Pakistan is a land of vast deserts and ancient civilisations, imbued with the mysticism of the Sufi tradition. Thousands of years before western civilisation, some of the first cities were founded here, and its history encompasses the armies of Alexander the Great and the Mughal Empire. On this journey you’ll discover the surprising history of a much maligned country, starting in one of Asia’s most populous cities, the port of Karachi. After exploring this ever changing city we visit the tombs and shrines of Chaukhandi and Makli en route to Mohenjo Daro, one of the world’s great archaeological sites and dating back to the 3rd millennium BC. From here we head to Sukkur to look for the endangered Indus River dolphin, then make our way through the Cholistan desert, visiting the enormous Derawar Fort, rising from the sands. At Multan – the ‘city of saints’ – we discover remarkable shrines and mosques, and see how Islam is fused with elements of Sufism, then visit Harappa – another of the great ancient cities of the Indus Valley, providing a tantalising window into the past glories of the region. In Lahore – perhaps the greatest of the Moghul dynasty’s cities.
we explore its atmospheric bazaars and striking historic sites, and then make our way on to the modern capital Islamabad. Nearby are the remnants of the Gandharan Buddhist civisilation at Taxila and Takht e Bhai – yet another part of the country’s historical sites.