"Faiza-Ifrah's women's Pakistan off the beaten path" Top 5 Page for this destination Pakistan by Faiza-Ifrah
Pakistan Travel Guide: 3,786 reviews and 8,350 photos
Why call these pages Women's Pakistan off the beaten path?
Well, first of all, I wanted to show the women power in Pakistan that is not appreciated internationally. Please read tips under 'General Tips' and see for yourself.
The picture above shows Pakistan's cricket world cup winner turned politician Imran Khan with his former wife and still a good friend Jemima Goldburg. Imran and Jemima are well respected by Pakistanis for their principled stand on all issues.
Although winning more than its share of negative publicity in the west, Pakistan is a hidden treasure of touristic resources. Pakistan is the confluence of 3 great cultures - South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. It boasts of 3 great mountain ranges of the world - Himalaya, Karakorams and the Hindu Kush (3 of the tallest 10 and 10 of the tallest 25 peaks of the world are located in this country, including the 2nd tallest K2). Historically, it was home of 4 great ancient civilizations - the Mehrgarh Civilization that spread between 900BC to 5000 BC, the Indus Valley Civilization that flourished between 5000 BC to 1500 BC, Aryan civilization and Gandhara civilization. Its architectural resources show masterpieces of 3 great periods - Islamic Mughal, British and post-idependence.
Top 5 things to do in Pakistan:
1. Trekking in the mountain ranges of northern areas
2. Observing flora and fauna in the 18 national parks, lakes of international importance, and wildlife sanctuaries
3. Studying archaeological finds of Indus Valley Civilization, Gandhara Civilization, and early Muslim period
4. Observing culture – weddings, farming, arts and crafts, and indegenous sports
5. Observing Mughal, Islamic, British and modern architecture
Polo - Sport of the kings and King of the sports:
Polo is a popular sports in Pakistan. Two versions are played in the country. The international version is played in all the major cities of Pakistan and the country has qualified to participate in the Polo World Cup to be held in France in 2004. The local, more fierce version is played in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. See more coverage in sports section.
Pakistan is a medium sized country spanning over 810,000 square kilometers. The size makes it slightly smaller than Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Holland and Belgium put together at 846,000 sq. kms.
For the USA, Pakistan would cover all the New England and mid-Atlantic States plus Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
In a comparison with US' southern states, it would be slightly smaller than Texas and Louisiana combined.
In yet another comparison with US' western states, it would be bigger than California, Washington and Oregon put together.
Our academic interest in Buddha took us to the valley of Swat in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan (locally known as Pakhtunkhwa province). While the carved statues of Buddha were disfigured in the neighboring Afghanistan, there is at least one that we were able to see at Saidu Sharif, the capital of Swat Valley. Following are the excerpts from PTDC website:
"Swat Valley region is known throughout the world as the holy land of Buddhist learning and piety. Swat acquired fame as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage. Buddhist tradition holds that the Buddha himself came to Swat during his last reincarnation as the Guatama Buddha and preached to the people here. It is said that the Swat was filled with fourteen hundred imposing and beautiful stupas and monasteries, which housed as many as 6,000 gold images of the Buddhist pantheon for worship and education. There are now more than 400 Buddhist sites covering and area of 160 Km in Swat valley only. Among the important Buddhist excavation in swat an important one is Butkarha-I, containing the original relics of the Buddha. "
The picture is a statue of the Fasting Buddha found from the excavated sites of Taxila in Northern Punjab rather than Swat.
- Pros:Friendly people, cultural diversity, nature, archaelogical sites, historic resources, economical tour
- Cons:Bad image due to incorrect reporting in the western media
- In a nutshell:A traveler will be pleasantly surprised at touristic resources of this country.
If you have to travel to hills stations, do plan a hike through Ayubia National Park. I visited this park in 1989. Many... more travel advice
While my husband, daughter and son have picked international and north American sports, I still enjoy Pakistan's own... more travel advice
- Go crazy with sports off the beaten path
- See All Fly a kite, battle for air superiority...
- Haggling is the way to go.
- Go off the beaten path - Go for local...
- Traveling by road for cultural tourism.
Faiza-Ifrah's Related Pages
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