Another Buddhist site found in Islamabad

By Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro, The Express Triobune, February 18, 2011

Islamabad, Pakistan -- The cultural heritage in Pakistan is little cared for. “In Europe, such treasure would sustain an entire Industry,” writes Alice Albania, in her book “Empires of the Indus, the story of a river”. But here in Pakistan the case is entirely different. The destruction and loss of the cultural heritage in every nook and corner of the country continues unabated. There are many sites around the capital city which are also being vandalized, even if not lost through negligence.

<< Remains of a Buddhist site in Sector G-12 of Islamabad. PHOTO: ZULFIQAR ALI KALHORO

“No proper documentation has been conducted in the capital city. Scholars and researchers have been conducting survey and documenting sites in other parts of the country but not in Islamabad,” confirms Prof Ashraf Khan, Director, Taxila Institute of Asian Civilizations (TIAC). Prof Ahmed Hassan Dani (late) was the first archaeologist who documented the Buddhist caves of Shah Allah Ditta and Loi Dandi of Bari Imam.

During recent excursions in the vicinity of Islamabad, this writer accidently discovered the remains of a Buddhist site in Sector G-12 of Islamabad. There is a 10 feet high mound which it is possible might have been a stupa because the potsherds lying on the mound appear to belong to the Buddhist period. The Buddhist remains lie on the ancient route that leads to Taxila. “There are many other remains on that ancient route but unfortunately most have become victim of development activities,” says Ilyas Muhammad, a retired primary school teacher of Meharabad in Islamabad.

The Buddhist sites are generally vandalized. “Treasure hunters have dug out the top and sides of the stupa in the hope of finding treasures,” confirms Banaras Awan who lives just opposite the Buddhist remains. Another person of Meharabad, said (requesting not to be named) that some artifacts had been found on the top of the mound.

There are many Buddhist remains in and around Islamabad. The Tope Manikyala near Rawat, Buddhist caves at Shah Allah Ditta, the Taxila monasteries and stupas and the recently discovered at Meharabad or G-12 are among some of them.

At present the Buddhist remains of Meharabad lie in the middle of agricultural fields. Much of the area has been brought under cultivation. The potsherds are scattered not only on the mound but also on the cultivated land.   Some pieces of cooking pots are also found on the surface. The sides and top of the stupa have been vandalized and the masonry of the stupa is thus exposed suggesting that it was constructed by filling rubble and was plastered on the outside.

The concerned authorities should carry out the excavation at the site and save the buried artifacts from further pillage. They should also put a fence around the mound to save it from further encroachment. If timely action is not taken, it is likely that the remaining part of the site will also be brought under cultivation by the local people of Meharabad (G-12).

-----------
The author is Research Anthropologist at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad.

We Need Your Help to Train the
Buddhist AI Chat Bot
NORBU!
(Neural Omniscient Robotic-Being for Buddhist Understanding)



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your name in the payment slip. Thank you.


Dear Friends in the Dharma,

We seek your generous support to help us train NORBU, the word's first Buddhist AI Chat Bot.

Here are some ways you can contribute to this noble cause:

One-time Donation or Loan: A single contribution, regardless of its size, will go a long way in helping us reach our goal and make the Buddhist LLM a beacon of wisdom for all.

How will your donation / loan be used? Download the NORBU White Paper for details.



For Malaysians who wants to donate in MYR, please use the following account:

Account Name: Bodhi Vision
Account No:. 2122 00000 44661
Bank: RHB

The SWIFT/BIC code for RHB Bank Berhad is: RHBBMYKLXXX
Address: 11-15, Jalan SS 24/11, Taman Megah, 47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone: 603-9206 8118

Note: Please indicate your purpose of payment (loan or donation) in the payment slip. Thank you.

Once payment is banked in, please send the payment slip via email to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv. Your donation/loan will be published and publicly acknowledged on the Buddhist Channel.

Spread the Word: Share this initiative with your friends, family and fellow Dharma enthusiasts. Join "Friends of Norbu" at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/norbuchatbot. Together, we can build a stronger community and create a positive impact on a global scale.

Volunteer: If you possess expertise in AI, natural language processing, Dharma knowledge in terms of Buddhist sutras in various languages or related fields, and wish to lend your skills, please contact us. Your knowledge and passion could be invaluable to our project's success.

Your support is part of a collective effort to preserve and disseminate the profound teachings of Buddhism. By contributing to the NORBU, you become a "virtual Bodhisattva" to make Buddhist wisdom more accessible to seekers worldwide.

Thank you for helping to make NORBU a wise and compassionate Buddhist Chatbot!

May you be blessed with inner peace and wisdom,

With deepest gratitude,

Kooi F. Lim
On behalf of The Buddhist Channel Team


Note: To date, we have received the following contributions for NORBU:
US$ 75 from Gary Gach (Loan)
US$ 50 from Chong Sim Keong
MYR 300 from Wilson Tee
MYR 500 from Lim Yan Pok
MYR 50 from Oon Yeoh
MYR 200 from Ooi Poh Tin
MYR 300 from Lai Swee Pin
MYR 100 from Ong Hooi Sian
MYR 1,000 from Fam Sin Nin
MYR 500 from Oh teik Bin
MYR 300 from Yeoh Ai Guat
MYR 300 from Yong Lily
MYR 50 from Bandar Utama Buddhist Society
MYR 1,000 from Chiam Swee Ann
MYR 1,000 from Lye Veei Chiew
MYR 1,000 from Por Yong Tong
MYR 80 from Lee Wai Yee
MYR 500 from Pek Chee Hen
MYR 300 from Hor Tuck Loon
MYR 1,000 from Wise Payments Malaysia Sdn Bhd
MYR 200 from Teo Yen Hua
MYR 500 from Ng Wee Keat
MYR 10,000 from Chang Quai Hung, Jackie (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from K. C. Lim & Agnes (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from Juin & Jooky Tan (Loan)
MYR 100 from Poh Boon Fong (on behalf of SXI Buddhist Students Society)
MYR 10,000 from Fam Shan-Shan (Loan)
MYR 10,000 from John Fam (Loan)
MYR 500 from Phang Cheng Kar
MYR 100 from Lee Suat Yee
MYR 500 from Teo Chwee Hoon (on behalf of Lai Siow Kee)
MYR 200 from Mak Yuen Chau

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: editor@buddhistchannel.tv


TOP