November 21, 2020, 8:20 PM

A team of Pakistani and Italian archaeologists on Thursday discovered a Hindu temple at a mountain, in Pakistan’s Swat district during an excavation at Barikot Ghundai. Hindus built the temple 1,300 years ago during the Hindu Shahi period.

Fazal Khaliq of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Department of Archaeology reported the discovery on November 19 and stated that it was a Lord Vishnu temple. The team found the traces of watchtowers, encampment and pillars during their excavation.

Moreover, they also discovered a water tank near the temple site, which, experts believed, could have been used by the devotees for bathing before offering prayers. “We have discovered many archaeological monuments here in the past; this is the first time we found traces of Hindu Shahi period in Swat district,” said Khaliq.

He continued to say that traces of ancient Hindu civilisation could be found in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the Hindu Shahis ruled these regions in the past (850-1026 AD). “This is the first temple of Ghandhara (modern-day Pakistan) civilisation we found in Swat,” said Dr Luka, head of Italian archaeological missions. “This is one in a life time discovery for us; we are returning a lost piece of the Hindu civilisation to the world,”

Dr. Luka added. Swat district was listed among the top 20 sites visited in Pakistan where one could find several cultural and architectural marvels. 

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