Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour

Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour

Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour


From $1,195USD




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Venture through the cities and monuments of the Gandhara region

Land in Lahore, an ancient bustling city filled with gorgeous mosques and forts.

Explore the Taxila Museum, Swat Museum, Khani Bazaar, Peshawar Museum, and other important sites.

Admire a collection of gorgeous mosques and monuments that date back to the medieval period.

Go sightseeing at well-preserved monasteries, like the impressive Takht-e-Bahi.

Gandhara was an ancient region in northwest Pakistan that surrounded the Peshawar Valley. It was famed for its art, influenced by ancient Greek style. This flourishing cultural region connected trade routes, allowed Buddhism to thrive until the introduction of Islam, and allowed for the creation of countles mosques, museums, monuments, and forts. All these cultural and historical riches are the focus of the Gandhara Civilization Tour.

This sightseeing tour covers an impressive range of highlights: the thriving ancient city of Lahore, Islamabad, Katas Raj Temple, Peshawar, Swat, the monastery of Takht-e-Bahi, the Taxila Museum, and even more. Gorgeous mosques, monasteries, bazaars, towns, and cities all await on this incredible tour of northwestern Pakistan.

Ancient Gandhara Cultural TourItinerary

Day 1 Welcome at Lahore Airport and City Tour

Welcome at Lahore airport transfer to hotel. After refreshment, you will start your exploration to Delhi Gate, one of the thirteen gates of Lahore, then walk to the old Spice Market from the Mughal Empire era to experience the mesmerizing colors and aromas of the spices.

Stop for lunch and then continue to Wazir Khan Mosque which is built with a beautiful mosaic. We will stop at Shahi Hammam, designed hundreds of years ago as a public bathhouse to service both the visiting travelers as well as the inhabitants of the city. Enjoy the majestic Lahore Fort citadel which is a Unesco World Heritage Monument. After the Citadel Shish Mahal, you will cross over to the Badshahi Mosque. The mosque was constructed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb between 1671 and 1673 and was the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986. It was built with red sandstone with white marble inlay and can accommodate 100,000 worshippers.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Lahore
Lunch, dinner

Day 2 Lahore Full City Tour

After breakfast, you will continue your adventure to Data Darbar Shrine, the largest Sufi Shrine in South Asia. It was built to house the remains of Ali Hujwiri, commonly known as Ganj Baksh, a Sufi saint from Ghazni in present-day Afghanistan, who is believed to have lived on the site in the 11th century CE.

You’ll then proceed to the Tomb of Jahangir. Construction of the mausoleum lasted 10 years from 1627 to 1637. It occupies a vast quadrangle measuring 600 gaz (approximately 500 meters) to a side and is subdivided into four chahar baghs (four-part gardens). A fountain occupies the center of each of the chahar baghs and in between the avenue, creating a ring of 8 fountains around the central tomb.

You will proceed to the Unesco World Heritage site of Shalamar Garden, covering 16 hectares and is arranged in three terraces descending from the south to the north.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Lahore
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 Drive to Islamabad

Drive to Islamabad, en-route stopping at Katas Raj Temple. The Katas Raj Temples, also known as Qila Katas, are several Hindu temples connected to one another by walkways. The temples form a complex surrounding a pond named Katas which is regarded as sacred by Hindus.

You’ll eat dinner in the open air at Monal Restaurant Islamabad.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Islamabad
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Drive to Peshawar and City Tour

Drive to Peshawar and enjoy lunch and a city tour of Peshawar, which includes Bala Hisar Fort, Kissa Khani bazaar, Peshawar Museum, and Mohabat Khan Mosque.

Peshawar is the capital of the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and also serves as the administrative center and economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Situated in a broad valley near the eastern end of the historic Khyber Pass, Peshawar's recorded history dates back to at least 539 B.C.E., making it the oldest city in Pakistan and one of the oldest in South Asia. Peshawar is the largest city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and according to the last census is the ninth-largest city of Pakistan.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Peshawar
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 Drive to Swat for Monastery and Museum Visits

After breakfast, depart for Swat, and on the way, visit the well-preserved monastery of Takht-e-Bahi. In the afternoon, visit Swat Museum with its nice collection of Gandhara sculptures collected from some of the Buddhist sites in the valley. A few coins and weapons are also displayed as well as local embroidery, carved wood and tribal embroidery.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Swat
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 Drive to Islamabad and Taxila Tour

After breakfast, drive to Islamabad, stopping at Taxila to explore this fascinating Buddhist university town, dating back to the Gandaharan era of Alexander the Great. Most of the archaeological sites of Taxila (600 BC to 500 AD) are located around the museum. For over 1000 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 30km around Taxila.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Islamabad
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 7 Sightseeing in Islamabad and Rawalpindi

This morning you will visit some of the famous sights of Islamabad, including the Faisal Mosque, the 5th largest mosque in the world. You will also take time to visit the Lok Virsa Museum and Pakistan Monument.

