(99871) 2814148
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45/405 Shota Rustaveli Street
100100
Tashkent, Uzbekistan

E-mail: sales.tashkent@sitara.com

Phone (Uzbekistan): (99871) 2814148, (99871) 2814149, (99871) 2553504

Fax: (99871) 1206500

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Afghanistan Classic Tour

  • Itinerary:
    Kabul - Bamiyan - Puli Khumri - Mazar-i-Sharif - Shebergan - Mazar-i-Sharif - Kabul - Herat - Towrghundy - Merve - Kabul
  • Duration:
    12 days / 11 nights
  • Price:
    on request
  • Tour program
    Itinerary of «Afghanistan Classic Tour»
    Day 01: Arrive Kabul – Flts
    meeting on arrival assistance and transfer to Hotel
    overnight

    Day 02: Kabul
    Full day sightseeing tour of Kabul - morning we shall visit the old Kabul walk through the winding streets, the chicken market, the bird bazaar, animal market, Do Shamshira mosque, later visit Afghan National Museum and the private Sultani Museum. Later pass by Bala Hissar the fortress of Kabul seat of the kings of Kabul and venue of many wars and sieges. We shall then visit Babur’s Garden and see the tomb of Babur the Great afterwards proceed on a short excursion to Istalif Village with beautiful houses on the cliff – visit the local pottery shops and perhaps meet a potter
    Overnight

    Day 03: Kabul/Bamiyan – 234 kms – 8/9 hrs
    Morning depart for Bamiyan we shall take the Hajigak route going through beautiful scenery of the rural communities. As we approach the pass the panoramic views become more and more overwhelming and the whole valley of Bamiyan looks spectacular with views of Koh-i-Baba range. At the mouth of the valley we shall stop to view the 12th century fortress of Ghorid dynasty must have been even older was destroyed by Genghiz Khan in 1221. Later proceed to the town as we move up the hill to our Hotel
    Silk Road overlooking destroyed Buddha cliff and the caves short walks around the hotel for general views of the valley
    overnight

    Day 04: Bamiyan
    Full day visits of Bamiyan valley – In the morning we shall see the first morning shine on the Great Buddha and the caves – on a clear day is a great sight. Later we shall visit the ruins of caves and Buddhas to see the destruction caused by Taliban regime is appalling.
    Later we shall proceed on an excursion to famous Band-i-Amir Lakes – the blue water full of minerals from the springs feeding the lakes. Later return to Bamiyan and visit the ruins of Shahre Gholgola – the city of screams was an old settlement destroyed by the Mongols in 1220 AD. The upper reach give a good view of the surrounding area
    Return to your hotel
    This evening we have organized a nice musical program over the dinner
    Overnight

    Day 05: Bamiyan/Puli Khumri/Mazar-i-Sharif – 370 kms – 9/10 hrs
    This early morning we set off via Sheberghan Pass through Ghorband valley to Mazar-i-Sharif.
    amid the dusty road we continue to ascent to reach the top of the pass and later descend into the Ghorband Valley passing through dirt tracks. It is interesting to see the local villages as we continue towards Charikar to arrive at the hard top road to Mazar-i-Sharif via the beautiful Salang Pass (3363m) soon after crossing the tunnel we head down and drive through the Hindukush defiles to reach Puli Khumri for late lunch
    Later as we proceed we shall make a stop to visit Surkhkotal the site of an important Kushan period temple. Not from this site was another called Rabotek where famous Bactrian inscription was found on a stone now to be seen in the National Museum in Kabul. We shall make short climb to the temple based in Bactrian Greek style
    Later continue to Mazar-i-Sharif and on arrival transfer to Mazar Guest House
    Arrival in the evening
    Overnight

    Day 06: Mazar-i-Sharif
    Full day excursion to Balkh – we shall visit shrine of Abu Nasr Parsa, the City Walls, the grave of poetess Rabia Balkhi. Later proceed to the ruins of 9th century AD Mosque of Haji Piardeh
    ater return to Mazar-i-Sharif and we shall visit the Mosque of Ali – see the exclusive tile work .
    The original mosque was built during the Seljuk time in 12th AD but was great damaged during the Mongol invasion and was later rebuilt in its present form in the 1th Century AD. Today the mosque and shrine is place of great reverence and devotees come from far of places to pray at the mosque
    overnight

