An archaeological site possibly linked to the Gandhara civilization has been discovered near a village in Mansehra.
The monastery’s walls, built from rugged stones, approximately 3.5 feet wide, feature a specific style of construction commonly found in Buddhist sites. PHOTO: SHAZIA MEHBOOB
Spread over a deserted hillock near Karer village, some 26 kilometres from Mansehra, the site is believed to be the ruins of a Buddhist monastery, built between the first and third century AD.
A visit to the site revealed that the monastery, having over 16 pillars, has been nearly destroyed due to negligence of the archaeology department.
The foundations of its walls indicate that the monastery had multiple rooms. The walls, approximately 3.5 feet wide, are built from rugged stones. The remains feature the specific style of construction commonly found in Buddhist sites.
In addition, two tunnels in the hillock also suggest that the site was used for meditation.
“The Buddhist monastery is built on the same pattern as that seen in other places, such as Jaulian in Taxila and Zar Dheri and Jinnan Wali Dheri in Hazara division,” Quaid-i-Azam University Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisation Director Dr Muhammad Arshad say, adding that similar sites have been found in Swat, Dir and Buner.