The region today known as Pakistan has a very rich and diverse history if you look deep enough. A lot of cultures and civilizations have come and gone, leaving their remnants behind in the form of artifacts. Buddhism for one has had a long history in Pakistan, dating back to the late 7th century. You can still see a lot of traces of the culture in the form of various heritage sites. In fact, Buddhist artifacts in the country have been a major source of attraction for tourists.
Recently archeologists have discovered something groundbreaking with regard to Buddhism in Pakistan
According to a report in Reuters, the remains of a 1,700-year-old image of a sleeping Buddha were uncovered on Wednesday.
The excavation came as part of a project to promote tourism in the country and celebrate religious harmony in a region otherwise plagued with extremism. It is being said that they are the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha remains.
The discovery was made in the Bhamla Stupa, a Buddhist heritage site near Hairpur
The site which dates back to the 3rd Century was first uncovered in 1929. “This is from the 3rd century AD, making it the world’s oldest sleeping Buddha remains,” said Abdul Samad, director of Bhamla’s archaeology and museums department.
He went on to add that over 500 Buddha objects have been uncovered in the area. The Buddha image discovered stands 48 foot long and is made of Kanjur stone.
Pakistanis were kind of excited about the news with PTI leader Imran Khan visiting the site
Visited the site of the ancient Buddhist archaeological find by KP govt https://t.co/aZXfGPS5uy pic.twitter.com/uAhef0h2AM
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) November 16, 2017
PTI politician Irum Azeem Farooque also commented on the discovery noting that it can bring in a lot of tourism revenue
Pakistan can make so much money through tourism Pakistan unveils remains of 1,700-year-old sleeping Buddha https://t.co/xGvmhTxqhy
— Irum Azeem Farooque (@Irumf) November 16, 2017
Her sentiments were shared by many others
Best news of the day: 1,700 years-old Buddha statue has been discovered in Pakistan – another evidence of our syncretic and glorious heritage. pic.twitter.com/k34iHei0jf
— Ammara Ahmad (@ammarawrites) November 16, 2017
Discovery can help promote religious tourism in Pakistan says Chairman @ImranKhanPTI. Unveiled remains of 1,700 year old Buddha in Haripur. #KPKUpdates pic.twitter.com/MhvSHq04PW
— Dr. Nausheen (@DrNausheenPTI) November 16, 2017
Given that in the past such heritage sites have been targeted by militants people were worried that this site may meet the same fate
Only to demolish or smuggle them? I wish they remain hidden!
— Saima (@SomaNaseer6) November 17, 2017
Here is to hoping some religious nut won’t go blow it up.
— Sab Z (@Sabziz) November 16, 2017
We hope that the government makes more efforts to discover and preserve heritage sites like these so that multiculturalism can be promoted. What do you guys think? Please let us know in the comments below.