We approach our 20th issue with a sense of great delight in the deep seated knowledge that our distinct work in the field of travel and lifestyle has led to a wider conversation on journeying across Pakistan. Today, we are proud to say, that tourism is one of the leading points of policy for the new government.
It has been recently announced that the state has eased its visa policy by providing e-visa facility to 175 countries and visa on arrival to 50 countries. Foreign tourists will no longer require No Objection Certificates (NOCs) to visit the regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. It may be interesting to note here that the tourism department has also selected 25 areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where sites will be identified for promotion of tourism.
The response to our Peshawar issue has been so overwhelming that we are compelled to follow it up with another KP site. This time we chose the magical and mystical Takht Bahi.
As part of DESTINATIONS magazine’s journey to travel across Pakistan, we have embarked on an exciting new adventure – that of following the Buddhist trail here. The first installment of this series is the long forgotten monastery of Takht Bahi.
Nestled amongst quiet hills in what was historically part of the Gandhara state, this high place of worship now lies in modern day Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. An ancient wonder, it was brought to mainstream attention in 1980 when UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
Re-enforcing our commitment to highlighting the best Pakistan has to offer, our cover story is a multi layered perspective on Takht Bahi. Shot by one of our leading fashion photographers, HUM Style Award winner, MHM is an editorial shoot with superstar, Ali Rehman Khan.
We commissioned noted journalist and KP native, Iftikhar Firdous for a personal narrative on this sacred space as Pakistan’s leading travel photographer Mobeen Ansari captured the magic of the sanctuary with an unparalleled vision. Within the pages, we carry an insightful interview with Chairman of the Gandhara Art and Culture Association, Mian Imran Masood who emphasizes the need to celebrate and safeguard the region’s Buddhist legacy and ensuing principles of interfaith harmony.
The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continues to mesmerize and enthrall all its visitors with its immense charm and beauty. In the past few days, the provincial set up has listed tourism as one of their prime goals for the five-year plan. As we write this, potential for tourism in Kurram tribal district and the Samana hill station in Orakzai tribal district is being explored. It is a source of much joy to hear all this good news surrounding travel in Pakistan, for we couldn’t be more excited to be part of the conversation that leads the change we all wish to see.