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June 19, 2019

Museum launches mobile app for digital tour to Buddha Gallery


June 19, 2019

PESHAWAR: The Peshawar Museum has launched a mobile application to facilitate local and international visitors to connect to the Buddha Gallery at the museum digitally and get information in English, Urdu and Pashto languages.

The application has been developed by KasabGar, a non-governmental organisation, with the support of the US Embassy and technical advice of the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The mobile app has been designed to enable visitors to listen and read the description of artefacts of the Buddha Gallery. The app “Peshawar Museum” can be downloaded from Google Playstore and apple store. Its availability in three languages – English, Urdu and Pashto - both in text and audio makes it the only app in Pakistan which let users have a virtual tour of the Peshawar Museum anywhere on their phones and during the visit to the museum in Peshawar.

A Facilitation Kiosk has been established at the Peshawar Museum with tablets having the application installed on it to facilitate the digital tour of Buddha Gallery. Visitors who do not possess smart phones can get tablets from kiosk to enjoy virtual tour. The tourists could get information about the antiques in the museum and other places in the province through the App in the three languages. The application would also be launched in Hindko and other languages in the near future. Senior Minister for Tourism, Sports, Culture, Archaeology and Youth Affairs M Atif Khan inaugurated the App at a ceremony held at the Museum here on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Atif Khan said that the mobile application was launched to introduce the heritage of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the international level. He said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had 6,000 heritage sites. The minister said that the government was working on discovering new heritage sites in the merged districts. “The tourists can get information about the sites through a single click at their homes,” he said, adding that the application would play a role in creating religious harmony.

“The world would know the history of the province through the App. The Buddhist sites in the province in the province are our assets which can help promote religious tourism,” he said. He said several tourists in China, Japan and Korea are eager to visit these sites. The senior minister said the government had eased visas for these tourists and ended the no-objection certificate condition. He said the government had released Rs500 million for promotion of religious tourism.

Tahira Kaleem, Chief Executive Officer of KasabGar, said since its establishment the Peshawar Museum saw a number of expansions and additions of different items but this technological intervention has been done for the first time. The digital application conveys history in easy to understand language and highlights the importance of tolerance and coexistence in our history. Shafeeq Gigyani, Lead Re-think Peshawar project, said this was the first time in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where the entire story of the Buddha in the museum has been modelled into a mobile app. He said the rich history of our region cannot be explored without the help of a guide from the museum and this application would help visitors explore the museum on their own. The government of KP through the Mobile App intended to create a fusion of heritage and technology to preserve the heritage and communicate to the young generation in a better engaging way. He believed the App would promote religious harmony and pluralist history. Shafeeq Gigyani said the project which has been piloted at the Peshawar Museum can be scaled up for all other museums in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This application can be extended to other galleries with more resources easily with its dynamic design. Re-think Peshawar project was an umbrella project and heritage was a single component of it, he said, adding, “We also provided tour guides training to fresh graduate to prepare professional tour guides.”

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