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Heart of Gandhara Civilization

Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

Mardan is one to the most important region in South East
Asia, the earliest human record had discovered in Mardan‘s
mountains. There is cave known Sanghao smast it is
discovered in 1963 by Dr A H Danni, the cave is 80 feet in
width 15 feet height and 35 feet deep. It was excavated by
team of the Department of Archeology University of Peshawar
under his kind supervision, during excavations of this cave
17 layers of occupation are recorded, the roof of the cave
is black suited due to regular fire. This cave is naturally
formed due heavy volcanic activities which are evidenced
from the dried lava in the near by mountains. During
excavations of good number of stone tools that s are flake
tools, scrapers pebble tools made of quartz and other
artifacts are unearthed.

Jamal Gahri Rock Shelter

Near Farash in Jamal Gahri there is a natural cave which is
black due to fire. Near by this rock shelter in the fields
some stone tools had been collected by a British Gordon
Childe in 1942, which was made from quartz, he has dated
that stone tools Mesolithic Period which is 10,000 BC.

Chapter 4
Proto history
Megalith (Asota)

Gandhara (The land of fragrance)

is situated on the North western part of Pakistan is the
custodian of very rich cultural heritage, during courses of
explorations, surveys and excavations at various places in
Gandhara, different archaeological sites are unearthed which
are dated to different era. One such unique site is of the
Asota stone henge’s. Nowhere in other part of Gandhara has
such site is found. The Asota site is 30 km north east of
Mardan; it is 3 km from Shiva addh on Mardan Swabi G T road
in the north a small link road leads to Buner. Here is the
circle of Limestone of 21 stone slabs .so far no proper
scientific research has been done on this site .The stone
slab had been brought here from Karamar hills which was
tough and challenging job. When someone sees it many
questions rise in their mind that who were those people? How
it is built? Why it is built? What were the aims of these stone slabs?

The human activities had started very early in Gandhara in
Pre-historic era, & it is evident from different sites
in Gandhara, as compared it to other such site of world, it
can be dated to Late Neolithic (5000 B.C) and early Bronze
Age (3000 B.C) It was the time that human being was not so
much civilized nor he built cities or towns .He lived in
sample muddy houses. One thing one is important in that
period that he was socially developed and there was concept
of religion. Near by this stone circle is an ancient
cemetery. There is no record of this ancient cemetery ,it is
also possible that in ancient time these stone henge’s
will be used as sacrifices & rites place for the dead
and later on they were buried here. If this cemetery is
excavated one can reach to the conclusion of theses stone slabs.

About the Asota stone slabs an interesting story is
associated with it, it is common story in this town that
once there was a marriage procession going to the groom
house on the way at this spot there were some dacoits, the
marriages procession prayed to Almighty Allah to protect us
from dishonor their pray was accepted and were petrified in
stones. Local identify different slab with bride, groom and
common persons of the procession.
The systematic study and research of these stones henge’s
will bring light and evidences that ancient humankind used
the sky for astronomy, like the Sun, Moon, North star its
changing position. Or how they measured time, days and
nights and to prepare calendar of year.
Such kind of stone henge’s had already discovered in
different part of the world, like Bull ring, Arbor low, East
Moors, Ring Cairns, Cumbria,, Long Meg,, Caster ton, Elva
Plain, Casterligg, Swinside in England and France ,Cardesa
and Dakar Senegal (Africa) Sweden, Ireland, Russia.
Asota stone hengs are found in Asota village near Asota in Swabi.

