1,300 YO Hindu temple found in Pakistan
Archaeologists have come across a major discovery in the Swat region of Pakistan. A Hindu temple, considered at least 1,300-year-old, was discovered by Pakistani and Italian archaeological experts at a mountain in northwest Pakistan’s Swat district. The discovery was made during an excavation at Barikot Ghundai.
The temple discovered is of Lord Vishnu. It was built by the Hindus 1,300 years ago during the Hindu Shahi period.
The Hindu Shahis or Kabul Shahis (850-1026 CE) was a Hindu dynasty that ruled the Kabul Valley (eastern Afghanistan), Gandhara (modern-day Pakistan), and present-day northwestern India.
During their excavation, the archaeologists also found traces of cantonment and watchtowers near the temple site. The experts also found a water tank near the temple site which they believe was used by the Hindus for bathing before worship.
The archaeologists say that this is the first temple of the Ghandhara Civilisation discovered in the Swat district.
The ancient civilisation
The Gandhara Civilisation existed in what is now Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE to the beginning of the 2nd millennium CE. Gandhara was not known to have been geographically described in detail until the pilgrimage of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang, 602- 664 CE) in the 7th century CE. He visited the region during the tail end of the Gandhara civilisation, after the time when it had achieved its greatest feats and was falling into decay. Well-known cities of the gandhara include Takshasila (Taxila),Purushapura (Peshawar) and Pushkalavati (Mardan).
Did you know?
The name of Gandhara may have several meanings, but the most prominent theory relates its name to the word Qand/Gand which means "fragrance", and Har which means 'lands'. Hence in its simplest form, Gandhara is the 'Land of Fragrance'.