Alexander the great foot steps (356-323 BC).

More than any other world conqueror, Alexander III of Macedon, or ancient Macedonia, deserves to be called THE GREAT. Although he died before the age of 33, he conquered almost all the then known world and gave a new direction to history. Alexander was born in 356 BC at Pella, the capital of Macedon, a kingdom north of Hellas (Greece). Under his father, Philip II, Macedon had become strong and united, the first real nation in European history. Greece was reaching the end of its Golden Age. Art, literature, and philosophy were flourishing.. Alexander was handsome and had the physique of an athlete. He excelled in hunting and loved riding his horse Bucephalus. When Alexander was 13 years old, the Greek philosopher

Aristotle came to Macedon to tutor him. Alexander learned to love Homer's 'Iliad'. He also learned something of ethics and politics and the new sciences of botany, zoology, geography, and medicine. His chief interest was military strategy. He learned this from his father, who had reformed the Greek phalanx into a powerful fighting machine. Philip was bent on the conquest of Persia Alexander prepared to carry out his father's bold plan and invaded Persia. Two centuries earlier the mighty Persian Empire had pushed westward to include the Greek cities of Asia Minor--one third of the entire Greek world. In the spring of 334 BC, Alexander crossed the Hellespont (now Dardanelles), He had with him a Greek and Macedonian force of about 30,000 foot soldiers and 5,000 cavalry. The infantry wore armor like the Greek hoplites but carried a Macedonian weapon, the long pike . Alexander himself led the companions, the elite of the cavalry. With the army went geographers, botanists, and other men of science who collected information and specimens for Aristotle. A historian kept records of the march, and surveyors made maps that served as the basis for the geography of Asia for centuries. . At the Granicus River he defeated a large body of Persian cavalry, four times the size of his own. Then he marched southward along the coast, freeing the Greek cities from Persian rule and making them his allies. Alexander charged with his cavalry against Darius, who fled. Alexander then marched southward along the coast of Phoenicia to cut off the large Persian navy from all its harbors. Tyre, on an island, held out for seven months until Alexander built a causeway to it and battered down its stone walls. Late in 332 BC the conqueror reached Egypt. The Egyptians welcomed him as a deliverer from Persian misrule and accepted him as their pharaoh, or king. Near the delta of the Nile River he founded a new city, to be named Alexandria after him . In March (330 BC) he set out to pursue Darius. He found him dying, murdered by one of his attendants. His men now wanted to return home. Alexander, however, was determined to press on to the eastern limit of the world, which he believed was not far beyond the Indus River. He spent the next three years

campaigning in the wild country to the east. There he married a chieftain's daughter, Roxane. In the early summer of 327 BC Alexander reached Pakistan . At the Hydaspes River (now Jhelum) he defeated the army of King Porus whose soldiers were mounted on elephants. Then he pushed farther east. Alexander's men ha now marched 11,000 miles (18,000 kilometers). Soon they refused to go farther, and Alexander reluctantly turned back. He had already ordered a fleet built on the Hydaspes, and he sailed down the Indus to its mouth. Then he led his army overland, across the desert. Many died of hunger and thirst. Alexander reached Susa in the spring of 324 BC. There he rested with his army. The next spring he went to Babylon. Long marches and many wounds had so lowered his vitality that he was unable to recover from a fever. He died at Babylon on June 13, 323 BC. His body, encased in gold leaf, was later placed in a magnificent tomb at Alexandria, Egypt. The three centuries after the death of Alexander are called the Hellenistic Age, from the Greek word hellenizein, meaning "to act like a Greek." During this period, Greek language and culture spread throughout the eastern Mediterranean world.

ITINERARY: DAY 1 : ISLAMABAD

Reception on the arrival at Islamabad Air Port by our Representative in traditional way by presenting a Chitrali woolen cap with a feather to each member of group. Transfer to " Hotel Shalimar". Visit to century old bustling Raja Bazaar famous for handloomed pure cotton cloth, carpets, jewelry Bazaar for gold, silver ornaments and real antique utensils available at bargaining rate. Move to " KABUL "restaurant for lunch to have a real taste of Afghan dishes prepared on char coal. After lunch move to see world biggest " The Shah Faisal Mosque", Daman e koh, Shakir Parian ( evening tea will be served here in a restaurant over looking Rawal Lake ) and than to Super Market to see real market of every type of carpets and rugs gathered from Iran, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Uzbukistan, Kazakystan , China etc. (some are very cheap and other are expensive but bargaining is must ) .Move for Bar b Q dinner in open air restaurant . Rawalpindi is located in route through which Alexander troops marched and camped here after crossing Marghala Pass.