Gandhara Grave culture

Chapter 5
Historic Period
Alexander the Great
Sites in Mardan

Takhat Bahi Buddhist Monastery

Among the all Buddhist sites the most preserved and
protected site is of the Takhat Bahi Buddhist monastery
Takhat Bahi is situated 17 km North of Mardan city on
Malakand road, Takhat Bahi is the most famous and well-known
Buddhist site throughout the world. It was also included in
the UNESCO cultural heritage list due to its unique style of architecture.
Takhat bahi is Sanskrit word which mean “spring upon a
rocky ridge” the Takhat Bahi monastery and other
settlements are built on high hill top which 500 feet high
from the ground level. All these ruined buildings are
scattered on 650 Kanals (32 hectares) on hill’s spurs.
There is no proof as to be based that who first laid the
foundation of these buildings even no Chinese pilgrim has
mentioned it in their accounts. The Gandhophares (Parthian
king) inscription, which received from Shahbaz Gahri, is
believed to have originally come from Takhat Bahi.
This site was first visited by one of the French officer of
Maharaja Ranjeet Singh in 1836, later on it was properly
explored and excavated by British archaeologists Dr Spooner,
Hargreaves from 1907-11, and time to time it was preserved
by Archaeological Survey of India. During courses of
excavations in different years a good number of art pieces,
Gandharan sculptures and coins are found.
To access to this Buddhist complex there were two entrance
gates one on the northern side one was on southern side
On the bases of these coins the history of this site can be
divided into four period.

First Period

The first period is dated from 2nd century BC. To 2nd
century AD. During this period monastery kitchen store and
votive stupas were built.

Second Period

The second period is dated 3rd to 4th century AD. It has
been dated on the bases of coins which are from this area.
It was the reign of little kushan; they built main stupa, on
the southern side of the court of votive stupa and assembly
hall on the northern western side near to monastery.
Third Period
The third period is dated to 4th to 5th century AD during
this time the Kidara Kushan family ruled Gandhara, during
their rule they built only three small stupas.

Fourth Period

Period fourth is started from 6th century AD. During this
period under ground mediation cells, open court yard,
chambers and other rooms on the top of the hills were built.
During excavations at Takhat bahi a big number of huge
sculptures of Gauthama Buddha in standing and setting
position having different poses in grey stone, stucco art
pieces, coins have been recovered, which are now on display
in Peshawar museum.

The department of Archeology & museums Govt of Pakistan
spent hug funds on the restoration and preservation on this
valuable and rich site. The archeological excavation were
also conducted by team of seasoned archeologists during
2002-3 and 2005-6.during their works at this site much more
relics on huge block on the western & south western
spurs of this complex are unearthed.

Where are those Buddhist monks Buddhist students, hermits,
sculptors who were living in this site. They all were born
and buried in the fertile soil of Gandhara the ashes of
their bodies are observed in the soil. Every year in the
spring days they spring out again in the form of flowers
whose cover the whole of Gandhara valley in yellow sheet.
If you close yours eyes for a moment and remember the old
days of king Kanishka you will hear the sounds of sculptors
’s hammers and others tools, who were busy in carving of
Buddha images, you will feel the walking, murmuring of their
moments while entering from one building to other building.
The spring of Takhat bahi site had dried up centuries ago,
its ruins are existed but the name of Takhat Bahi is alive
in the hearts of thousands of people of the world.

Safi abad

Sari Bahlol

This Buddhist monastery is situated on Malakand Road at a
distance of about 10 kilometers from Mardan. It is on the
top of a small mountain. By visiting this place one can
judge the importance of this site and it reminds us the old
history of the great Gandhara Art.
According to Dr. Spooner and Dr. Arl-Strain, it is a big
treasury of Gandhara Art. The opinion is that a sudden fire
broke out here and for this reason the sculptures remained
preserved. Coins have also been recovered from this site.
The main attraction left now is the old huge wall. This is
the only remains of this important site. The sculptures are
in Peshawar Museum and may be in other Museums of the world.
The rest of the Monastery has been damaged by the people of
the village due to the negligence of the authorities. The
area on which this monastery was build is now totally
inhabited by the villagers. This site is of great attraction
and importance for the foreign visitors but sadly not for
the villagers and the authorities.