After lunch you will proceed to visit Rawalpindi, a lively, bustling city with crowded streets and colorful bazaars, which should appeal to anyone with the desire to see the real Pakistan. The buzzing Rajah Bazaar is a kaleidoscope of people and merchandise spreading in every direction from chaotic Fowara Chowk. You could spend hours exploring the colorful, crowded streets and buy anything from batteries to a new set of teeth. Dotted around are crumbling stone towers marking old Hindu temples.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Islamabad
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 8 Departure

Your tour ends after breakfast with a ride to the Islamabad airport to depart.

Overnight Location

Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour Price and Dates

This guided tour in Pakistan is always run as a private tour for your group only and the price per person depends on the size of your group.

Prices below are per person:

  • Guided group of 2: $1,850USD per person
  • Guided group of 3: $1,525USD per person
  • Guided group of 4: $1,295USD per person
  • Guided group of 5-6: $1,195USD per person
  • Guided group of 7+: on request
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Accommodation on the Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour

This tour is based in hotels. Hotels on this trip are 2 to 5-star and offer modern conveniences that can make this trip more pleasant. Rooms may have fireplaces or access to amenities such as hot tubs, steam rooms, or private decks to lounge on.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travelers
Rooms are double occupancy. You can pay a supplement of $340USD to have a private room in a hotel where possible. Solo travellers may be required to pay a supplement.

Luxus Grand, Lahore

This fancy hotel has a nice pool, well-appointed rooms with lots of space, and a high level of service available to its guests.

Hill View Hotel

Enjoy modern comforts for your first night in Islamabad at the Hill View Hotel, a simple hotel that offers a hot tub to relax in.

Pearl Continental, Peshawar

The Pearl Continental offers clean, sophisticated rooms, nice gardens with fountains to walk through, an outdoor pool, and 5-star service.

Night 5

Serena Hotel, Saidu

This hotel is decorated in traditional Pakistani style, with rich, cost colors in the rooms and stately curb appeal. It’s a TripAdvisor’s Traveller’s Choice hotel.

Hill View Hotel

Enjoy modern comforts for your first night in Islamabad at the Hill View Hotel, a simple hotel that offers a hot tub to relax in.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour?


7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners are included.


Accommodations for 7 nights are included.

Transportation during the Tour

Transport for you and your luggage is included in the tour. Air-conditioned transport for airport pick up and drop off are also included.

Also Included

  • Professional English-speaking guide
  • Road taxes
  • All fort entrance fees
  • Toll taxes
  • Parking fees

Not included

  • Tips for guide and driver
  • Optional excursions or deviations from the scheduled tour
  • All personal expenses
  • Room service, gratuities for personal services
  • Any extra cost due to unforeseen reason
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not previously mentioned
  • Anything not mentioned as included

Optional Extras

  • Additional nights before or after the tour
  • Single occupancy upgrades where available

Frequenty Asked Questions about Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour

How hard is the Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour?

We rate this tour as a 1/5. This is an easy sightseeing tour with no physical demands.

Can I customize this tour?

Yes! Please contact us with your preferred tour specifications and we’ll adapt this itinerary to your needs.

Do I need a visa to travel to Pakistan?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour?

7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 7 dinners are included.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip. Get your travel insurance.

How do I get to Lahore to start this tour?

Fly into Lahore International Airport (LHE) where you will be welcomed and picked up.

Is the Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tourin English?

Yes, the tour guide is English-speaking.

Where does the Ancient Gandhara Cultural Tour end?

The tour ends in Islamabad where you will be dropped off for your flight.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Pakistan?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Pakistan?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.


All tours on 10Adventures are operated by highly vetted local tour operators and guides.

Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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From $1,195USD




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Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 1/5. This is an easy sightseeing tour with no physical demands.

Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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