    Day 07: Mazar/Shebergan/Mazar
    A long day of excursion to Aqcha Bazaar a traditional Afghan bazaar in one of the remotest corners of the land what was Bactriana. See the wonderful Afghan carpets, gillims, camel bags and some very old pieces of embroidery. Later we shall visit an archaeological site of Tilla Tepe was the famous site from where more than 20 thousand pieces of gold articles, buttons and jewelry was recovered from royal tombs of Kushan dynasty.
    Return in the late afternoon
    Overnight

    Day 08: Mazar-i-Sharif/Kabul – 430 kms – 8/9 hrs
    morning depart for Kabul via Salang pass – we shall make short photo stops enroute as we pass through interesting bazaars and villages. The scenic views across Salang tunnel are very appealing with villages sticking with the cliffs
    arrival in the late afternoon and transfer to Hotel
    overnight

    Day 09: Kabul/Herat – PM1605 – 1000/1100 hrs
    Morning flight to Herat and on arrival transfer to Hotel
    In the afternoon we shall make an orientation tour of the town – we shall make short stops at few points and perhaps will take short Tonga ride(horse carriage) for a short distance will be great to see the local way of life. We shall then proceed to Musalla Complex – once a mosque and the Gowhar Shad’s tomb for sunset photography. Later we shall go to the Citadel for photos
    overnight

    Day 10: Herat
    Full day touring of Herat – we shall visit the Old part to see the covered bazaar(Chaarsouq), the 15th century water ponds. Later we shall visit the Friday Mosque and the tile makers.
    Later we shall see the Citadel and Museum.
    Afternoon visit the Musalla Complex the mausoleum of Queen Gowharshad.
    Later visit Pul-i-Malan, Gazargah to visit the tomb and Abdullah Ansari, a Sufi poet of 11th Century AD the beautiful tile work is very interesting on the tomb. Also visit the tomb Poet Jami
    short time in the old bazaar
    overnight

    twilight over Khurrasan

    Day 11: Herat/Towrghundy/Merve – 450 kms
    Early morning depart for Turkmen border point at Towrghundy and after the border formalities proceed to Mary. Short stops enroute

    Day 12: Kabul/Depart – Flt
    Transfer to airport for flight to your destination
    Assistance on departure
  • Details
    Details of itinerary & map
    Day 01: Arrive Kabul – Flts
    meeting on arrival assistance and transfer to Hotel 
    overnight

    Kabul: Kubha of Avesta and Rigveda traces the antiquity of Kabul to 3000 BC being the river as it is today Kabul river. Being the seat of government for a long time Kabul has always been the central point in Afghanistan history. Almost all rulers made Kabul as their seat of governance. The city was part of the Median empire which was supplanted by Achaemenians and then Alexander the Great after defeating Kambojas laid the foundations of an Alexandria on the Caucasus (Begram) only 60 kms from Kabul City was an important place. Kabul along with Begram was ceded to Mauryan Empire by Alexander’s successor Seleucus Nicator and was later captured by Sunga dynasty. The famous ivory and bone implements found at the site in Begram throw light on the Indian culture. Greco-Bactrian rulers took Kabul as part of their empire, though they were pushed down into deeper to the plains by Scythians and Parthians for shorter period of rule in Kabul. The city gained importance during the rule of first of the Kushana kings who made their way into Peshawar valley through Kabul. Then after the fall of Kushans came the Sassanians then the little Kushans wrested power from Sassanids but they were soon defeated by marauding groups of the Hepthalites carrying fire and destruction. Later to come were the Kabul Shahi rulers when they uprooted by the Arab invasions. Yakub bib Laith conquered Kabul in 870 AD. Then a series of successive Muslim rulers reigned over Kabul. Till this was disturbed the Mongol invasions of 13th century and then begins the period of Genghiz Khan’s successors of which Tamerlane’s rule is famous. Then came on Tamerlane’s successor Zaheeruddin Muhammad Babur being pushed by his cousins at war as he succeeds in making Kabul his new home and seat of government. It was from here that he succeeded in capturing the seat of Delhi and Agra. His love for Kabul was primarily due to being nearer to his homeland where he is buried in one of his gardens. His seat of government was Bala Hissar Fort which was home to many monarchs from 5th AD down to Shah Shuja’s period and was destroyed during the Anglo Afghan wars. Being the city of contention Kabul has suffered greatly at the hands of the successors of the last King when it was overrun by the Soviet forces and then the civil war destroyed the city greatly. Thanks to peace now in the city that the grandeur of the city fast returning to normal.

