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PHC seeks officials’ reply in petition seeking Panj Tirath preservation

March 22, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Wednesday sought reply from the chief secretary, secretary Museums and Archaeology and Nazim of Town-1in a writ petition seeking proper preservation of Panj Tirath, an over 1000 years old archaeological site that has been turned into a public park.

A two-member bench comprising Justice Qaiser Rashid Khan and Justice Syed Afsar Shah issued the notice to chief secretary and others in a writ petition filed by Irfan Saleem, Union Council-3 Mahal Teria-1 member, through his lawyer Muhammad Khurshid Khan.

Panj Tirath, which got its name from the five pools of water present there, comprised a temple and a spacious lawn with Peepal and date trees.

The petitioner is seeking court order for the provincial government to preserve the most sacred place of Hindus as currently the thousands years old historic place is being destroyed in the name of “Family Park” in the city.

The petitioner also seeks an order of the court to allow an archaeological expert to Panj Tirath to inform the court about the present condition of the place as Town-1 administration had banned visits to the place.

He said that the land mafia had also occupied the historical place of Panj Tirath, which is located in the heart of the Peshawar city opposite the Government Higher Secondary School No 2 and adjacent to Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Muhammad Khurshid submitted that the area land had become precious and both the archaeology and Town-1administraiton were eying to get possession of the place for commercial purposes.

About the historical background of the place, said the Panj Tirath had been mentioned in Hindus religious book “Hindu Mythology” and stated that about 700 BC Pondo (Aryan) people, who were fighters, came to this place after facing a defeat from Koro people.

It was also mentioned in the petition that Panj Tirath had been mentioned with images in historical books. A writer, Lord Hinger, mentioned that they were five brothers and started living in this place later known as Panj Tirath. It said that they made separate five rooms in the place for living and also established a pond outside the rooms for bathing.

It said that the five Pando brothers then left the place for another place, but their followers made five pools there and established a temple in a name “Shawal Thakardawara” and they started to use the water of the ponds with a belief that when someone bathed with the water, all kinds of diseases would be removed from him. After that, it said the place was known as Panj Tirath.

The petitioner said he had also seen a temple and ponds in the place when he was a boy and it was frequented by the Hindu community members.

It said the government then imposed ban on visits to the place and later the ponds were converted into a fish farm.