Heritage in Danger | Environmental Impact Blurs Gandhara Charisma; PTDC
ISLAMABAD:Pakistan Tourism and Development Cooperation (PTDC) Wednesday said Gandhara Art is losing its charisma and attraction due to the stone crushing plants located in the vicinity of the site.
The PDDC Spokesperson said that another reason for the descending beauty of the site is that Gandhara’s land is being illegally occupied by the local residents.
“Rawalpindi has numerous of heritage buildings, however, not a single one of them is being protected by the authorities,” he claimed.
Giving a solution to the problem, he said the government must purchase all land of Gandhara and must deploy full time security guards to look after the site.
He said Pakistan is ranked 124thout of 136 countries among top of 25 percent tourists’ destinations for its world heritage sites.
It may be mentioned here that Gandhara is an ancient school of art which emerged from the small kingdom of Gandhara located at the borders meeting Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the region boasted of a remarkable cultural romance.
Through the missionary zeal of the Mauryan king, Asoka (272-37 BC) Buddhism was introduced into the area.
The intriguing record of Gandhara civilization, discovered in the 20th century, are found in the archeological sites spread over Taxila, Swat and other parts of NWFP.
The rock carving and the petroglyphs along the ancient Silk Road (Karakoram Highway) also provide fascinating record of the history of Gandhara.
Gandhara sculptures occupy a prominent place in the museums of England, France, Germany, USA, Japan, Korea, China, India and Afghanistan, together with many private collections world over, as well as a vast collection in the museums of Pakistan.
Buddhism left a monumental and rich legacy of art and architecture in Pakistan.Despite the vagaries of centuries, the Gandhara region preserved a lot of the heritage in craft and art. Much of this legacy is visible even today in Pakistan.