Tuesday February 20, 2024

Cleaning and tree plantation arranged at Takhtbhai site

By Our Correspondent
November 21, 2022

MARDAN: Green Youth Movement Club, Women University Mardan organized a cleaning and planting campaign at the archaeological site of Takhtbhai under the Prime Minister’s Youth Programme.

Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Ghazala Yasmin started the campaign by planting a pine tree plant. Members of Green Youth Movement Club and Oversight Committee along with other faculty members participated in the event.

The club members were given an informative tour of the archaeological site of Takhtbhai.

Moaz Ali, Conservation Officer, Khyber Pakhtun- khwa Archaeology Department, gave a comprehensive briefing about the site.

Takhtbhai (or Takht Bahi) is an archaeological site in Khyber Pakhtun- khwa. It is considered to be the best preserved Buddhist monastery in Pakistan.

The site is one of the 6th World Heritage Sites of the country.

Locally, the word Takht means throne or top or high place and Bahi means water. The name was given to the place because there used to be two water fountains above the place.

According to UNESCO, the site predates the Buddhist era (2BC to 8AD) and was a Zoroastrian complex that was later converted into a Buddhist monastery.

It dates back to the first century BC. The complex is considered by archaeologists to be particularly representative of the architecture of Buddhist monastic centres from its time. The site was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

These ruins are located at a distance of about 15 km from the city of Mardan and about 110 km from Peshawar and Islamabad.

Takhtbhai has the status of a tehsil which falls in Mardan district, a town with a busy market and a specialty restaurant that serves a specialty kebab called “Chapli Kebab”.

The surrounding area is famous for cultivation of sugarcane, wheat, maize, vegetables and orchards. The Takhtbhai Ruins Complex has four main parts which are as under:

Stupa Court, a cluster of stupas located in a central courtyard; monastic chambers, a courtyard containing individual cells; an assembly hall; a temple complex,

consisting of a stupa and similar to a stupa court, a tantric monastic complex, consisting of small, dark rooms, which may have been used for tantric

meditation. All buildings on the site have been constructed of local stone, and mortared with lime and mud.