PAKISTAN for TOURISM A Presentation by: Visa Guide Mudassar LonePlease check for recent updates as the rules may change with the passage of time
located in the hub of the South Asian sub-continenthome of rich historical and cultural heritage ANDinteresting in its own wayPakistan used to be the home to one of the globesmost-initial places where people had come to live andbuild homesthe great Indus Valley Civilization in the pre-historicera, the centre of old empires, religions and cultures.
Strategically being located at the historical crossings,it connects Southeast Asia with Middle East and Iranin the West with accessibility to the landlockedAfghanistan and Central Asian Republics.This land has been a witness to the historical andcivilization changes with immense impacts on itspeople as well as their language and culture.
TourismThe Pakistan tourist destinations comprise of popularattractions which are major points of sightseeing inPakistan. There are plenty of historical sites and idyllicspots like mountains, rivers and varied flora andfauna. The idyllic atmosphere matched with thediverse culture and rich historical traditions havemade the country an ideal destination for thousandsof tourists from all over the world. Some of the famusdestinations are:
Pakistan as a tourist destination Pakistan is a special interest destination Its main attractions include adventure tourism in the Northern Areas, cultural and archaeological tourism as found in Taxila, Moenjodaro, Harrappa, and early Muslim and Mughal heritage of Multan, Lahore. The Karakorum Highway has provided a great opportunity for international travelers to explore the unspoiled natural beauty, unique culture and traditions of the Northern Pakistan together with other Silk Route destinations like China, Kirgizstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Primary AttractionsUnique Mountains,Valleys and Glaciers:Northern areas of Pakistan, spread over 72,496 sq. Km.with heights varying from 1000 m to over 8000 meterthe valleys of Gilgit, Hunza and Skardu recall Shangri-La.The people with typical costumes, folk dances, music andsports like polo and buzkashi provide the traveller anunforgettable experience.Nowhere in the world there is such a great concentrationof high mountains, peaks, glaciers and passes exceptPakistan.
Nature And AdventureFrom the mighty stretches of the Karakorams in theNorth to the vast alluvial delta of the Indus river in theSouth, Pakistan remains a land of high adventure andnature. Trekking, mountaineering, white waterrafting, wild boar hunting, mountain and desert jeepsafaris, camel and yak safaris, trout fishing and birdwatching are a few activities which entice theadventure and nature lovers to Pakistan.
Indus Valley CivilizationThe Indus Valley Civilization was at its peak from the 3rd tillthe middle of the 2nd millennium BC Discovered in 1922,Moenjodaro was once a metropolis of great importance,forming part of the Indus Valley Civilization together withHarrappa. Harrappa, another major city of the Indus ValleyCivilization, was surrounded by a massive brick wallfortification. Other features and plan of the city weresimilar to that of Moenjodaro. The Kot Diji culture ismarked by well-made pottery and houses built of mud-bricks on stone foundations.
GILGITThe breath taking 60-minute flight from Islamabad to Gilgit throughthe majestic snowcapped Himalayas and mighty Karakorams is anexciting experience. The Himalayan & Karakoram region consists ofseveral hundred peaks, sixty of which rise higher than 6,700m. Amongthese giants are the famous Nanga Parbat (8,125m), the ninth highestin the world, and K-2 Peak (8,611m), the second highest. This is the land where lofty peaks tower above rich valleys and lakes of great scenic beauty; a paradise for the hikers, trekkers, anglers, mountaineers, adventurers, polo enthusiasts, nature lovers and those interested in observing exotic areas and life styles.
BAGROTA beautiful village untouched by modern civilization,Bagrot is situated in Gilgit Valley 43 Km from Gilgittown. The narrow valley here presents enchantingmountain scenery and boasts an abundance of fruits,nuts and wild vines. The inhabitants of Bagrot are asimple, likeable people who believe in retaining theirold culture and traditions. A visit to the fascinatingHinarche glacier is particularly recommended.
HUNZASituated in the heart of the Karakorams, the legendary mountainkingdom of Hunza lies on the ancient trade route to Sinkiang; todaythe Karakoram Highway runs along this route. Very few places in theworld compare with this small mountainous region, which was asemi autonomous state but is now fully unified with Pakistan. Hunzais an earthly paradise whose inhabitants are renowned for theirlongevity, their simplicity and natural diet. The scenic beauty of thisarea, with its greenery and snowbound mountains, makes it a trueparadise. During the summer there is an abundance of apricots,peaches, pears and grapes. There are several glaciers and highpeaks around Hunza, the most magnificent being Rakaposhi(7,788m). Hunza is also known for its unpolluted mountain air,which caused this area to be known as “Shangri-La”.
