Gor Khuttree — an ancient gem of old Peshawar


Gor Khuttree literally means the
‘Warriors Grave’, although there are
no traces of any grave there. It is regarded as the oldest citadel in the ancient city
of Peshawar.
The archaeological excavation of 1992 recovered the primitive monument and artefacts belonging to an age
long gone.
Gor Khuttree reminds us of Peshawar’s past that has witnessed thriving civilisations of Harapa, Ghandara, Koshan, Buddhism, Muslims’ rule, and British Raj.
It remained an attraction for travellers from around the world for thousands of years.
Most of the structures found after excavations date back to Mughal, Sikh and the British period. The site for its location at the ancient trade route was known for Serais (motels where caravans would halt for rest and food) during Mughal era.
Jahan Ara Begum, daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan, built a mosque near Gor Khuttree in 1640 which itself became another historical site, Ahmad Faraz, an official at the Archaeology Department, told Pakistan Today.
After the fall of Mughals Empire, the Sikhs made Gor Khuttree their regional headquarter in 1834, Faraz added.
He said that the then Sikh general Arita Bayel stationed at Gor Khuttree was a ruthless man and he had two underground gallows constructed there for killing his opponents.
Fraz said that the Sikhs then converted the mosque into a temple.
“After the Sikhs, the British stationed their army there. The British established fire brigade building and the Municipal Committee in 1912. After the partition the Committee building was converted into Police Headquarter. Later the building and the site was handed over to the Archaeology Department”, the official added. The Peshawar Archaeology Department has established two galleries displaying artefacts including ancient coins, pots, stones, dresses, jewellery. He said that the excavation at the Gor Khuttree site was underway that promised more discoveries.