Italian tourists visit historic Buddhist site in Mardan


Two Italian tourists, along with a guide, visited the historic Buddhist site, Takht-e-Bhai, in Mardan on Friday.

Laura and Dara visited the centuries-old Buddhist complex where they also performed yoga. They received a detailed briefing on the worship places of Buddhists. They were informed that the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has devised a comprehensive strategy for protecting archaeological sites besides initiatives for the excavation of archaeological sites through modern techniques. The guide also told them about the latest discoveries and the rich Gandhara heritage in various parts of the province.

Takht-e-Bhai is listed in the World Heritage List of  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and is considered one of the most well-structured Buddhist monasteries in Gandhara district. It is an archaeological wonder, considered to be significant because of its unique design. Despite numerous invasions into the area, Takht-e-Bahi’s hilltop location seems to have protected it from destruction, unlike many comparable early Buddhist monastic complexes.

On Thursday, the Italian tourists visited Peshawar where they explored the heritage and culture of the historic city and enjoyed the delicious traditional food. They visited the crowded Muslim Meena Bazaar, historic Sethi House, Ghanta Ghar, Chowk Yadgar, Gor Khatri, Peshawar Museum, Heritage Trail, various bazaars in Saddar locality and enjoyed spicy foods in Namakmandi. They also purchased cultural items and enjoyed a ride in a traditionally-decorated rickshaw as well.

They lauded the sense of safety and peace they felt in the country and said that foreign tourists can visit any place in KP without any fear. They appreciated the hospitality of the locals and said that they will share their experience with others upon their return to Italy.

As peace has returned to KP, tourists from China, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Italy and elsewhere from across the globe have now started coming to the province and the provincial tourism department is also making all-out efforts to promote tourism.