Jamal Garhai

Jamal Garhai is situated at 13 kilometers from Mardan city.
It is situated in the middle of Takhtbai and Shahbaz Garha
at an equal distance of 12 kilometers from each side.
This site is funded by Government of Japan and to some
extent by UNESCO. The team of experts from Japan and
Pakistan work together on this site.
A company Sappers and Miners explored this site first. In
1836 Sikh General made it Gandaparas. This site was explored
in 1876 first and later on in 1910-1911 excavation was done.
The Kharoshti inscription was discovered from this site,
having main round stupas. From this monastery the Kharoshti
inscription was also discovered on which the figure 46 has
been written. The Buddhist inscriptions from this site are
kept in Peshawar Museum


One of such rich Buddhist site is of Tharre, Tharre is a
pushto word which means “small stone slab which are in use
in construction of houses. It is a remote hilly area with
lush green valleys, and jungle, with wild birds &
animals. This site is 25 km north east of Mardan city and is
spread on many hilly spurs, which are high from 100 ft to
1000 ft, Tharre was excavated by the Japanese archaeologists
in 1965-66, and different year’s excavations were
conducted here. This is a big site which was built on
terraces on different spurs; some spurs are big and long.
There are evidences of many natural springs; one of it still
existed with its original condition with fresh cool and
crystal clear water. The site is consist of Main Stupa with
votives stupa court yards, chaples, on its three sides,
There are separate big chapels on other corner, while
Monastery, Assembly hall, Monks Chambers, monk’s homes,
living quarters etc on top hills. The steps in the
walls suggested that there were doubled storey and triple storey buildings.

The ceiling of these chapels are unique, it has domical
shape, while inside are circular. Some buildings roofs are
thatched shape, which can be seen in Assembly hall.
According to the archaeologist this site is belong to Kushan
Period 1st century AD 5th century AD. During courses of
excavations a good number of Gandharan Buddhist sculptures
are recovered here which are on displayed at Taxila museum.
Due to negligence of the govt this site is on the ebb of
destruction, there are nomadic occupied this site and built
their houses on the ruined buildings. It is a tragedy of our
government that they not aware of their cultural heritage.
It is the need of the time to take positive to preserve it
for the future generation.

Sikria baba
Tora baza kaka stupa
Kashmir Smast
Gangho Dher
Mekha Sandha

One of the Buddhist monasteries is of Mekha Sanda, which is
located 17 km from Mardan in the North Eastern side in the
Hills of Shahbaz Garha. This site was surveyed and excavated
by a team of Japanese archaeologists between 1959 and 1965.
During courses of excavations a good number Gandhara art
sculptures, main stupa, votive stupas, monastery, chapels
and Monks' chambers were found. This site became a place
for research and a tourist spot.
The name is derived from Pushto language. Mekha means a
female buffalo and Sanda means a male buffalo. The
arrangement of the stones is in such a way that it looks
like buffaloes.
Unfortunately some treasure hunters illegally dug out the
site in search of antiques and it has been spoiled. It is
the utmost responsibility of the government to provide
guards, restore this site and protect it from further
destruction. So far there is no sign of it happening.

Chanako Dherai
Asoka Rock Edicts

A Universal Message of Peace Love & Tolerance
Like many others the most famous warrior king
Ashoka, the third Ruler of Maurya dynasty, who succeeded
throne in 269 B.C At Patliputra (Patna) India at that time.
To get throne he fought a fierce battle at Kalinga”
In the war of kalinga over 10, 0000 people were killed and
almost the same numbers of people were injured and become
permanent disabled. This war made thousands of children
orphaned and shelter was snatched from hundreds of
thousand of women by making them widow. It was the fiercest
war in the history of Sub-continent in which a human race
was dragged to the brink of destruction.

Corpses were everywhere, everyone was mourned, every eye
was full of tears and was questioning that why it happened?
Very soon the Asoka realized the facts that what was
happened was not good At last he realized this fact, His
love for humanity erupted from his mind. He met the Buddhist
monks and this the candle of peace and love enlightened in
his heart. His passion for religion become alive and he
accepted Buddhism, and rage against war forever and choose
the way of peace. After conversion to Buddhism he determined
to preach the teachings of Buddha in his kingdom, neglected
the past previous disasters and bring peace love to the
coming next generations. This was the most outstanding
feature of the reign of Asoka is the promulgation of what he
called Dhamma and the preaching of Dhamma became a mission of his life.
He laid the foundation of such work, which was useful for
the coming generation, and these make the world the cradle of peace.

