IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Ancient Hindu temple discovered in northwest Pakistan

21st November, 2020 Art & Culture

Context: A Hindu temple, believed to have been constructed 1,300 years ago, has been discovered by Pakistani and Italian archaeological experts at a mountain in northwest Pakistan’s Swat district.

Other details:

  • The discovery was made during an excavation at Barikot Ghundai.
  • The temple discovered is of Lord Vishnu.
  • It was built by the Hindus 1,300 years ago during the Hindu Shahi period.
  • The Hindu Shahis or Kabul Shahis (850-1026 CE) was a Hindu dynasty that ruled the Kabul Valley (eastern Afghanistan), Gandhara (modern-day Pakistan), and present-day northwestern India.
  • During their excavation, the archaeologists also found traces of cantonment and watchtowers near the temple site.
  • The experts also found a water tank near the temple site, which they believe was used by the Hindus for bathing before worship.
  • Swat district is home to a thousand-year-old archaeological sites and the traces of the Hindu Shahi period have been found for the first time in the area.
  • This was the first temple of the Ghandhara civilisation discovered in Swat district.
  • Swat district is among the top 20 sites in Pakistan which is home to every kind of tourism such as natural beauty, religious tourism, cultural tourism and archaeological sites.
  • Several places of worship of Buddhism are also situated in Swat district.