DAY 2 : RAWALPINDI TO PESHAWAR After breakfast move to Margala Pass 28 kms from Rawalpindi and walk on the the foot steps made by cutting the rocks through which whole Alexander's Army marched. Visit a tall granite obelisk erected in 1868 to commemorate General John Nicholson some few yards away . Six kilometers North world oldest existing city of Taxila. In 327 BC Alexander send his half army under Hephaestion to capture Taxila after crossing River Indus at Hund by making boat bridge.He stayed in Taxila with Raja Ambhi and planned a war against Raja Poras .Visit Museum and the world biggest fifth century B.C university famous for mathematics, law,history, medicine, social science , art,astronomy and military tactics. Move to road side restaurant on junction of River Kabul and Indus to consume fresh fried fish with tea. Continue to Peshawar and transfer to Hotel Greens. After lunch visit the Historic city of Peshawar where history goes

back to 5000 years but recorded history is 2000 years old when King Kanishka moved his capital here from North of Kabul. It is a labyrinth of mysterious narrow lanes , colorful bazaar,mosaic of traders,travelers , Pathan and Afghan tribes men. Peshawar is famous for its brass and copper handicrafts the world over. Bar b Q dinner in Afghan Restaurant. DAY 3 : PESHAWAR TO KHYBER PASS After breakfast visit the Peshawar Museum has one of the best collection of Gandhara art in the world and sculpture illustrating the life of Buddha are laid out in chronological order. Move to legendaryKhyber Pass 56 kms from here passing by .Jamrud Fort, Shagai Fort Sphola Stupa, British soldier's Cemetery of 1878. From Torkham observe the plains of Afghanistan. By pass a place called Katta Kushta where a section of Alexander 's army was butchered after a feast by local tribesmen.Traditional Afghan lunch of roasted lamb in Landicotal Bazaar. On schedule dates observe world most adventures Steam Train Safari build by Britisher in 1920 on 92 bridges and 34 tunnels at the than enormous cost of more than US $ 4 million. ( This laying of Railway track was the part of strategic plan to stop Russian invasion on United India in search of warm water coast ) Back to Hotel .Evening free at leisure to explore the cheapest carpet market of the world.( These carpets are made in refugee camps by Afghans to earn their livelihood )

DAY 4 : PESHAWAR TO CHITRAL After breakfast move to Chitral .We stop at Damkot Hill or Churchill Picket .The Aryans settled here in 1700 B.C They built stone houses, elegant grey and black pottery , stone and wooden tools for cultivating the land, copper and gold for making jewelry. They composed the Rigveda the oldest religious text in the world. Alexander passed this way in 327 B.C with his 50,000 man army 35,000 of whom had come from Europe.He captured the town of Massaga now Kat Kala and terrified the defenders with war engines,moveable towers and giant

catapults that he had dragged over the mountains with him .His men took four days to overrun the town defended by 30,000 infantry, 2000 cavalry and 30 elephants. Winston Churchill served here in 1897 and had numerous encounters with local tribes . To know more about him read his book "My Early Life" Published 1930. We again stop at Balambat the route from which Alexander enter from Afghanistan into Pakistan and see excavated graves of Aryans of 1500 B.C The most spectacular section of the journey is Lowari Pass at 10,230 feet . Reach Chitral and move to Hotel Mountain Inn for over night stay.

DAY 5 : CHITRAL TO KALASH VALLEY We will move in a jeep after break fast to Kafir Kalash Valley where live the descendents of Alexander Army's soldiers, still follow their own religion a mixture of animism and Ancestor and fire worship and retained their original culture.These 3000 Kafir Kalash are pale skinned fair hair and blue eyes live in 20 small villages of three valleys of Barir,Bumburet and Rambur. The Kalash women wear magnificent red and white bead necklaces and superb black dresses which flow down their back. These women are open and friendly and you can photograph them. If intimated earlier the head man will arrange for them to dance for you but it is more enjoyable to watch the Kalash woman during their own festival when they drink and dance. There are four annual festivals when there is dancing, singing, drinking and feasting and sacrificial goats are offered on smoke blackened wooden altars.The Kalash graveyards are quite startling where the dead are left in open coffins above the ground and many of the lids have fallen off so that the bones lie exposed to view.After lunch move back to Chitral .Evening free at leisure to explore bazaars for jewelry, semi precious stones, handloomed pure woolen cloth and woolen hats.