During his reign he erected pillars and rocks on the
crossroads and important highways by engravings the
teachings of Buddha and edicts on them to remember. Such
kinds of edicts have also been discovered in different parts
of India beside India he also built stupas, Buddhist temples
and monasteries in Gandhara. He engraved edicts on rocks in
Mansehra, shehbaz gahri (Mardan) Pakistan. These rocks are
situated on an ancient Grand Trunk road linked Gandhara with
central Asia in the West, India in the East, China Tibet and
Japan , Far East in the North. Which are recognized as a
universal slogan and message of peace, love and tolerance,
which is a beacon for the pacifist and peace lovers of the
world and can be traced by every one?
One of the French officer of maharaja Ranjit Singh visited
shehbaz gahri in 1836 and copied some of its writings, in
1838 Captain Burnes has wrote these inscription in papers
since that time up to 1925 different European visited these
rock edicts and researched over it
There are 14 edicts on these rocks in Kharoshti scripts.
King Ashoka has mentioned neither his name nor the word of
Buddha, he addressed his mass so“The beloved of gods
king,” the king of noble appreance” Devanmpriya Priyadarsin.

• The king prohibits that no living animals should be
slaughter, sacrifices or killed.

• I have built hospitals both for animals and humans; I
dug out wells and planted trees for the benefits of human.

• The Govt officials are directed to take care of
Buddhist faith and see that it is in progress. Every one
should respect their parents must be kind tolerant and be
kindness to the animals

• The king says that he feels happy to see the Buddhism
in practice

• I have appointed governors for five, five years in my
kingdom whose duties are to check that Dharma is in practice
and they report me.

• He says that I had regulated the manner in which all
the matters relating to the welfare of his people are to be
brought in the king notice for the quick dispatch of

• The king expressed that my kingdom is very vast no is
been placed upon on the residence of adherents of any sect,
every one is free in their religious practices.

• Hunting, are prohibited, People should visit the holy
places and meet religious people (monks), discuss the sacred
Law, or do preaching.

• The king discusses the auspicious the common rituals
and ceremonies and recommends (Dhamma –magala (rituals)
Dhamma ma-dana (religious gifts) Dhamma Yatra (Journey)
• The king deprecates the glory of renown, worldly

respect, fame, status is not good action, the best work and
honor is the preaching of Buddhism, every one should learn Buddhism

• The preaching of Buddhism is a true form of almsgiving
and everyone should follow it.

• The king says that in my country there many people who
believe in different religion no religious party, group or
sect is allowed to abuse others. Every one should be live in tolerance

• The king mentioned the names of his contemporary kings
like Antiochus (Syria) Ptolemy Philadelphia (Egypt) Magas
(Cyrene) Antigonus Gonatas Thios (Macedonia) and Alexander (Apirus)

• The last edict is of the epilogue of all edicts and it
seems that this whole inscription is copied from an
authentic official copy which was issued by the king.

HUND (the city of the ballot boxes) Hund, the capital of
kings Hindu-Shahi of Kabul and Gandhara east locates on
western bank of Indus, in Swab. Boudha, seeming a large fish
in a previous birth, nourishes, the people of its flesh.
King Alexandre rested, with his army, before crossing Indus.
The Chinese pilgrims Sangyun and Hiven Tasang visited
this place too. Maqdusi, the first traveller Arab wrote
anecdotes on the gardens of Hund. Changaiz Khan reaches this
place in its continuation of the Jalauddin sultan. Baber
also establishes a camp in Hund. Akbar builds a fort to
control Yousafzai and the Maharajah Rangit Singh crossed
Indus to attack the Moslems. Syed Ahmad Shaheed Barelevi
left the fort to begin its holy war against Sikhs. Many
historical battles are deroulees here and Indus has reddens
with the blood of the winners as well as of overcome. It is
by Hund that the troops of the invaders of the Central Asia
passed for their conquest of under continent.

