Cultural heritage: Takht Bhai offers a glimpse of life under Kanishka

Published: March 11, 2012
A view of Buddhist remains in Takht Bhai. PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS

A view of Buddhist remains in Takht Bhai. PHOTO: EXPRESS NEWS


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.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (7)

  • Mogambo
    Mar 11, 2012 - 1:15PM

    Ancient India and its evergreen beauty and culture.


  • Mandeep Vaid
    Mar 11, 2012 - 7:28PM

    There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the Way! Gautama Buddha


  • usmanx
    Mar 12, 2012 - 12:16AM

    Ancient Pakistan, Ancient Indus at its glory.

    I was at this site. It is simply amazing. There were lots of Japanese and Chinese tourists visiting.


  • Deb
    Mar 12, 2012 - 4:22AM


    “Ancient Pakistan, Ancient Indus at it’s glory.”

    Wrong. Pakistan is not ancient, rather nascent.Kanishka(Kushan) empire is a part of ancient India, which was bigger than India as it is today.Pakistan’s pre partition history is history of India. .


  • Mar 12, 2012 - 11:20AM

    How it escaped the evil eye of Taliban.


  • usmanx
    Mar 13, 2012 - 1:13AM


    If the history of Indus does not belong to the people that inhabit Indus, the descendants of Indus, to whom does it belong then?

    the 9500 years out of the last 10,000 years during which Pakistan area or Indus was not part of a so-called “India” belongs to the Republic of India also?

    by your rationale because England controlled the sub-continent at one time, India can now claim Scotland. Preposterous.


  • Mayur
    May 8, 2012 - 6:35AM

    Well Said Usmanx, youve proved it in very light of your own words Indus belongs to the indus. thats how the name INDIA, comes into being and our gentics iff seen through the Dna belts would associate us to the Indus civilization even” the word Hindu refers to the post inhabitants of the Indus civilization” : courtesy : Wikipedia, Now ancient India would make sense of being from the Indus river while ancient Pakistan would bring us to colonial era post 1947s !!!as a matter of fact ,


More in K-P