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Gandhara Legacy | Pakistan’s Symposium Begins in Islamabad

July 19, 2023

Senior Buddhist monks and delegates from various countries have arrived in Pakistan’s capital city of Islamabad for a three-day symposium beginning today, Tuesday, that aims to highlight the South Asian country’s rich Buddhist heritage and shed light on the significance of the Gandhara civilization.

The ancient civilization of Gandhara, whose name means “land of fragrance” in Sanskrit, flourished to the west of the Indus River from the middle of the first century BCE to the beginning of the second millennium CE. Peshawar, Swat, Dir, Bajaur, Buner, Mardan, and Swabi are now part of Pakistan’s northern borders.

The conference, which will take place in Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, from July 11-13, is titled “Cultural Diplomacy: Reviving Gandhara Civilization and Buddhist Heritage in Pakistan.” There will be four panels at the conference that explore the ancient Gandhara culture and the Buddhist roots of Pakistan. Buddhist artifacts dating back centuries will be on display at museums in Taxila and Peshawar, which will be visited as part of the event. Dr. Arif Alvi, President of Pakistan, will give the keynote presentation at the opening ceremony.

The state-run Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) said that speakers at the Gandhara Symposium will come from a variety of countries, including Pakistan, China, Malaysia, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and China. “Religious and scholarly leaders will discuss the significance of the Buddhist heritage and the ancient Gandharan culture. The Symposium will also feature notable figures from Pakistan’s tourist business.

Buddhists and non-Buddhists from all over the world visit the Gandhara region to worship at sacred sites and marvel at Gandhara sculptures and artifacts.

The Gandhara Symposium, according to the APP, “will also focus on promoting faith tourism in Pakistan,” with the former goal being “to create awareness about Gandhara and foster a sense of appreciation for Pakistan’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, both domestically and abroad.

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

Read More: Million of Buddhist Tourists Desire to Explore Gandhara Heritage

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