KAGHAN VALLEYOne of the pleasures of visiting the Kaghan Valley is thepicturesque drive from Rawalpindi to Abbottabad and onwardsto Balakot, transferring to a four-wheel drive vehicle for thecontinuation of the journey to Naran, where the rest houses,hotels and motels are located. The Kaghan Valley is 154 Km long,rising to a height of 4,148m at Babusar Pass in the north. This isan ideal area for trekking and trout fishing and is a paradise forthe botanist.Lake Saif-ul-Muluk is one of the most popular scenic spots in thevalley. This deep blue lake offers an awe-inspiring view ofMountain. Malika Parbat - Queen of Mountains (5,291m).
LAKE SAIF-UL-MULUK A short jeep ride from Naran brings us to enchanting Saif-ul-Muluk Lake. This lovely lake lies at a height of over3,000m above sea level and is guarded by a ring offorbidding peaks. The crystal clear waters of the lakemirror the azure sky, with its complement of fluffy cloudsand reflections of Malika Parbat Peak. The melting snowsand glaciers of the mountains feed the lake through amyriad of torrents and streams.
LALAZARThe idyllic plateau of Lalazar lies at an altitude of3,000 m and is two and half hour jeep drive fromNaran. The air here is cool and pleasantly redolentwith the scent of the surrounding forest of pine andfir. The plateau offers plenty of opportunities forrelaxing, mountaineering, hiking, and naturewatching.
SHOGRANWhile driving to Naran, a visit to Shogran is a highlyrecommended side trip. About 12 km from the villageof Kawai, on the main road, a steep climb throughdense forest of fir and pine brings you to a plateau ofgreat scenic beauty.
MURREE HILLS & AYUBIAA hilly and popular summer resort station, Murree issituated at an altitude of 2,300m above sea level. Only 60km from Rawalpindi, Murree is easily accessible by roadand the scenic journey takes about 02 hours. From themain street of the town a vast panorama of forest-cladridges and majestic pines on thickly wooded slopes is afeast for the eyes. Murree is one of the most popular hillresorts in the country. Ayubia, 20 km from Murree, is acomplex of four small hill resorts, one of which is equippedwith an electric chairlift capable of taking you to the top ofthe peak.
SKARDU Perched at an elevation of 2,286 m, Skardu is set in a landscape oftowering mountains, deep gorges, resounding waterfalls, and calm,deep lakes. Skardu is the district headquarters of Baltistan withXinjiang Province of China to the north, Kashmir to the south, Gilgitto the west and to the east the district of Ladakh in India.Each summer Skardu offers a cool, bracing climate and is amountaineer’s paradise, attracting climbers and trekkers from allover the world. Nowhere else can one find such a large collection oflofty peaks including K-2, which at 8,611 m is rated as the secondhighest mountain in the world. Huge glaciers such as Baltoro, Biafoand Siachen, some of the largest in the world outside the Polarregion, rest in this 16,283 sq. km area of the world.
SWATThe Swat Valley is an enchanting land of magnificent scenicbeauty; a lush green fertile valley, snow capped mountains, fruitladen orchards, and flower covered slopes washed by thesmooth flowing Swat River. Excursions through the Swat Valleyshould include visits to places such as Saidu Sharif, Madyan,Bahrain, Kalam and of course the shopping town of Mingora.Other beautiful spots in the Swat Valley are Miandam (2,072 m),Karakar Pass (1,335 m) Shangla Pass (2,132 m), and Yakh Tangi(2,090 m)
MALAM JABBA Situated on one of the important off shoots of Silk Route,Malam Jabba is not only a winter resort and chairlift facilitybut also a sign of older civilizations. Standing at anelevation of 8700 ft in Hindu Kush Ranges in Swat Valley,Malam Jabba is 314 km from Islamabad and 51 km fromSaidu Sharif on Kalam Road. The road diverts fromManglor to Malam Jabba. The area of Malam Jabbaemerges with gentle slopes, placid plains and torrentialstreams. It is a valley of thick forests of Pine and Deodartrees that cover the whole area. In winter the entire arearemains covered with snow making it an ideal place forskiing.
Accessibility Many international Airlines have regular flights toKarachi linking Pakistan with the rest of the world.Islamabad and Lahore have flight from Bangkok,Dubai, Beijing, Urmuqi, London, Copenhagen,Frankfurt, New York, Paris and Jeddah. PakistanInternational Airlines (PIA), has linked major cities andtourist destinations through daily flights.