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Bhir mound Taxila
The Bhir Mound is the oldest of the ruins of Taxila in the Punjab province of Pakistan.

The ruins of Bhir Mound were excavated from 1913-1925 by Sir John Marshall. The work was continued by Sir Mortimer Wheeler in 1944-1945 and by Dr. Mohammad Sharif in 1966-1967. Further excavations were performed in 1998-2000 by Bahadur Khan and in 2002 by Dr. Ashraf and Mahmud-al-Hassan.

The ruins of the town form an irregular shape measuring around 1 km from north to south and about 600 meters from east to west. The oldest part or layer of these ruins is from the sixth and fifth centuries BC. The second layer is from the fourth century BC and existed at the time of the invasion of Alexander the Great. The third layer is from the time of the Maurya kings of India (third century BC). The fourth and topmost stratum contains the constructions from time after the Mauryan period.

The streets of the city show that they were narrow and the house plans were very irregular. There is little evidence of planning - most of the streets are very haphazard. The houses had no windows to the outside. They opened towards inner courtyards. The courtyard was open and 15 to 20 rooms were arranged around it.


Day 1:  Arrival Islamabad transfer to Hotel for overnight stay

Day 2:  Islamabad - Taxila

After breakfast we will start our tour by visiting the historical and once Buddhist Kingdom Taxila, it is 39 Km from Islamabad, on arrival at Taxila we will visit the rich Taxila museum, some of the artifact found during excavation in Taxila are displayed in the museum and it has a very good collecting of Gandhara art with pictures of the archeological sites of the Region., afternoon lunch at PTDC motel, after lunch visit the historical sites of Taxila first Bhir mound.

Bhir mound Taxila: Situated on small plateau Bhir mound is the remains of once a hustling bustling city flourished in 6th century B.C, it was in its peak till Alexander the great arrive on 327 B.C, King Ambi was the ruler of Bhir mound when Alexander arrived in Taxila, he was welcomed here , and this was the main reason of his down fall, after this welcome, some of the Alexander’s Army refused to go further and decided to built a new city with the name of Sirkap, after the Bactrian Greek’s built Sirkap the oldest City Bhir mound which had no match to Sirkap with modern neglected and the down fall Bhir mound started, in Bhir mound there is very little left to see but the foundation stones gives you the evidence that the street were narrow houses plans were irregular.

Dharmarajika Stupa: Dharmarajika is relic Stupa; it was build by King Ashoka of Mouryan dynasty in 3rd century B.C, it is the earliest settlement of the Buddhist era which later flourished in Far East, it has many memorials and votive stupas near the relic stupa, during 2nd century A.D it was the largest shrine there are lot of small settlements or the Monks chapels but only foundations are still intact. After noon return to Taxila dinner and overnight at PTDC Motel Taxila.

Day 3:  Taxila visit Julian Mohra Muradu and Sirkap and afternoon drive to Peshawar

After break fast start with the visit of Sirkap the Greek city, it’s well planned city the columns and the remains of a double headed eagle gives us the advance of the Bactrian Greeks, it is not say that the city entirely Greek it has the Indian influence.

The city was has seen 3 different times the Corinthian ceythian and the Parthian dynasties, after the visit we will move to Julian.

Julian was the first ever a ministry which had played a modern roll of university, the monastery has one relic stupa surrounded by many memorial stupas built by the devotees’ visited during 2nd century till the white Hanz arrived in 5th century A.D., it has monastic complex monks chapels, a water pound, an assembly hall and the kitchen next to man monastery, it is believed that almost 150 monks use to study at the monastery. (Lot of history we can explain during tour). After a short visit of Mohra Muradu site before returning to hotel for lunch and then drive to Peshawar.

After lunch drive to Peshawar via G.T road, it connects Kabul via Khyber Pass to Kolkata.( the road which has lot of history and saw may invaders , traders and travelers travelling from Kabul to Kolkata India and to Europe, that includes Alexander the great ,Chandragupta Moria, Sher Shah Suri ( who built the Rothas fort), Mehmood of Ghaznavi, Moguls, Ranjeet Singh, The British colonial armies.

Afternoon we will reach Peshawar, transfer to Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 4:  full day Visit of Peshawar

After breakfast we will visit the Peshawar museum, which has 3 different portion dedicated to one for Gandhara Era, one for the Ethnic and tribes of North West Frontier and Kalash and Chitral.

Afternoon visit to historic Qissa-Khawani bazaar( the story tellers bazaar) , once a hustling bustling street with traders sharing their stories to traders coming from opposite direction sitting in the small tea shops while there horses, camels tied up and fed in the Caravan Saries. Peshawar is very rich and an identical Mogul city like Lahore and Delhi inside with 11 walls, which used to closed after 10 pm at night about 120 years a go, evening return to hotel for dinner and night stay.
Day 5:  Peshawar – Swat via Charsaddah, Takhtibai

After breakfast drive to Swat via Charsaddah (the modern in older times it was called Pushkalavati the capital of Ghandhara), Shabaz ghadi (the little town which as the inscriptions of Kharoshti written in a Stone by the Buddhist pilgrims in the era of Ashoka Kingdom), Takhtibai, it is situated on a mountain top with lot of stupas and place for meditation and Monks chapels, after visiting continue drive to Swat via Malakand Pass, a short stop at the pass, this was the pass where Churchill fought the armies of Wali of Swat a young lieutenant, drive to Swat on arrival transfer to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6:  Swat City Excursion

After breakfast drive to Swat Museum and the Buddhist sites for full day evening dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 7:  Swat Islamabad via Malakand

After breakfast drive back to Islamabad via Malakand pass Nowshera Attock, arrive Islamabad transfer to Hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 8:  Full excursion to Rothas Fort and Mankiala Stupa

After breakfast we will begin our day with an excursion to Mankiala stupa (the eastern end of the Gandhara kingdom, it is a relic stupa stand alone in field of Potohar plateau, after a short stop continue drive to Rothas Fort, on arrival at Rohtas we will start visiting the Hawaili Man Singh, and all the gates and then return to Islamabad for overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 9:  Islamabad Rawalpindi City Sightseeing - flight back

Morning Twin city sight seeing with colorful truck art market in Rawalpindi the British colonial town and Islamabad the modern City of Pakistan with Lok Virsa art museum and the Damane-Koh , the view point on the foot hills of Islamabad, evening drive to Islamabad airport for flight to the destination.
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