The society and culture of Pakistan comprises numerous diverse cultures and ethnic groups: the Punjabis, Kashmiris, Sindhis in east, Muhajirs, Makrani in the south; Baloch and Pashtun in the west; and the ancient Dardic, Wakhi and Burusho communities in the north. These Pakistani cultures have been greatly influenced by many of the surrounding countries’ cultures, such as the Turkic peoples, Persian, Afghan, and Indians of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East.
In ancient times, Pakistan was a major cultural hub. Many cultural practices and great monuments have been inherited from the time of the ancient rulers of the region. One of the greatest cultural influences was that of the Persian Empire, of which Pakistan was a part. In fact, the Pakistani satraps were at one time the richest and most productive of the massive Persian Empire. Other key influences include the Afghan Empire, Mughal Empire and later, the short lived but influential, the British Empire.
Pakistan has a cultural and ethnic background going back to the Indus Valley Civilization, which existed from 2800–1800 B.C., and was remarkable for its ordered cities, advanced sanitation, excellent roads, and uniquely structured society. Pakistan has been invaded many times in the past, and has been occupied and settled by many different peoples, each of whom have left their imprint on the current inhabitants of the country. Some of the largest groups were the ‘Aryans’, Greeks, Scythians, Persians, White Huns, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Afghans, Buddhists and other Eurasian groups, up to and including the British, who left in the late 1940s.
The region has formed a distinct cultural unit within the main cultural complex of South Asia, the Middle East and Central Asia from the earliest times, and is analogous to Turkey’s position in Eurasia. There are differences in culture among the different ethnic groups in matters such as dress, food, and religion, especially where pre-Islamic customs differ from Islamic practices.
Their cultural origins also reveal influences from far afield, including Tibet, Nepal, India and eastern Afghanistan. All groups show varying degrees of influence from Persia, Turkestan and Hellenistic Greece. Pakistan was the first region of South Asia to receive the full impact of Islam and has developed a distinct Islamic identity, historically different from areas further west.
Diwan-e-Khas: The hall of special audience with the emperor Bahauddin Zakariya Ancient sites in Pakistan include: Zorastrian Fire temples, Islamic centres,shia shrines/ Sufi Shrines, Buddhist temples, Sikh, Hindu and Pagan temples and shrines, gardens, tombs, palaces, monuments, and Mughal and Indo-Saracenic buildings. Sculpture is dominated by Greco-Buddhist friezes, and crafts by ceramics, jewellery, silk goods and engraved woodwork and metalwork.
Pakistani society is largely multilingual, multi-ethnic and multicultural. Though cultures within the country differ to some extent, more similarities than differences can be found, as most Pakistanis are mainly of Aryan heritage or have coexisted side by side along the Indus River for several thousand years, or both. However, over 60 years of integration, a distinctive “Pakistani” culture has sprung up, especially in the urban areas where many of the diverse ethnic groups have coexisted and ithe country now having a literacy rate of 55%, up from 3% at the time of independence. Traditional family values are highly respected and considered sacred, although urban families increasingly form nuclear families, owing to socio-economic constraints imposed by the traditional culture of the extended family.
The past few decades have seen emergence of a middle class in cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Hyderabad, Quetta, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Peshawar, Sialkot, Abbottabad and Multan. Rural areas of Pakistan are regarded as more conservative, and are dominated by regional tribal customs dating back hundreds if not thousands of years.
Pakistan’s culture is again unique like the rest of the country. Pakistan’s geography is the meeting point of South Asia, Central Asia and West Asia/Gulf. Its culture could be termed as a combination of sub continental, Islamic, Regional, English and more recently global influences. Let us consider them piecemeal. The newly born Pakistan had to have a sub continental leaning, having been a part of for last 5000 years of its civilization. However, the Indus Valley, present day Pakistan, culture was different from the rest of North India or South India.
Pakistan homes to some of worlds ancient civilizations, which got settled along the Indus River some 4500 years back. Indus Valley Civilization, which was considered to be the most modern and developed. In the words of Sir Mortimer Wheeler, famed British Archaeologist, Pakistan enjoys a high international position in the history of past achievements by virtue of possessing the greatest vestiges of one of the first three mature civilizations of the world.