This Ci one is seen of the historical dramas
which are unroll has Hund. Professor Alfred Foucher, the
French archaeologist has correctly names Hund “the door of
India”. Though the majority of old the citee were emportee
by the river or were destroyed by the men, the importance of
Hund does not decrease by it for Ca In old times Hund was
known by the name of Ude-Bandha-Pura. The term consists of
the word Sanskrit Uudak (water) Bhand (pot) Pure (city).
Thus the name reveals that Indus was cross-piece has this
place in pots, a primitive method. Hiven Tasang and Kalhana
also have calls Ude-Bandha-Pure Hund. Others have calls it
Ohind and Alberuni has it nommee Waihund. According to all
the writers, Waihund was the capital of Gandhara. Sir has
said Cunningham that the name changed a little time has
others. Thus the city became Hund of today. The quatres
important cities of Gandhara were: Pushlavasti (Charsadha),
Vershapur (Shahbaz Gahri,) Purshapur (Peshawar) and Ude-Bandha-Pure (Hund).

All these cities were reliees by a main road. Peshawar was established
at the first century apr. JC., during the reigne of Kanishka
which made its capital of it, in preference has
Pushklavasti. Shahbaz Gahri was an important crossroads on
all the old roads and thus an important city of Gandhara, or
the travellers, coming from all directions, made stage. The
old road which joined Shahbaz Gahri has Delhi does not exist
now. Today the inhabitants of Hund are of Khattak, Khan
Khail, the Habib Khail and Hindkuwal. Archaeological
remainders. During recent excavations a treasure of parts,
potteries, toys as D” other objects were put opening, as
well as foundations, vestiges of Large Kushan, Hindu Shahi
and Mughals. According to the coins the site dates from the
first at the fifteenth century. The ramparts were built and
reconstuits many times, the last rebuilding appears to be
period of Hindu Shahi. It there
has a mount in ruins, calls Salamgahr by the inhabitants
of the village who say that it was the throne rhaja or
people went render homage to the king. Two inscriptions were
discovered too. Dimensions of this big city can be
determined by the mounts in the neighbourhoods of Hund and
the residues of pots find with the surroundings and in the
bed of the river. New discoveries are always made when the
farmers plow their fields. The only monument referring to
the Moslem period is strong Mughal, has Hund, built at the
time of Akber. This fort was built to strictly control the
yousafzai which were always make fun of the Mughales
authorities. Today, the village of Hund east locates inside
the fort. The old city lost its importance and its size when
Akber installed a ferry has Attock and made build a strong
giant on cliff. It was a death-blow for the prosperity of
Hund which depended on the passage, of the transfer and of
the transport of all the merchandises
for the crossing of Indus. Although aucuns does not
survive to date, the fort and Indus point out to us the
names of all these men associate with Hund: Alexandre, Hiven
Tasang, Sangyun, Changaiz Khan, Taimur, Baber, Akber,
Aruangzeb, Syed Ahmad Shaheed, Ranjeet Singh and
Saidu Babba
de Swat as well as Boudha.

Tango Buddhist paintings
Pre-historic Paintings.
Narinagi hill ruins
Tora Ghaundai
But Serai
Hosai dherai
Karamar range
Chanrri site
Spinkai killy
Rustam Spring
Maho Dheria
Barra site
Ghundai killy
Maha Bannra
Sarah Dherai
Sarah dherai spring
Atam Choakai site
Mayar Dharma sal school
Old Arrat
Shakar Tangai stupa
Ruth site sanghao village
Zainai abai graves

