PESHAWAR :A nine-member delegation comprising monks from Thailand Wednesday visited archaeological sites in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Peshawar Museum evincing keen interest in Buddhist heritage.
The delegation comprising chief monks and monks, officials of archaeology and museums department visited Takht Bhai ruins where they performed religious rituals. They also visited Peshawar Museum and expressed keen interests in the artifacts of Buddha era.
On the occasion, they were briefed about rich heritage sites of Buddhism situated in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Director Archaeology and Museums, Dr Abdul Samad briefed the monks about the archaeological sites in Peshawar, Takht Bhai ruins, gallery of Buddhist statues, antiques and artifacts in the museum.
He said there were over 6,000 archaeological and heritage sites in KP and research had been carried out to revive and conserve these sites properly.
“The followers of Buddhism would find a treasure trove of Buddhist statues and heritage after thorough research and revival of these sites,” he told the delegation.
He said UNESCO had declared Takht Bhai ruins a world heritage site in year 1980, where thousands of ruins of Buddhism exists.
Dr Samad said the government had taken a number of steps for attracting foreign tourists, scholars and researchers to the province.
He said a comprehensive policy had been evolved for preserving and protecting the archaeological sites and places in KP province.
He informed that initiatives were being taken to carryout excavation on archaeological sites through modern techniques and methods.
He also mentioned latest discoveries and the rich Gandhara heritage in various parts of the province.
The current collection has almost 14,000 items based on Gandhara, Greco-Buddhist, Kushan, Parthian, and Indo-Scythian life.
The museum showcases art, sculptures, coins, manuscripts, statues, ancient books, early versions of the Quran, weapons, dresses, jewelry, Kalash effigies, inscriptions, paintings of the Mughal and later periods, household materials and pottery as well as local and Persian handicrafts.
He said the Peshawar Museum had one of the largest and most extensive collections of Gandhara art of Buddhist period and is considered to be one of the biggest collections of Buddhist objects in the world.
It also contains the largest collection on Gautama Buddha. Buddhist stone sculptures, terracotta figurines, and other Buddhist objects.