Piplan: a hidden jewel of ancient Taxila; Amjad Iqbal; Dawn

Pakistan – Taxila

Piplan, the ancient Buddhist monastic establishment in Taxila that was named for the thick peepal trees of the area, is a Buddhist archaeological jewel located in a calm valley that has stayed hidden from local and foreign tourists and the public, despite its unique landscape.

The ancient site lies at the foot of the hills between Mohra Maradu and Julian, the ancient Taxila university. According to Dr Mohammad Ashraf, the former director of the Taxila Institute of Asian Civilisation, the site was excavated in 1923-24, under Sir John Marshall, the director general of the Archaeological Survey of India.

Department of Archaeology and Museums Deputy Director Abdul Ghafour Lone said that later, study papers had revealed that archaeologists during the excavation had found the site belonged to two different periods.

Studies conducted by the archaeologists found that to the east is a courtyard of a monastery dating back to the late Partian or early Kushan times. It consists of an open quadrangle in the centre, with a range of cells on all four sides. Mr Lone added that in the middle of the courtyard is the basement of a square stupa.

Read more


Three-day international workshop on Lahore Fort’s Picture Wall concludes; Daily Times

Pakistan – Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

LAHORE: A three-day International Workshop on the Picture Wall of the Lahore Fort concluded at the Lahore Fort on Wednesday. The purpose of the workshop was to assess and discuss the preservation work carried out on the Picture Wall.

A prototype preservation was carried over a 45-feet high and 30-feet wide panel on the western segment of the Picture Wall by Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) and the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) involving the experts from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Sri Lanka. This preservation process was started in 2016 and completed in December 2017.

AKCSP CEO Salman Beg, WCLA Director General Kamran Lashari, Director Historic Cities Programme AKTC Cameron Rashti, Director Partnerships and Development AKTC Jurjen Vandertas, Senior Conservation Officer AKTC Christophe Bouleau , Assistant Professor LUMS Dr Nadhra Shahbaz and other speakers have participated in the three days workshop.

Read more

Sindh culture, heritage is richest in the world: CM Sindh; Sawan Khaskheli; Pakistan Today

Pakistan – Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta

THATTA: Sindh Chief Minister,  Murad Ali Shah, addressed the first International Conference held at Makli, Thatta here. He said that the culture of Sindh is one the richest in the world and the history of Mohenjo-Daro is central to it.

Although the historical heritage of Makli necropolis is not a famous necropolis, yet but it is a tale of thousands of people buried there who were a part of one of the early civilizations known to history, he added.

He assured that the recommendations presented by experts and researchers during the conference regarding the improvement of the historical necropolis will be given due consideration, and the government will try to employ all its efforts to work for the implementation of the recommendations.

Challenges and problems faced by Makli would be addressed on priority basis and issues would be resolved, the CM said.

Read more

Children festival to be held in Lahore Fort despite ban: report; Pakistan Today

Pakistan – Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

LAHORE: Walled City Lahore Authority (WCLA) has planned to hold children’s literature festival inside Lahore Fort, a protected monument included in UNESCO’s world heritage list, where holding any kind of functions, festivals and public activities are banned, according to a report by a private media outlet.

Some 10 years back, Environmental Tribunal of Lahore had banned holding of any kind of functions, festivals and public activities inside Lahore Fort after which all such functions and activities were held at Hazori Bagh, which is between Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque.

The two-day festival will take place inside Lahore Fort just opposite Dewan-e-Aam on January 13 and 14 from 9am till 4pm and WCLA is expecting attendance of thousands of students, their friends and families in it, besides routine visitors of the fort, which are over 15,000 daily.

Read more

US-funded Makli tomb preservation project completed; Express Tribune

Pakistan – Historical Monuments at Makli, Thatta

Herita­ge sites remind us of histor­ical experi­ences of humani­ty, says US consul-genera­l.

The United States (US) recognises that the cultural heritage sites in Pakistan are essential reminders of the historical experiences of humanity and conservation efforts should be carried for the preservation of such sites so that they continue telling stories of the past.