    Day 02: Kabul
    Full day sightseeing tour of Kabul - morning we shall visit the old Kabul walk through the winding streets, the chicken market, the bird bazaar, animal market, Do Shamshira mosque, later visit Afghan National Museum and the private Sultani Museum. Later pass by Bala Hissar the fortress of Kabul seat of the kings of Kabul and venue of many wars and sieges. We shall then visit Babur’s Garden and see the tomb of Babur the Great afterwards proceed on a short excursion to Istalif Village with beautiful houses on the cliff – visit the local pottery shops and perhaps meet a potter
    Overnight

    Day 03: Kabul/Bamiyan – 234 kms – 8/9 hrs
    Morning depart for Bamiyan we shall take the Hajigak route going through beautiful scenery of the rural communities. As we approach the pass the panoramic views become more and more overwhelming and the whole valley of Bamiyan looks spectacular with views of Koh-i-Baba range. At the mouth of the valley we shall stop to view the 12th century fortress of Ghorid dynasty must have been even older was destroyed by Genghiz Khan in 1221. Later proceed to the town as we move up the hill to our Hotel
    Silk Road overlooking destroyed Buddha cliff and the caves short walks around the hotel for general views of the valley
    overnight

    Bamiyan:
    The valley and the headquarters of Bamiyan Province, Bamiyan is more known by the colossal Buddhas which in the recent years were vandalized by the iconoclastic and illiterate regime of clerics in Afghanistan.
    Perhaps it was due to its serene surroundings that Bamiyan may have been chosen by the Buddhists to be the right place of expression. It must have been the period of either later Kushans or Kidara Kushans when these rock dwellings were developed for deep meditation. It was then that huge Buddhas were hewn out of the cliff rock. The smaller Buddha which was 35 mtrs high was the first one carved around 4th or 5th AD while the second and the largest was about 53 mtrs high dates 5th or 6th AD. If we conjecture now the Buddhas would have been looking like two figures guarding the valley in abhaya mudra – the reassurance posture. Such were commonly seen figures as if blessing a habitation or an important route and it is obvious that the valley must have been inhabited and infact a branch of Silk Road probably the Spice Road from India to Bactria was once passing through the heart of the valley. The Buddhas are essentially wearing Roman toga with colored faces, the drapery was done in stucco mixed with husk with finishing in light coloration. The niches above had murals on stucco base – the murals clearly show the changing trends in Buddhist art showing flying angels and lose drapery with ribbons was Sassanian influence on this art. The caves or more rightly the deep meditation cells were occupied by the most pious ones reposing to such cells for longer durations. This practice of deep meditation seems to have developed around 5th or 6th century AD in Gandhara and its regions of influence. Huen Tsang who visited the valley in 7th AD mentions about the huge Buddhas and describes the decadent state of Buddhist teachings where the monks could chant the mantras but did not know the meaning of their prayers. By then when he visited the valley had already been subjected to destruction by the Hepthalites in 5th century AD. It is interesting to note that what kind of people may have been living at that time – could be Persians, Tocharians, Kambojas or people of Turko-Mongol origins and possible some remnants of the Greeks so all in all it must have been a great mixture of people living in the valley of Bamiyan.

    Day 04: Bamiyan
    Full day visits of Bamiyan valley – In the morning we shall see the first morning shine on the Great Buddha and the caves – on a clear day is a great sight. Later we shall visit the ruins of caves and Buddhas to see the destruction caused by Taliban regime is appalling.
    Later we shall proceed on an excursion to famous Band-i-Amir Lakes – the blue water full of minerals from the springs feeding the lakes. Later return to Bamiyan and visit the ruins of Shahre Gholgola – the city of screams was an old settlement destroyed by the Mongols in 1220 AD. The upper reach give a good view of the surrounding area
    Return to your hotel
    This evening we have organized a nice musical program over the dinner
    Overnight