Bakhshali Manuscript

The Bakhshali manuscript is an early mathematical
manuscript which was discovered over 100 years ago.
The Bakhshali Manuscript is the name given to the
mathematical work written on birch bark and found in the
summer of 1881 near the village Bakhshali (or Bakhshalai) of
the Mardan district (now in Pakistan). The village is
situated 15 km from the city of Mardan.
An Inspector of Police named Mian An–Wan–Udin (whose
tenant actually discovered the manuscript while digging a
stone enclosure in a ruined place) took the work to the
Assistant Commissioner at Mardan who intended to forward the
manuscript to Lahore Museum. However, it was subsequently
sent to the Lieutenant Governor of Punjab who, on the advice
of General A Cunningham, directed it to be passed on to Dr
Rudolf Hoernle of the Calcutta Madrasa for study and
publication. Dr Hoernle presented a description of the BM
before the Asiatic Society of Bengal in 1882, and this was
published in the Indian Antiquary in 1883. He gave a fuller
account at the Seventh Oriental Conference held at Vienna in
1886 and this was published in its Proceedings. A revised
version of this paper appeared in the Indian Antiquary of
1888. In 1902, he presented the Bakhshali Manuscript to the
Bodleian Library, Oxford, where it is still (Shelf mark: MS.
Sansk. d. 14).

A large part of the manuscript had been destroyed and only
about 70 leaves of birch–bark, of which a few were only
scraps, survived to the time of its discovery.

Hisara banda
Jangi dher
Salo killy,
Gunbad shah baba
Sawal dher
Laka tega
Salim khan
Merwaz Baba
Khazane dherai
Dulat dherai (safi abad)
Pipal Killy
Kohi Killy
Baku dherai
Enkian killy
Qaseem Dherai
Sazu deen
Swatu killy
Saliman Dherai ( Gujer Gahrai)
Maryam Dherai
Yousaf Khan Site
Khan Gahrai
Spin Kanrri Dherai
Kao Dherai
Katto Baba
Qaim Dherai
Ganga Sar
Asarah Dherai
Chorah Dherai
Jamal Gahrai Rock Shelter
Ghaala Dherai
Kati Gahria
Sanghao Site (Kushan Period)
Bhagirah Shikai Pul Takhat Bahi
Pirsai Village
Badam village
Manga Baba
Tajja Village
Jalil killay
Palo Dherai
Shah kot village Morah Pass
Jamrrah (Takhat Bahi)
Ghalu smast (Visvasnthra cave)
Chanako Dherai
Khora Bandha (Hosai)
Bhai khan
Koter Panrr
Kata Khat
Bari kob
Amozo Gahri
Chan Chanarro Khatt
Ghaz Dherai
Chief khan Bagh site
Mohib Banda
Par Hoti
Ghalla Dher
Kodinaka Dherai
Savae Bazaar Megalith
Kalu Khan Dher
Sher Gahrr
Shah Baz Gahrai School Pipal( Tree)
Naranji Hill site
Sudham Valley
Shenkar Dherai
Karkanra Dherai
Taari Dherai
Dherai killy Plato
Koudare Dherai
Pir Sado
Karkarwand ( Turo)
Chachano kuroona
Soorai khat
Mirbaz Gaz
Shakar Mora
Umar Khan
Landi Umar Khan
Chahal Ghazai Baba
Shah Baig
Shaikh Yousaf
Rozi Band
Cheel Banda
Bahter Ghundai
Ghanu Dherai
Chowa baba dherai
Serai qabruna
Perano dah gaha
Aslam kalley ghar
Tor dher near charsadha
Bam khel swabi
Passes lead to Mardan
Ambella pass
Morah Dara
Malandarai Dara
Ambella Dara
Malakand Dara
Baz Dara
Kinger Gali dara
Chamlla pass
Baba Karam Singh

There is no doubt that Mardan is a wonderful place. Once
you live here, you love it. This is not only true about the
present inhabitants but also those who lived here in the
past.Buddhists, Hindus, Sikh,Christians and Muslims equally
loved it. One person who loved Mardan was a Sikh Saint, Sant Karam Singh.

