Lakeshore City

Celebrating Cultural Heritage | Gandhara Festival Lights Pakistan

July 19, 2023

One of the most undervalued facets of Pakistan’s thriving culture is the country’s rich Buddhist past. The Taxila Museum will host a five-day “Gandhara Festival” hosted by the Center for Culture and Development (CCD) to honor this special period in Pakistan’s past. Between October 6th and 9th, 2021, the general public can attend this event. Let’s learn more about the relevance of the Gandhara Festival to Pakistan’s tourism industry.


When it comes to the growth of Buddhism in South Asia, Pakistan is often cited as a forerunner among nations. Despite having the greatest numbers of Buddhists in South Asia, countries like China, Nepal, and Sri Lanka all attribute the introduction of Buddhism to Pakistan. As a result, all around Pakistan you can visit various Buddhist sites. 

Taxila City is especially well-known for its Buddhist relics and stupas, although the influence of Buddhism can be seen all the way from the northern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the southern province of Sindh. The Lotus Buddha, a carved image of Buddha sitting on a lotus flower, is said to have originated in the Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and been responsible for the transmission of Buddhism to China. These two sites, along with Takht-i-Bahi, make up what historians call the 1st-century AD Gandhara Kingdom, one of the world’s greatest and most technologically advanced civilizations. 

A historic Buddhist monastery, Takht-i-Bahi can be found in modern-day Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, not far from the ruins of the fortified city Sahr-i-Bahlol. These two locations are among the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan. 

In addition, a Buddhist complex featuring sculptures and coinage from the 2nd to 5th century was unearthed in 2015 in the Haripur area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Precious Kushan era coins were also discovered during the excavation. 

A 1,700-year-old “sleeping” Buddha statue was discovered later that same year.  This location has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is presently being evaluated for inclusion.

Some of the most popular sites for Buddhist tourism are:

  • Shpola Top 
  • Shah ji ki Dheri
  • Charsadda
  • Shaikhan Dheri 
  • Sahri Bahlol
  • Jamal Garhi 
  • Gangu Dheric
  • Sirikup
  • Dharmarajika
  • Bhirmond 
  • Bhallar
  • Sirsukh 
  • Pipplian 
  • Jaulian 
  • Mohra Moradu 
  • Brahmanabad at Sanghar 
  • Siraj-ji-Takri at Khairpur
  • Kahu-Jo-Darro at Mirpur Khas
  • Sudheran Jo Thul at Hyderabad
  • Thul Hairo Khan 
  • Bhaleel Shah Thul at Dadu
  • Thul Mir Rukan at Nawabshah 
  • Kot Bambhan Thul at Tando Muhammad Khan 

Also, the National Museum in Karachi and the Sindh Museum in Hyderabad also feature displays dedicated to Buddhist artifacts from Sindh.

Buddhist religious sites and the artifacts they contain attest to the cultural depth of the host country. This is more evidence of the high regard with which heritage tourism is held throughout the country. Both domestic and international visitors will find this information useful. Locals gain a sense of pride in their community, while visitors from other countries gain insight into the development of one of the world’s finest ancient civilizations. 

Let’s take a look at the five-day Gandhara Festival and see what’s in store.


The Taxila Museum will play host to a series of exhibitions, panels, and storytelling sessions over the course of five days. The festival aims to incorporate the Gandhara Civilization’s material and immaterial cultural heritage into Pakistan’s domestic tourism industry. In this approach, it can be seen as Pakistan’s contribution to the cause of sustainable tourism, which is urgently required as the country seeks to broaden its tourism industry. 

The current administration has been working on proposals to build a Gandhara Trail since earlier this year. All Buddhist sites were to be mapped out and built with housing facilities and transportation so that visiting monks and tourists could easily visit all of the sites around the country. However, the coronavirus epidemic put a stop to their efforts.

Despite the epidemic, a group of Sri Lankan monks traveled to Pakistan in April to visit the sacred sites at Takht-e-Bahi, KP. The monks were led on a weeklong pilgrimage to all of the major holy sites in Pakistan by Dr. Walpola Piyananda, adviser to the Sri Lankan president and head monk in the United States. In an interview with the media, Dr. Abdul Samad, director of archaeology and museums for the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, called this the “first step towards institutionalizing ‘Gandhara Tourism Trail’ in the country,” and he noted that the goal had been met within a few of months. 

In addition, South Korean Ambassador Suh Sangpyo has recently revealed plans to sign an MoU between Pakistan and South Korea, worth USD 4 million, to promote and preserve Gandhara Buddhist legacy in Pakistan. Since 2019, plans like this have been in the works for a Korean Buddhist tourist destination. 

The current plan is to begin the Gandhara Trail in Taxila and continue it through Swabi, Peshawar, Khyber, Mardan, and finally Swat. Thai, Korean, Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, and even American monk delegations are all expected to visit the country. Pakistan’s standing as a destination for pilgrims will be substantially strengthened as a result of this. Heritage tourism in Pakistan has been pushed even further under Al Beruni Radius. If you enjoyed this post, you might also be interested in another we wrote on the finest Hindu and Jain places of worship in Pakistan.

Read More: Gandhara Heritage along Silk Road | Ancient Art and Culture

Read More: Exploring The Rich Heritage of Jaulian and Gandhara Civilization

Don’t miss the chance to invest with Lakeshore! Secure your investment today by investing your financial investment with Lakeshore in the following available options like Lakeshore CityLakeshore Club, and Lakeshore Farms.

For More updates, please Contact +92 335 7775253 or visit our website

Lakeshore City is the upcoming elite lifestyle at Khanpur Dam. Offering no parallel amenities for the members and owners of distinguished farmhouses. 

Become Part of Luxurious Lifestyle

Contact: 0335 7775253

Posted in Lakeshore City
Write a comment
Our Blogs

Our Blogs