Silk Road Experience
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Day 1: Kabul Arrival
Arrival and briefing at the hotel and visit , Shrine of hazrat -e- Ali , National Museum , Darulaman Palace from Out side and walk on garden of palace, and Babur Garden.
Kabul has been the capital of Afghanistan since about 1776. The city has been badly damaged during the various 1979–2001 wars, particularly its western parts. For a few years, Kabul has been going through a period of reconstruction and development, with some modern style tower blocks and a handful of glitzy shopping malls appearing over the last few years. Many roads, particularly the main feeder routes have been reconstructed and upgraded. However, in outlying areas roads and other infrastructure remain in poor condition. Electricity supplies in Kabul are now quite reliable.
Day 2, 3 & 4. Kabul-Panjshir/ Ski in Hindu Kush Mountain
Panjshir is the adventure capital of Afghanistan. Beautiful Mountain , Local Ski ( Surja) is people old traditional Game , every April Month Hundreds of Panjshiri take the own local wooden skis ski in the Mountain ,Panjshir literally meaning “Five Lions”, refers to five Wali (literally, protectors), spiritual brothers who were centered in the valley. Local legend has it that the five brothers built a dam for Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznawi in the early 11th century. Later, it was the site of the Panjshir offensives fought between the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the Mujahidin during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1985. The valley again witnessed renewed fighting during the civil war in Afghanistan (1996-2001) between Taliban and the Northern Alliance under command by now national hero.
Day 3. Mazar-e-Sharif, Balkh and Buzkashi
Journey to Balkh, an ancient city and centerof Buddhism, Sufism and Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. While in Balkh, you visit Haji Piyada Mosque (the walking pilgrim)Tomb of RabiaBalkhi, KhojaParsa Mosque and BalaHisar, the ancient citadel build by Alexander the Great when he destroyed the Kurush (Persian empire) and crossed Amu Darya (Auxus River) in early 330, then married Rukhshana (Ruxana) in Bacteria (Balkh) and Ummul – Bilad (Mother of the cities) to Arabs. In the afternoon it is time to visit the Blue tiled Mosque of Ali and to see the crazy game of Buzkashi.
Overnight Hamsafar Guest House.
Day 4: Mazar-e-Sharif –Samangan, Kabul
Journey Back to Kabul and on the way we will have time to visit Takht-i Rustam (Haibak), literal meaning the throne of Rustam, named after Rustam, a king in Persian mythology, is a hilltop settlement, well-known archaeological site in Afghanistan, in the Takth i Rostam and the adjacent Buddhist caves and stupas on top of a hill, north of Hindu Kush passes. At this location, caves were hewn out of rocks and inhabited by Buddhists. The Buddhist stupa here is in the form of a mound. It represents the earliest link to the evolution of Buddhist architecture in Afghanistan.
Overnight at AsayeshGuestHouse.
Day 5: Kabul-Panjshir
Journey to Panjshir and Tobm of Ahmad Shah Masood.Panjshir literally meaning “Five Lions”, refers to five Wali (literally, protectors),spiritual brothers who were centered in the valley. Local legend has it that the five brothers built a dam for Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznawi in the early 11th century. Later, It was the site of the Panjshir offensives fought between the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan and the Soviets against the Mujahidin during the Soviet war in Afghanistan from 1980 to 1985. The valley again witnessed renewed fighting during the civil war in Afghanistan (1996-2001) between Taliban and the Northern Alliance under command by now national hero Ahmad Shah Masood.Lunch at the river bank and Journey back to Kabul.
Overnight at AsayeshGuestHouse
Day 6. Fly back Home
Day 7. Najaf - Ukhaider - Karbala
Drive to Ukhaider Palace, an Abbasid fortress erected 775AD. It represents architectural innovation in the structures of its courtyards, residences, and mosque and was an important stop on the regional trade routes. Proceed to Karbala, one of the holiest sites in the world for Shi’a Muslims as it is home to the shrine of the Imam Hussein, who was was martyred here in 680. Today, tens of millions of Shi’ites visit the shrine twice each year. Overnight in Karbala.
Day 8: Karbala - Babylon - Baghdad
Depart to Hilla to visit Babylon, a key kingdom in ancient Mesopotamia. It is estimated to be the largest city in the world at various times. We will tour the city with an expert to see the Ninmah temple, the statue of Babylon lion, the base of Ishtar gate, and what left of hanging gardens. One of the most impressive palaces of Saddam is situated just behind Babylon, with beautiful views over the Babylonian ruins and Euphrates river. Proceed to Baghdad for overnight.
Day 9: Baghdad– Ctesiphon
In the morning, Visit the National Museum of Iraq. then, drive to Ctesiphon. The only visible remaining structure is the Kosro Arch, a majestic vaulted hall that was part of the royal palace. The archway is one of the largest single-span vaults of unreinforced brickwork in the world. Dive back by the square where Saddam’s statue was toppled in 2003. Visit to the Flying Carpet Monument, Alibi Baba and the 40 thieves’ monument and the Magic Lamp monument. Overnight in Baghdad.
Day 10: Baghdad
In the morning, Explore El-Mustansiriyya School and copper market. Then, head to tour Al-Mutanabi, books street, to mix with local people and serve Iraqi tea and coffee in Shabender, a very traditional tea house. Drive to martyrs monument. the monument was constructed between 1981 and 1983. Afternoon, another sightseeing, tomb of Sufi saint Abdel Kader Jilani. The shrine represents symbolic heart of the Sufi world. Overnight in Baghdad.
Day 11. Baghdad - Samarra - Mosul
Early breakfast to start your day by driving to Mosul with a stop in Samarra. In the medieval times, Samarra was the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and the only remaining Islamic capital that retains its original plan, architecture and artistic relics. Visit The Great Mosque of Samarra and its Minaret . We proceed to visit the Love Palace then continue to Mosul. Overnight in Mosul.
Day 12. Nimrud – Mar Behnam - Mosul
Start your day by visiting Nimrud, which is the name that Carsten Niebuhr attributed for the ancient Assyrian city of Kalhu, 20 mi south of the city of Mosul. Then stop at Monastery of the Martyrs Mar Behnam and Marth Sarah. It was a Syriac Catholic monastery in northern Iraq in the village Khidr Ilyas close to the town of Beth Khdeda. It was destroyed on March 19, 2015 by Daesh (ISIS). Possible Sightseeing of old city of Mosul and then return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Mosul - Khorsabad - Mosul - Erbil
We will visit Khorsabad, the Assyrian capital in the time of Sargon II. Proceed to visit Alnory Mosque, it was famous for its leaning minaret, which gave the city its nickname “the hunchback”. Tradition holds that the mosque was first built in the late 12th century. The mosque withstood various hostile invading forces over its 850-year history until it was destroyed with its distinctive minaret in the Battle of Mosul in 2017. Continue to Erbil or return to Baghdad for overnight.
Day 14. Departure via Erbil Airport
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home. (B)