Peshawar: A Hindu temple, estimated to have been built 1,300 years ago, was discovered by Pakistani and Italian archaeological experts in a mountain in the Swat region of northwest Pakistan. This discovery was made during excavations at Barikot Ghundai.
Announcing the discovery on Thursday, Fazle Khaliq of the Archeology Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa said the temple found was of the god Vishnu. It was built by Hindus during the Hindu Shahi era 1,300 years ago, he said.
The Hindu Shahis or Kabul Shahis (850-1026 CE) was a Hindu dynasty that ruled Kabul Valley (Eastern Afghanistan), Gandhara (Modern Pakistan), and now northwestern India.
During the excavation, archaeologists also found traces of the state and watchtowers near the site of the temple. Experts also found a water tank near the site of a temple that Hindus believed they used for bathing before worship. Khalk said there are thousand-year-old archaeological sites in the Swat district, and traces of the Hindu Shahi period were first discovered in the area.
Dr. Luka, head of the Italian archaeological mission, said this was the first temple of the Ghandhara civilization to be discovered in the Swat district.
The Swat district is one of Pakistan’s top 20 sites with all kinds of tourism such as natural beauty, religious tourism, cultural tourism and archaeological sites.
There are several places of Buddhist worship in the Swat district.