival transfer to hotel.Overnight at hotel.

Day 13 Skardu-Khaplu

Depart for Khaplu with a superb scenic splendor, perched on the lower flanks of Karakorams is a terrestrial paradise and abode of a hospitable people who speak an archaic Tibetan dialect. On arrival at  Khaplu transfer rest house/hotel for the overnight.

Day 14 Khaplu-Skardu

Drive back to Skardu, on arrival transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel.

Day 15 Skardu-Chilas

Depart for Chilas one of the geological areas which provide evidence to collision of continental plates phenomena, here we will explore the original upside of the Kohistan are exposed at Chilas. We will also study the petrography and Buddhist inscription on rocks by the road side dating back from 3rd to 5th century A.D. On arrival at Chilas transfer to hotel for the overnight.

Day 16   Chilas-Naran

Depart for Naran over the Babusar Pass 13600 ft high, today we will drive on a typical jeep road negotiating the famous hairpin bends ascending towards the Babusar village. After the brief stay on the top we will proceed to Naran. This is the ancient jeep road which was the only Jeepable  route connecting the lower indus plains with the Northern areas 1 before the Karakoram Highway was build. Motel for the overnight.

Day 17   Naran-Islamabad

Drive to Islamabad. Overnight hotel. 

Day 18 Islamabad-Onward

Transfer to airport in transit for your onward destination. Assistance at the airport.Note: shorter versions of this program are also available

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