This was said by US Consul-General Grace Shelton during her visit to Makli on Sunday to attend the completion ceremony of the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project for the preservation of the tombs of Sultan Ibrahim and Amir Sultan Muhammad at the cemetery.

Makli is one of the greatest historical sites situated in Sindh. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) included Makli in the list of world heritage sites in 1981.

Read more

No eatery being set up at Fort, LHC told; The Nation

Pakistan – Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

LAHORE – The Lahore High Court on Wednesday directed the Lahore Walled City Authority to submit a detailed report on the conservation project.

The court issued these orders on a petition challenging alleged establishment of a restaurant at the Lahore Fort, the world heritage site.

Justice Abid Aziz Sheikh passed the order observing that if the conversation work was being carried out at the world heritage site then the court should be apprised that whether the approval for this conservation was taken or not and which experts were consulted.  Advocate Khurram Chughtai, who represented the Lahore Walled City Authority, said that no construction or alteration work was being carried out at the site; it was conservation which was being done in light of the authority’s own laws.

Read more

World’s oldest University started by Lord Rama’s nephew is now in Pakistan (even Chanakya studied there); Shruti Shrivastava; SpeakingTree

Pakistan – Taxila

Most people know and identify Taxila as the first ever University, where great scholars like Chanakya received their higher education, but did you know when and who built this sanctum of formal education?

It is said that Lord Rama before surrendering his life divided equal regions under the rule of his sons and nephews. He coroneted his sons, Luv and Kush as the crowning prince of Ayodhya and declared the coronation of Bharat’s son Taksha over Gandhara region.

Taksha during his reign build the first ever University, where greatest masters and scholars imparted and shared their knowledge and wisdom with those who yearned for higher education. The university was named after their King Taksha, hence got its name Taxila.

Like many of the great Indian thinkers and philosophers and eminent personalities, Chanakya also studied and taught at the first university of the world–Taxila.


Read more

Shalimar Gardens may lose World Heritage Site status; FAIZAN ALI WARRAICH; The Nation

Pakistan – Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

Unesco’s World Heritage Committee, in its draft decision on Shalimar Gardens and Orange Line Metro Train, clearly says that OLMT poses an irreversible and permanent threat to Shalimar Gardens, which is a World Heritage Site, and it may be taken off the World Heritage Sites list permanently if the project goes ahead as planned.

The World Heritage Committee released the draft decision keeping in view the longstanding debate on the transportation-led development project of the Punjab government. The government is carrying out construction work inside the 61-metre protective buffer zone of the international heritage site of Shalimar Garden in violation of international laws as well as the national antiquities act.

This draft decision will be finalised through a vote of member states in the upcoming WHC meeting in July 2017.

Shalamar Gardens might be removed from world heritage list: WHC; SAMIULLAH RANDHAWA; Pakistan Today

Pakistan – Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore

LAHORE: The World Heritage Committee (WHC) has released its draft decision regarding construction of Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) near the Shalamar Gardens on which it will finalize its decision through a vote of member states in the upcoming WHC meeting in July this year. This was stated by the representatives of civil society on Friday in a press conference here in Lahore Press Club.

Expressing their grave concern on construction work of OLMT, they said that despite the stay order of Lahore High Court on construction work near heritage sites, Punjab government is continuously violating the court orders. They informed that the decision draft of WCH clearly mentioned that the project poses an irreversible and permanent threat to Shalamar Gardens and Lahore Fort.

Read more

Saving the lost city of Mohenjo Daro – Pakistan; AFP

Pakistan – Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro

If nothing is done to protect the ruins — already neglected and worn by time — they will fade into dust and obscurity.

The centre of a powerful ancient civilisation, Mohenjo Daro was one of the world’s earliest cities — a Bronze Age metropolis boasting flush toilets and a water and waste system to rival many in modern Pakistan.

Some 5,000 years on archaeologists believe the ruins could unlock the secrets of the Indus Valley people, who flourished around 3,000 BC in what is now India and Pakistan before mysteriously disappearing.

But they warn, if nothing is done to protect the ruins — already neglected and worn by time — they will fade to dust and obscurity, never taking their rightful place in history.

Read more