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City Sites And Stupas

The excavations carried out by the Archeology department have brought out to light the presence of a city site at Charsdda on the banks of Swat River in Peshawar. This site is believed to be the capital city of Gandhara (City referred in Mahabharata Epic). Further, studies by the department have indicated existence of Viharas, towers and stupas of Buddha’s period. The Stupa type of architecture has also been found at various locations like Sahri-Bahlol, Shahji-Ki-Dheri near Peshawar, Manikyala in Rawalpindi district, Hoti Mardan, Takht-i-Bahai and Jamalgarhi.

King Kanishka who was the follower of Buddhism built the marvelous Stupa at Shahji-Ki-Dheri. The interior portion of the Stupa contained secured artifacts of Lord Buddha. Kanishka’s Stupa has been visited by two of the popular travelers to India Husain Tsang and Alberuni in the 7th and 11th century respectively. Takht-i-Bahai has an excellent Stupa which is popular for its standing statue of Buddha. The presence of monasteries was discovered from Sahri-Bahlol by studying the ruins. Similar evidences for presence of monasteries were received from Baluchistan and Sind. A Stupa made of bricks containing big mages of Buddha and 3 vaulted cells were identified from Mirpurkhas. This Stupa is believed to be destroyed by invasion of Arabs around 7th century. Several evidences of Stupa remains have been received from places like Baluchistan, Tor-Dherai in Loralai district and Sindh. During the Gupta period these Stupas were replaced by temple of Brahmanical order.

The recent excavations carried out at Sanghol in Ludhiana District established the presence of Budhist culture. It is also believed that the name of the place is derived from the word “Sangha” which means Buddhist community. Apart from this a Dharma Chakra or wheel of justice has been found from the excavation site at Sanghol.

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