    Hazara People:
    One will notice with great interest the people inhabiting Bamiyan valley called Hazaras. They are certainly of Mongol and are spread in the whole region including some parts of Pakistan.
    Hazaras may have arrived with the Mongol armies of Genghiz Khan who invaded these parts in 13th century. With the passage of time Hazara race intermixed with Persian and Turkic people there by giving rise to the term Turcomon or Turkmen. The first reporting of campaign against Hazaras was of Sheibani Khan who wanted to punish them for supporting the Persian ruler Shah Ismael. Babur also mentions about engaging them in Ghorband valley. The Persians had greatly influenced and a majority of them were converted to Shia Islam which they adhere still now while a good section of Hazaras profess Sunni Islam. It is surprising to note that still some parts of Hazarajat speak a kind of old Mongol language though majority of present day Hazaras speak Dari Persian.
    Hazaras are divided in many tribal groupings with their own affiliate names .

    Day 05: Bamiyan/Puli Khumri/Mazar-i-Sharif – 370 kms – 9/10 hrs
    This early morning we set off via Sheberghan Pass through Ghorband valley to Mazar-i-Sharif.
    amid the dusty road we continue to ascent to reach the top of the pass and later descend into the Ghorband Valley passing through dirt tracks. It is interesting to see the local villages as we continue towards Charikar to arrive at the hard top road to Mazar-i-Sharif via the beautiful Salang Pass (3363m) soon after crossing the tunnel we head down and drive through the Hindukush defiles to reach Puli Khumri for late lunch
    Later as we proceed we shall make a stop to visit Surkhkotal the site of an important Kushan period temple. Not from this site was another called Rabotek where famous Bactrian inscription was found on a stone now to be seen in the National Museum in Kabul. We shall make short climb to the temple based in Bactrian Greek style
    Later continue to Mazar-i-Sharif and on arrival transfer to Mazar Guest House
    Arrival in the evening
    Overnight

    Day 06: Mazar-i-Sharif
    Full day excursion to Balkh – we shall visit shrine of Abu Nasr Parsa, the City Walls, the grave of poetess Rabia Balkhi. Later proceed to the ruins of 9th century AD Mosque of Haji Piardeh
    ater return to Mazar-i-Sharif and we shall visit the Mosque of Ali – see the exclusive tile work .
    The original mosque was built during the Seljuk time in 12th AD but was great damaged during the Mongol invasion and was later rebuilt in its present form in the 1th Century AD. Today the mosque and shrine is place of great reverence and devotees come from far of places to pray at the mosque
    overnight

    Day 07: Mazar/Shebergan/Mazar
    A long day of excursion to Aqcha Bazaar a traditional Afghan bazaar in one of the remotest corners of the land what was Bactriana. See the wonderful Afghan carpets, gillims, camel bags and some very old pieces of embroidery. Later we shall visit an archaeological site of Tilla Tepe was the famous site from where more than 20 thousand pieces of gold articles, buttons and jewelry was recovered from royal tombs of Kushan dynasty.
    Return in the late afternoon
    Overnight

    Bactrian Gold:
    It is also known as the Bactrian Treasure was discovered by a noted Soviet Archaeologist Victor Sarianidi who had extensively worked on the sites in Karakum desert. In 1978 Victor Sarianidi examined the sites of Tilla Tepe and Yemshi Tepe about 05 kms north east of Sheberghan town on the road to Aqcha. The results of exploration were stunning with a discovery of 30,600 golden ornaments that included crown, buttons, belts, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, golden handles of daggers, coins rings, clothe décor in the form deities, stars and animals. The horde discovered from Tilla Tepe which was the burial ground or mound of the royal family. It looks like that the mound itself may have been in usage 1000-1500 BC at the time of Aryan migrations but in the later period must have been taken over by the Scythians who were here around 155 BC were more used to bury their royals and princely family members with royal costume and décor in gold. However in the later years it must have be adopted by the Kushans who were here some years later and both shared a common area of migration from Dzhungaria between Kazakhstan and Western part of China. This may recall the Golden Warrior Prince found from a mound near Almaty and now golden ornaments are on display in the National History Museum. Also we can refer to the Golden Horde of Dalverzin Tepe in Uzbekistan are very similar in character and essentially from similar Kushana periods. The nearby Yemshe Tepe was the royal palace with foundations of the buildings unearthed show a fortress.
    The Bactrian Treasure is now housed in the National Museum of Kabul