Karam Singh joined the Corps of Guides in 1846, which was
later reorganized as 5th (Guides) Battalion of the 12th
Frontier Force Regiment, with Mardan being its normal duty
station. He was spending off–duty hours in prayer in the
regimental gurdwara or in solitary meditation on the bank of
a nearby stream Kalapani, besides voluntary service in the common kitchen.

In 1857, the Guides formed part of the force that went from
the Punjab to the aid of the British locked in a critical
combat with Indian soldiers. Delhi fell to the British on 20
September 1857 after a siege lasting five months. The
victorious soldiers fell upon the city and freely indulged in loot and massacre.

During this unrestrained pillage, officially permitted,
Karam Singh, who had come to Delhi with his regiment,
protected several families by standing guard outside their
doors, refusing to accept any reward for his help. He was
one soldier who stood aloof from this wholesale plunder.
Karam Singh returned to Mardan with his regiment. To be
able to devote himself fully to his spiritual pursuit, he
resigned from the army. The legend persists till today that
once as he remained absorbed in meditation for long hours,
he was reported absent from duty, but the officer who went
to check up found him present. When Karam Singh, it is said,
heard of this strange occurrence, he quit the army. His fame
as a saint spread and visitors began to pour in to see him.
For their sake, a few thatched huts were constructed near
Hoti, a town close to Mardan, a well was sunk, and Guru ka
Langar started – all by voluntary service in which
soldiers from the Guides also participated.

He did not deliver lengthy sermons, but people felt
inspired by his pious manner. Many became his disciples. He
had his admirers among Hindus and Muslims and among the
turbulent Pathan tribals. He did not go out of Hoti Mardan
during the rest of his life, except once when he undertook a
pilgrimage to Panja Sahib, Amritsar and Haridvar.
There are so many stories about him in the villages like
Gujar Garhai and Rustam. His followers in Jalandhar,Punjab
dedicated a site to Dera Hoti Mardan, started by Baba Karam
Singh ji.

Mardan Museum

There are some beautiful museums in the world which attract
millions of visitors. The region of Mardan is rich in
culture and especially Gandhara remains are matchless. The
people of Mardan had the idea of a museum for a long time
and they were keen to preserve the heritage. For this reason
they formed National Heritage Preservation Societies in the
past. Ultimately with the interest of the local Government
Officials and the then commissioner of Mardan, Mr R N
Sahibzada, the proposal of building a museum in Mardan was
made in 1990. The museum was opened in April1991. By then it
was probably too late as most of the sculptures and other
valuable items were sold illegally by the so called antique
dealers (smugglers). The opening of the museum was easy as
it was established in the Hall of Mardan Auditorium.
Therefore it is a temporary location. One person by the name
of Mr A.N.Shinwari is worth mentioning here. He was a
government official who was in a
position to sanction the use of the building as a museum.
But more importantly he took a great interest in Gandhara
Culture and wrote articles for the local Journal. Initial
help to the museum was provided by Peshawar Museum,
Archaeology Department University of Peshawar and Chakdara
Museum. The museum is a single big hall with 22 Show cases
displaying more than 90 sculptures. It could have been in
thousands. The museum in charge Mr Zain ul Wahab has
published a lot about Mardan History, Gandhara Culture and

The Sculptures in Mardan Museum.

The Museum reflects a collective effort and a big
achievement. The struggle does not stop here and the people
of Mardan have the following demands and suggestions to the
local authorities:Provision of a new state–of–the–art
Museum as the current location is temporary and the space is
less. There was once a land allocated by the then chief
Minister, Mr Aftab Sherpao for a new museum. What happened
to that land? There are some new Archaeological Sites
revealed and more will be uncovered in the future. The
authorities need to put proper measures in place so the new
sites do not fall into the hands of the antique smugglers.
Many sculptures and items have been taken away to decorate
other museums in the country and the rest of the world. The
museum itself and the people are asking for the return of
these valuables to Mardan Museum, the place of their True Origin.
The visitors enjoy their visit to the museum. The above
measures will attract more and more visitors from all over the world.

Indigenous Peoples' Literature Return to Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Compiled by: Glenn Welker

Copyright @ 1993-2016

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