1st Century Buddhist Ruins at Takht-i-Bahi

Takht-i-Bhai is a further famous and preserved monument, a Buddhist monastery situated on a rock-strewn point about 10 miles northeast of Mardan. This construction dates back to two to five century AD and stands 600 feet over the plane. The characteristic, which distinguishes this place from others, is its architectural variety and its idealistic mountain setting. The uphill approach has helped in the protection of the monument.

The bare buildings here include the main stupa and two courtyards in different terraces bounded by votive stupa and shrines, the monastic quadrangles surrounded by cells for the monks, and a large hall of gathering. In one of the stupa courtyard is a line of massive Buddhas, which were actually 16 to 20 feet high.

The site’s scrappy sculptures in stone and stucco are a significant wealth but its most notable feature is the strange design and arrangement of the small shrines, which encircle the main stupa. These shrines stood upon a continuous sculptured platform and were crowned alternately with stupa-like finials forming a group. The beauty and splendor provided by the entire composition is unparallel in the Buddhist world.

Takht-i-Bhai had a wealth of ancient Buddhist relics. A long array of different sized Buddha and Buddhistavvas from Takht-i-Bhai fill many museums. Some of the best pieces of Gandhara sculpture, now to be found in the museums of Europe were originally recovered from Takht-i-Bhai.

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