About Pakistan

Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a southern Asian county encircled by India and China to the east, Afghanistan and Iran to the west and Arabian Seato the south. As per 2007 estimates, the population of Pakistanis 164,741,924. Pakistanis the sixth most populated country in the world. It lies on 30 degree north latitudes and 70 degree east longitude. Pakistan covers an area of 803,940 sq km.

Hunza Valley Hunza Hunza Pakistan

Tourism to Pakistan started 4000 years ago with the arrival of the first tourist – the Aryans; they liked our land so much they never left. Next came the Persians, the Greeks, the Bactrians, the white Huns, the Turks, the Moghuls, and the British. But this country, which has been such an old tourist destination, is just now re-emerging on the tourist map. A late arrival but with a promising infrastructure, we can satisfy the most discerning travelers. Here, the tourist searching for the undiscovered, unspoiled gateway can find a vacation full of sublime vistas. Journey to the rugged Karakoram and Hindu Kush Mountains in the north to the historic fort-strewn deserts that sweep towards the south. Pakistan is a year- round destination, with new adventures developing each year. We have sophisticated cities that are modern and cosmopolitan, but still they preserve their age-old bazaars and ancient monuments that take days to explore. We have intriguing villages, with mysterious cultures that speak quietly of the past, clinging to old fashioned traditions that turn every visitor into a fascinated anthropologist. Everywhere in the cities, in the villages, on the roads that take you here to there – you will find a level of hospitality that is hard to forget.

Situated at the crossroads of history, Pakistan is a land of marvelous contrasts. From its southern desert plains to the terraced green fields of Askoli in the north (the last village before K-2), Pakistan drenches the senses with mountain majesty and exotic tribal cultures. Moving north, the endless white sandy beaches of the Arabian Sea give way to the Punjabi plains and vast agricultural lands, then the great gash of the Indus Gorge and countless snow-locked peaks along the border with China north, India east, Afghanistan west and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Through the ages many civilizations settled along the banks of the mighty Indus River. The Indus, father of rivers, begins its journey in the remote peaks of the Sub-continent. Coursing in rolling fury through the Indus Gorge, the Indus is edged by the fragile ribbon of the Karakoram Highway (KKH). Today, the heirs of these ancient cultures, Baltis, Hunzakuts, Pushtuns and a host of others still practice their timeless ways of life along the KKH.

Each year millions flock to the European Alps and thousands visit Nepal. Only a few of the well-informed and adventurously curious are fortunate enough to experience the stunning “Roof of the World” that is Northern Pakistan. Here four great mountain ranges meet: The Himalaya, Karakoram, Hindukush and Pamir Mountains. Embracing many of the planet’s highest peaks, the Pamir Knot of Pakistan is the incredible confluence of these four great ranges. Of the fourteen highest peaks on earth, Pakistan has five, two of which are the sublime pyramid of K2 (at 8611 m) the second highest mountain on earth and the most dangerous mountain in the world, Nanga Parbat (8125m). In addition, the area contains some of the longest and largest glacier systems outside of the polar regions.

Pakistani hospitality and friendliness are legendary. Far from the civil unrest that occasionally plagues Karachi and many other Asian cities, the mountain people of Northern Pakistan look forward to welcoming you into their midst. Come join them in a world of unparalleled beauty and drama, learn and witness for yourself what so few others have experienced.

Situated between Central and Southern Asia, Pakistan stretches from the golden beaches of the Arabian Sea to the  formidably high mountains of Central Asia. With a population of nearly 130 million people,  covering an area of 891,940 sq. km and  bordered by China, Iran, Afghanistan and India.

The great Mughals came to power in early 16th century and ruled the area for the next 200 years. Their reign has left a legacy of magnificent places, forts, mosques and gardens which can still be seen in Lahore, Thatta,  Malki and many other places in Pakistan. The exotic Shalimar Gardens, the Badshahi Mosque, the fabulous Lahore Fort, Jehangir’s Tomb and many other masterpieces are examples of superb Muslim Architecture.  Later, the  Sikhs and then the British ruled it. Finally, in 1947, Pakistan came into existence as a brand new modern sovereign state under the inspiring leadership of Mohammad Ali Jinnah the founder of Pakistan. As an entity, Pakistanis a newcountry which emerged on the world map in 1947. Nevertheless, it has an ancient history and a very rich cultural past going back to prehistoric times; when stone-age man roamed the Potohar plateau and Soan valleys of Pakistan, fashioning stone tools out of chert and quartzite. With a recorded history going back to 7000 B.C, the Land of Pakistan has seen many great civilizations prosper and perish in its lap.

It was the center of some of the world’s greatest civilizations. The remarkable Indus Valley Civilization flourished along the banks of river Indus even 5000 years ago. It’s excavated cities of Moenjodaro and Harappa (2500-1500 B.C) in Sindh and Punjab reveal a well organized urban community with their own script, a unified system of weights and measures, and a high level of artistic activity. From 6th century B.C, the Gandhara civilization flourished here for many centuries (reaching a remarkable level of maturity) and is particularly remembered for its Buddhist sculpture & art. During this period, thousands of monasteries and stupas were built and lavishly adorned with statues of Buddha and narrative scenes from the life of “Buddha in his many reincarnations”. The great cultural and spiritual Gandhara sites of Taxila, Takht-Bhai and Udegram are renowned for the vibrant Buddhist art and sculpture.

The next major influence coming to this area was Islam. This religion was actually introduced with the arrival, in 711 A.D., of a young (17 years old only) Arab General, Muhammad Bin Qasim and his army. From 11th century A.D., several dynasties of Muslim Kings ruled this land, leaving behind various masterpieces of architecture & art in Multan, Uch and many other places of Pakistan.

Pakistan is a land of diversity and has been blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and awe-inspiring outdoor areas. From the unspoilt golden beaches of the Makran Coast, across the desolate deserts of Baluchistan and Sindh and through the fertile plains of the Punjab onto the mighty snow capped peaks of the Karakoram, Pakistan is a land of many lands. The vast contrasts in the landscape are matched only by the diverse cultures of all the people who have chosen to settle here: at the cross roads of Asia.

There are few areas in the world where mountains rise in such awesome splendour as they do in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Here, 4 of the world’s greatest mountain ranges (Himalayas, Karakoram, Hindukush and Pamirs) converge. It is one of the most isolated and rugged places on earth and it have the greatest concentration of high peaks in the world. Almost 37 of the worlds 100 highest peaks repose in these ranges; 5 of them over 8000 meters and about 108 over 7000 meters. It has also the highest concentration of glaciers outside the Polar Regions with 7 of them being over 40 kilometers long.

Hidden amid this network of snow-capped peaks and striated glaciers are beautiful mountain valleys (Chitral, Ghizar, Yasin, Ishkomen, Gilgit, Hunza, Skardu and Khaplu) populated by resilient but hospitable peoples. These valleys were almost inaccessible until recently but are now being connected with the outside world by jeep-tracks & roads that enable the spirited to explore their mysteries. The Silk Route, connecting Pakistan with China, passes through this area. Having been built upon one of the world’s most difficult and unstable terrain; it is a miracle of engineering. 1284 kilometers long, the latter took 20 years to be built.

Pakistan’s vast deserts and plains, and its rugged hills and towering mountains, have conspired with the legacies of the region’s rich past to provide a fascinating land in which to travel. On one hand is the brutally stark yet splendid isolation of the Northern Areas and of Baluchistan wild deserts while on the other is a remarkably sophisticated and complex cultural heritage which providesPakistanwith the right to claim to have been a veritable cradle of ancient civilization.