A visit to Takht Bhai offers the chance to explore ruins dating back to the time of Kanishka, a Kushan emperor, famous for his military, political and spiritual feats.
Buddhists offered prayers at the site and left statues to mark their gratitude once their wishes had been fulfilled, said Dr Shah Nazar Khan, from the Directorate of Archeology and Museums, K-P, while speaking to The Express Tribune. People visited the place in the final stages of life to meditate.
Since the site is situated on top of a hill, it escaped the devastation wrought by successive invasions and is still well preserved, according to historians.
The Buddhist remains in Takht Bhai are believed to have been constructed between the first and the fifth century BC. The town is situated about 80 kilometres from Peshawar.
Many statues of Buddha were discovered at the site, which have been housed in the Peshawar Museum.
In Sanskrit, Takht means “well” and Bhai means “on a high surface” so the word means “well on a high surface”. The area was listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1980.
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa is rich in archaeological remains of the Ghandhara civilization, but unfortunately the timeless remains from our collective past have suffered from government neglect and vandalism.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2012.