    Day 08: Mazar-i-Sharif/Kabul – 430 kms – 8/9 hrs
    morning depart for Kabul via Salang pass – we shall make short photo stops enroute as we pass through interesting bazaars and villages. The scenic views across Salang tunnel are very appealing with villages sticking with the cliffs
    arrival in the late afternoon and transfer to Hotel
    overnight

    Day 09: Kabul/Herat – PM1605 – 1000/1100 hrs
    Morning flight to Herat and on arrival transfer to Hotel
    In the afternoon we shall make an orientation tour of the town – we shall make short stops at few points and perhaps will take short Tonga ride(horse carriage) for a short distance will be great to see the local way of life. We shall then proceed to Musalla Complex – once a mosque and the Gowhar Shad’s tomb for sunset photography. Later we shall go to the Citadel for photos
    overnight

    Herat:
    One of the oldest cities of Afghanistan and Central Asia, Heerat dates back to Achaemenian times and is described as Haraiva. The town must have been even older and could be one of the earliest settlements of Aryans on migration. In the Zoroastrian
    Avesta it is mentioned as Aria a town lying on the banks of Harayu or the golden water is resent day Hari Rud or Hari river which passes about 5 kms from the town. After the fall of Achaemenian Empire at the hands of Alexander the Great around 320 BC, his forces occupied the town in pursuit of fugitive Bessus who was responsible for maiming Darius the last Achaemenid. He took over the fortress and rebuilt it and expanded its walls. The city must have been of important status as has been mentioned in the inscriptions of Behistoon and its people shown on the Great Staircase along with other subject nations of the Achaemenian Empire. At the time of Alexander the Great capturing the town of Artacoana, the capital of Aria province the satrap of the town was Satibarzanes. Later the city was inherited by Seleucus Nicator but then taken over by the Scythians and then subsequently by the Parthians. The Kushanas and then the town was destroyed by Hepthalites but came to prominence during the Sassanian rule from 225-652 AD, Hareva is mentioned in the Sassanian buildings of Kaaba-i-Zarthustra at Nagshe Rustam near Takhte Rustam(Persepolis). The later Sassanian rulers were at constant war with Hepthalite rulers. Then with the arrival of Arabs around mid of 7th AD while they were consolidating their power in Khorassan were involved in dissipating the last rulers of the Sassanian dynasty, Heerat was being transformed into a Muslim stronghold in the later years to become the springboard for attacks on other Central Asian kingdoms which were then subjugated one by one and mass conversions were effected due hostile policies of the Arabs in the region. Then begins the period of successive Muslim ruling dynasties. The Umayyads and Abbasids were the last Arab group to be supplanted by local dynasties like Tahirids, Saffarids, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Seljukis, Khorezmians and Ghorids till the beginning of 13th Century AD when we see the invasions of the Mongols under Genghiz Khan in 1225 AD and after the respite and settling of the Mongols we see rise of Ilkhanids who were converted to Shia Islam around 1258 AD continued to rule for a long time. There was another smaller dynasty of Kartids but the complete overhaul of Timurids specifically laid foundations of a strong Timurid Dynasty whose remnants still are the highlights of the town of Heerat. At the end of Timurid power in 16th Century it was wrested by the strond Saffavids in 1510 AD to last till the 18th Century AD. Afterwards begins the period of indigenous Afghan rulers. We must recognize that Timurid rule had significant impression on the town and most of the buildings were constructed during their rule

    Day 10: Herat
    Full day touring of Herat – we shall visit the Old part to see the covered bazaar(Chaarsouq), the 15th century water ponds. Later we shall visit the Friday Mosque and the tile makers.
    Later we shall see the Citadel and Museum.
    Afternoon visit the Musalla Complex the mausoleum of Queen Gowharshad.
    Later visit Pul-i-Malan, Gazargah to visit the tomb and Abdullah Ansari, a Sufi poet of 11th Century AD the beautiful tile work is very interesting on the tomb. Also visit the tomb Poet Jami
    short time in the old bazaar
    overnight

    twilight over Khurrasan

    Day 11: Herat/Towrghundy/Merve – 450 kms
    Early morning depart for Turkmen border point at Towrghundy and after the border formalities proceed to Mary. Short stops enroute

    Day 12: Kabul/Depart – Flt
    Transfer to airport for flight to your destination
    Assistance on departure
  • Prices
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