Karakoram adventure holidays comfortable yet adventurous journey of 15 days is a fascinating combination of historical sights along with Museums, Forts which gives an unforgettable experience of how this ancient civilization maintained their daily life.
|Day 1||Arrive Lahore|
|Day 4||Multan– Bahawalpur|
|Day 5||Bahalwalpur-Derawar Fort – Bahawalpur|
|Day 6||Bahalwalpur-Uch-Mithan Kot|
|Day 7||Mithan Kot-Sukkar|
|Day 9||Sukkar-Manchar Lake– Hyderabad|
|Day 10||Hyderabad-Keenjer Lake – Karachi|
|Day 12||Fly or Drive Karachi-Gwadar|
|Day 14||Gwadar – Karachi Flight|
Baltistan is a land a high mountains and great culture. There were several kingdoms in this region in the past. The old rules left their marks by building beautiful forts. The Aga Khan Development Network’s Cultural winghas taken a gient effort in restoring three of the very famous forts Baltit Fort,Khaplu Fort and Shigar for. This tour will show you these two forts and will also show you probably worlds most beautiful terrain in the northern Pakistan.
|Day 1||Arrival in Islamabad.|
|Day 2||Fly to Skardu.|
|Day 3||Skardu to Khaplu|
|Day 4||Khaplu to Hushe Valley &return via picnic spot at the bank of river Shyok ( Salling) Khaplu.|
|Day 5||Khaplu to Thalla valley &return back to Khaplu.|
|Day 6||Khaplu to Khaplu Brokk &return back to Khaplu.|
|Day 7||Khaplu to Skardu via Shiger Valley.|
|Day 8||Fly back to Islamabad.|
|Day 9||Destination Flight|
Baltistan, a region of the Gilgit Baltistan of Pakistan, is our main trekking area. Situated in the heart of the Karakoram, it has the greatest concentration of lofty peaks on Earth. Within an area of 26,000 square kilometers, lie 60 mountain peaks above 7,000 meters, four of which tower above 8,000 meters: K-2 (8,611m), Gasherbrum I (8,068m), Broad Peak (8,047m) and Gasherbrum II (8,035m). Bordered to the North by the Sinkiang province of China, to the East by Ladakh, to the south by Kashmir and to the west by Gilgit-Hunza, Baltistan has remained largely isolated from the outside world.
Very little is known of the origins of the local people, but the cultural traits, the features of the indigenous population and the similarity of the Balti language to archaic Tibetan has earned this area the nickname of “Little Tibet”.
The capital of Baltistan is Skardu, located near the confluence of the Indus and Shigar Rivers. At an altitude of 2,300 meters, Skardu is surrounded by sharp peaks in breathtaking hues of ochre, grey, violet and black. The contrast of sand dunes with green and yellow fields alongside the river banks of the swirling, roaring Indus, all amidst a backdrop of ragged, snow-capped peaks, is a sight defying imagination.
Khaplu has called many names like “ Shyok Valley”,” Ghangche” and Little Tibet. Khaplu is Head Quarter of Ghangche District. In Khaplu there are many historical places like Chaqchan Mosque a most beautiful mosque in Asia (700 years old founded by Syed Ali Hamdani, the first Islam preacher in this area), Raja Palace is a beautiful building, is the last &best Tibetan style palace in Pakistan, and Khanqah of Khaplu, is attributed to Syed Muhammad Shah S/O Syed Mukhtar “ Peer Norbaksha “ &was built in 1712 AD / 1124 AH,. and so many other historical and Architectural building placed in Khaplu.
Khaplu is the gateway to Masherbrum Peak, K7, K-6, Namika, Chogolisa for mountaineers and Gondogoro la, Gondogoro Peak, Saraksa Glacier, Gondogoro Glacier, Masherbrum Glacier, Aling Glacier, Kandey Nangma, Machlu Broq, Thaely La, Daholi lake, Kharfaq Lake, Ghangche Lake and Bara Lake for trekkers, Khaplu is a very beautiful place for hiking like Khaplu Braq, Khaplu Thung and Kaldaq. One most grade opportunity for rafting on Shyok River, as well as the rock climbing places like Biamari Thoqsikhar and DowoKraming ( Hot Spring ). At 2555 meters, Khaplu is cooler than Skardu, with the friendly character of the people and superb walks along irrigation channels; Khaplu is well worth visiting and the nicest place to stay in Baltistan.
|Day 1||Arrival in Islamabad.|
|Day 2||Fly to Skardu or drive to Chilas in case of flight cancellation.|
|Day 3||Free day at Skardu or drive from Chilas to Skardu.|
|Day 4||Drive to Khaplu via Shigar Valley.|
|Day 5||Drive to Hushe &back to Khaplu.|
|Day 6||Drive back to Skardu.|
|Day 7||Excursion Satpara Lake &Deosai Plains.|
|Day 8||Fly to Islamabad or drive to Chilas in case of flight cancellation.|
|Day 9||Day free or complete road journey from Chilas to Islamabad.|
|Day 10||Destination Flight.|