DAY 6 : CHITRAL TO SWAT

( Domestic Flight available daily to Peshawar and to Islamabad.) Move to Swat on the same route till Chakdara and than to Saidu Sharif along the River Swat and stop at Birkot Hill .It is the site of the ancient town of Bazira which was sacked by Alexander in 327 B.C .He took the town with difficulty and left a garrison here to keep the inhabitant confined in the citadel and him self moved North to capture the town of Ora. Mount Alam 9222 feet high which is sacred since prehistoric times Southeast of Birkot. It took seven days to evict the Swatis off the rocky pinnacle. Alexander himself was present to superintend. A good account of this battle is given in Arrian,Anabasis( second century AD ). Move to next site the village of Udegram on the site of ancient site of town of Ora where Alexander fought one of his battle in 327 BC.The massive ruins of the castle scattered up the hill side and excavated area is of bazzar of Ora dated back to fourth century BC ( Italian excavators who worked very actively here in 1950s deduced this as the most of the buildings are shops ) Lunch in road side resturant . Move to Hotel White Palace ( Palace of 1st Ruler of Swat now converted into hotel ). Evening free at leisure to explore the town of Saidu Sharif

DAY 7 : SWAT TO ISLAMABAD After breakfast it is an exciting journey to Kwazakhela along river Swat and than a two hours drive on a scenic road through steeply terraced hills and pine forest across the Shangla Pass with view down back to the Swat Valley to Besham. Khwazakhela town is worth exploiting for silver tribal jewellery, locally woven and embroided fabrics, carved wood work, semi precious stones , real ancient coins and arrow spear heads. Besham is located on the greatest wonder of the modern world The Karakoram Highway . It connect Pakistan with China twisting through three great mountain ranges of the world - the Himalayas, Karakoram and Pamirs and follow the ancient Silk Route. The highway is an incrediable feat of engineering and an enduring monument to the 810 Pakistanis and 82 Chinese who died forcing a road through what has reasonable claim to be

the world's most difficult and unstable terrain.Move to Abbottabad along the highway through the off shoots of Himalayan range and stop over for lunch at Hotel Royal. Continue to Islamabad in a two hour journey covering 121 kms.Overnight in Hotel Best Western.

DAY 8 : ISLAMABAD - LAHORE After breakfast departure for Chakwal via Great Trunk Road which was constructed on ancient caravan route by Sher Shah Suri in 16th Century from Kabul to Calcutta .Chakwal is the gateway to Eastern Salt range came into being 600 million years ago when Tethys Ocean eveporated due to collision of Indian plate with Asian plate leaving behind trillion of tons salt in form of mountain range. Ten million years ago the common ancestor s of men roamed here and two million years ago started making stone tools and eating meat. Forts , temples and Buddhist monestriesc thousand of years old are scattered all along the road.Alexander the Great passed through Nandana the traditional pass through the range on his way to do battle with Poras on the bank of Jehelum River in 326 BC.Poras The Great Indian Ruler was waiting on far side of River with a smaller force but hundred of elephants. Poras was defeated badly near village Chillanwalla. Alexander famous horse Boucalifalios was killed here and burried in a stupa still to be found. Alexander personally led the funeral procession. He than entered the great beautiful city of Healcopolis was of striking sight the ceiling were of sold gold embeded with precious stones Hanging from this vast ceiling were 100 chandilers. Alexander stayed here for one year for rest.( The site of this city still not excavated) and from here he sailed to Thatta a famous sea port at the delta of River Indus in a specially prepared fleet . The group than move back to Kallar Kahar for lunch in PTDC Motel and than through the most mordern six lane motorway to Lahore. Over night in Hotel Ambassador. Day 9 : LAHORE

Departure to home or to Delhi, Singapore, Bangkock (4 times a week by air), Khatmandu, New York , Paris etc ( 32 destinations ) by direct flights. INCLUDED : FULL BOARD, ALL THREE MEALS,HOTEL STAY TWIN SHARING, ALL ENTRANCE FEE , PARKING FEE, ENGLISH SPEAKING LOCAL GUIDE.

HISTORICAL TOUR GRADE: EASY LAND COST: US $ 351 P.P DURATION: 9 Days. SEASON: JAN-DEC GROUP SIZE: 6 &ABOVE

TOUR PRICES INCLUDES 1. HOTEL_ACCOMMODATION 2. ALL THREE MEALS 3. ENGLISH SPEAKING GUIDE 4. PORTERAGE_OF_20_KGS_OF_BEGGAGE 5. ENTRANCE/CAMPING FEE 6. ALL LAND TRANSPORTATION TOUR_PRICES_DOES_NOT_INCLUDE 1. AIR FARE AND AIRPORT TAXES

2. OPTIONAL EXCURSION 3. SINGLE SUPPLEMENT 4. PERSONAL RESCUE 5. VISA FEE/MEDICALCHECKUP 6. ALL ITEMS OF PERSONAL NATURE

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