Revival of 2,500-year-old Buddhist university planned

The News, April 14, 2009

Islamabad, Pakistan -- Gandhara Art and Culture Association (GACA) has planned to revive the 2,500 years old Buddhist University of Taxila with the contemporary features of the 21st century.

Chief Monk of Korea, Jeon Woon Deok, who is currently visiting Pakistan, has approved the site for the institute for which government has fully supported, Zulfiqar Rahim, director GACA told APP here Monday.

The project of reviving the fist university of the world which dates back to 700 B.C, will take 3-year to complete with the help of government, public and private agencies and Buddhist countries like Korea, Japan and China to restore the existing monastery in its original look.

The idea will also boost tourism industry of the country as the Buddhists from across the world will visit Pakistan to perform their holy rituals, he said. The GACA, he said, has also proposed the government to hold ‘21st Century Peace Caravan’ organising from Taxila and travelling to China, Korea and Japan via Silk route.

The association organized a two-day seminar on ‘Promotion and Preservation of Gandhara Art in Pakistan’ in which the chief monk called for peace and harmony, as the world was facing religious conflicts and racial tensions.

While talking about the essence of Buddhism, the chief monk said that Gandhara was the hub of all cultures and religions while commercial activities of all the major religions of the world co-existed here in a very peaceful and harmonious way. Korea, China and Japan has traditionally Buddhist culture and it has roots in Gandhara, he remarked.