Center for Culture and Development would organize a five-day ‘Gandhara Festival’ at Taxila Museum from Oct 6 to Oct 9.
The festival will feature exhibitions of local craft, panel discussion, storytelling sessions and sites visits.
Gandhara was one of 16 Mahajanapada of ancient Indian subcontinent. Currently, this ancient region is located in the north west of Pakistan, specifically the region centered around the Peshawar Valley and Swat river valley, though the cultural influence of ‘Greater Gandhara’ extended across the Indus river to the Taxila region in Potohar Plateau and westwards into the Kabul Valley in Afghanistan, and northwards up to the Karakoram range.
This civilization’s existence is attested since the time of the Rigveda as well as the Zoroastrian Avesta, which mentions it as Vaēkərəta, the sixth most beautiful place on earth created by Ahura Mazda. Gandhara was conquered by the Persian Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, Alexander the Great in 327 BCE, and later became part of the Maurya Empire before being a centre of the Indo-Greek Kingdom. The region was a major centre for Greco-Buddhism under the Indo-Greeks and Gandharan Buddhism under later dynasties. Gandhara was also a central location for the spread of Buddhism to Central Asia and East Asia.
To mark this cultural heritage, the Center for Culture and Development (CCD) is organizing a five days long Gandhara Festival. The event will feature exhibitions, panel discussion, and storytelling sessions from October 5 at Taxila Museum.
Izzah Khan, Director CCD told APP that the festival aimed to integrate tangible and intangible cultural heritage of Gandhara civilization in local context; to highlight the respect for heritage and cultural diversity and promote cultural pluralism through the exhibition, panel discussions, sites visits, and showcasing of local crafts for sustainable tourism in Punjab.
“We are expecting to receive a diversified audience ranging from the local community, educational institutions, government departments, diplomatic missions, scholars, researchers, and artists among others”, she added.
Khan emphasized the need for maximum participation of youth from the local community who needs to be sensitized about their culture and heritage so that students and the local community can feel a connection with their roots.
“On behalf of UNESCO, CCD is organizing a festival at Taxila Museum focused on exploring the Gandhara civilization in the context of Buddhist and Jain history in Pakistan, and the event will be open to public from 6 to 9 October.”