Sunday, 16 October 2011

Oldest Living City Of "South Asia" : "Peshawar" Some Rare Information
















Khyber Pass Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Archaeologists are resuming excavation at historic Gor Khatri monument to discover the exact archaeological profile of ancient Peshawar, presently enjoying the distinction of oldest living city in South Asia.

Gor Khatri (Peshawar) – The ancient Hindu temple and place of pilgrimage

HISTORY

Gor Khuttree (or Gor Khatri) in the ancient city of Peshawar was identified by Sir Alexander Cunningham with Kanishka Vihara (the Great Stupa of King Kanishka) while Professor Dr. Ahmad Hasan Dani identified it with the place where the famous tower of the Buddha bowl once stood.

Prof. S.M. Jaffar, in his monumental book “Peshawar: Past and Present”, identified it with the place of Hindu pilgrimage where they performed the Sardukahr ritual (shaving off heads).

The celebrated Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, who visited Gandhara in the early 7th Century CE, had paid glowing tribute to the city and the Great Stupa of Kanishka in his memoirs. He also talked about a site, which many historians argue, refers to Gor Khuttree where “Buddah’s giant bowl was kept”.

THE SITE DURING THE MUGHAL PERIOD

Mughal Emperor Babar, who recorded its importance in his autobiography, visited the place. He had heard stories about Gor Khatri, a holy place of the yogis and Hindus who came from long distances for pilgrimage and got their head and beards shaved there. He wrote. “At once I headed for Bigram (or present day Peshawar), saw its famed, ancient tree and surrounding countryside. But much as we enquired about Gor Khatri, our guide Kamari said nothing about it. However when we were almost back in our camp, he told Khwaja Muhammad Amin that Gor Khatri was in Bigram and that he had said nothing because of its confined cells and narrow passages. Khwaja Amin repeated his words to us. But we could not go back because the road was long and the day was spent”.

Jehan Ara Begum, the daughter of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, converted Gor Khuttree into a caravanserai and named it Sarai Jahanabad. She also constructed a Jamia Masjid, a sauna bath and two wells inside Sarai Jahanabad for the convenience of travellers.


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