Published in Dawn, March 31st, 2017
MINGORA: The natural beauty and rich cultural heritage of Najigram valley mesmerised the members of a women trekking team, who visited Buddhist complex at Abba Sahib Cheena.
The members of the team said that they felt the serenity and taste of cultural heritage for the first time and would continue to explore and enjoy past of the Uddiyana Kingdom by peeping into the vast archaeological ruins mainly located in deep dales on mountains and along the gushing streams.
The women trekkers visited the ancient Bazira city of Alexander the Great and then the third century Kushan period Buddhist complex.
Rehmania Aman, a lecturer in Swat University and a member of the trekking team, said that her inner self filled with curiosity when she entered Abba Sahib Cheena. “When I entered the ancient Buddhist complex, I felt its impacts on our current civilisation,” she told this scribe.
Ms Aman said that natural beauty embodied with rich culture heritage and serenity of the valley was something, which she had not seen anywhere else. She added that architectural features and designs of the Buddhist monuments proved that architects of that time were talented people.
The Buddhist complex is one of the best naturally preserved archaeological sites comprising stupas, viharas and monastic cells, surrounded by residential structures. The land of the site has been acquired by provincial archaeology department and excavation of the site is expected soon.
The women trekkers said that they did not know about the rich cultural heritage of Swat. They said that the visit opened new ways of learning to them.
“I learnt something new and astonishing about the archaeological ruins here in Swat about which our course books and government have not proper information. The archaeological remains are the actual heritage of the land. The education, tourism and archaeology departments must organise trips for students to these places so that our young generation can learn about it,” Sahista Hakim, a journalist, told this scribe. Continue reading