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UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mardan

September 16, 2023

The Buddhist ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and the neighboring city remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol, known as both Takht-i-Bahi (throne of the water spring) and Takht-i-Bhai (throne of origins), are one of Pakistan’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is one of the region’s best-preserved Buddhist monasteries. This tourist attraction, located in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, attracts visitors from all over the world. This monastic complex’s centuries-old history dates back to the first century, when it was part of the Gandhara culture.

So, fellow explorers and historians! Are you ready to travel back in time to discover one of Pakistan’s hidden treasures? Put on your explorer’s hat and get ready to unravel the secrets of Takht-i-Bahi if you’re seeking for an awe-inspiring combination of history, culture, and stunning scenery!

TAKHT-I-BAHI: A Throne of Water Spring

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an archaeological marvel that bears witness to the region’s rich history and complex cultural tapestry. The name of this monastery is associated with a spring on the site’s left side, according to local legend. The magnificent and remarkably well-preserved monastery provides important insights and data concerning early Buddhism.

Historians and archaeologists think that just 30% of the site, which has remained unchanged for 800 years, has been excavated, with the other 70% still to be discovered. These remains are strewn across several hilltops ranging in height from 36.6 meters to 152.4 meters, as is common for Buddhist temples. The monastery is supposed to have been in use until the seventh century.

Getting There is Half The Adventure

The journey to Takht-i-Bahi is an experience in and of itself. It’s around 80 kilometers from Peshawar and 16 kilometers from the bustling metropolis of Mardan. The beautiful green fields and picturesque surroundings as you approach the site will make you feel like you’re in a time machine, traveling back to ancient times.

The Historical Treasure Trove

So, what’s all the fuss about this place? Takht-i-Bahi, on the other hand, is a large complex that formerly housed hundreds of monks and served as a center of Buddhist instruction. Here are some of the highlights that make this place so unique:

The Main Stupa: The big stupa greets you as you approach the site. This imposing building functioned as the monastic complex’s spiritual core. It is said that Buddha’s relics were previously housed here.

Courtyards and Cells: As you walk around the courtyards, you’ll notice dozens of little cells where monks used to dwell and meditate. You can almost hear ancient chants whispering in the air.

Ornate Architecture: Takht-i-Bahi’s architectural style is a captivating combination of Hellenistic and Indian elements. The beautiful carvings, columns, and colorful themes that cover the site will enchant you.

The Water Management System: The monastic complex had a well-planned water management system that included channels and cisterns. It’s a testament to the builders’ brilliance.

The Scenic Views

Takht-i-Bahi, in addition to its historical value, provides breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area. From the complex’s highest point, you can see beautiful green fields, picturesque villages, and the majestic mountains in the distance. It’s the ideal location for taking in Pakistan’s natural beauties.

Tips for Exploring Takht-I-Bahi

  • Tours: To fully understand Takht-i-Bahi’s historical and cultural significance, consider hiring a local guide who can give fascinating anecdotes and insights.
  • Respect the Site: Keep in mind that this is a sacred and historical location. Respect the monks and all visitors by dressing modestly.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, bring drink, and protect yourself from the sun. Summer can be hot, so sunscreen and a hat are vital.
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the beautiful architecture and scenery.


Takht-i-Bahi is a location where history comes to life as whispers from the past reverberate down the generations. It’s a fantastic place for anyone who enjoy adventure, culture, and discovery. So, why bother? Plan your vacation, immerse yourself in the mysticism of this ancient wonder, and let the stones of Takht-i-Bahi tell you their story. If you happen to be in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the KP Culture and Tourism Authority is giving a tour of the site for PKR 1,000 for families and females (including transportation and lunch). For registration and further information, please call 0315-8142665. The tour will take place on October 15, 2023, and visitors are urged to meet at the Peshawar Sports Complex at 9 AM.

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