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January 7, 2009

Cafeteria, rest house inaugurated at Hund Museum


January 7, 2009

HUND, Swabi: The NWFP Minister for sports, culture and tourism, Syed Aqil Shah, Tuesday hinted at holding an international seminar to highlight the historical and cultural importance of the region.

Inaugurating a cafeteria and rest house at the under-construction Hund Museum here, he said the government was keen on not only promoting tourism, but also preserving and protecting the historical and cultural sites for making them attractive for the visitors.

On completion, Chief Minister Ameer Haider Hoti would be invited to inaugurate the museum and also an international conference or seminar, hopefully in November, would be arranged in this connection, he added. The minister said a by-pass road was being constructed to make easy access to the site.

The minister directed the authorities concerned for proper landscaping, plantation and decorating the premises to make it an attractive tourists spot. Spreading over 4 acres of land, the project of Hund archaeological and tourist site was approved in 1994 with an allocation of Rs4.16 million.

In the first phase, the NWFP Directorate of Archaeology and museum acquired a chunk of land and erected an Alexander Monument in the shape of tall Corinthian pillar to commemorate the sojourn of Alexander the Great at this place.

The work on the second phase of the project was launched in 2002-03 with approval of Rs49.386 million, which included a museum building, cafeteria, rest house and by-pass road besides archaeological excavation.

The museum building construction is in the final stage while cafeteria and rest house have been completed and inaugurated. The work on the bypass road and excavation is yet to be started.

Throwing light on the historical background of Hund, Dr Abdur Rahman, who has done his PhD thesis on Hund, said it remained the third capital after Charsadda (then Pushkalawati) and Peshawar (erstwhile Purushapura) of the state spreading from Kabul to Punjab and


Until early 11th century AD, it was an ancient capital city on Indus till the defeat of Jayapala at the hands of Mehmud of Ghazni, he added. The academician said Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang crossed River Indus at this point in 7th century while Syed Ahmad Shaheed after his success against Sikh Force in 1826 reached this place where the local lord Khadi Khan received him.

However, later the troops of Syed Ahmad invaded the city and not only destroyed it, but also killed the influential khans, including Khadi Khan, who had conspired against the Syed to favour Sikhs. Hund lost its importance after Mughal emperor built a boat bridge at Attock. They had also constructed a fort at Hund to counter rivals.

Most of the rulers as well as invaders selected Hund for their stay because Indus could be crossed at this point due to slow water flow as the river is scattered over vast area unlike Tarbela in the up and Attock in down stream.

Director of archaeology and museums NWFP, Saleh Muhammad, also highlighted the historical and cultural importance of Hund while the guests on the occasion included elected public representatives and politicians.

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