Gandhara Art And Culture Association

About Us

Gandhara region, comprising Taxila, Peshawar and Swat valley is very rich in cultural heritage and is a sacred land for the Buddhists. In China, Japan and Korea alone, the Buddhist population exceeds 100 Million. With the existing pace of development of the Gandhara region, this area is fast becoming a preferred place of visit by the Buddhists as it contains a great component of the evolution history of this religion.

Gandhara Art & Culture Association is a non-political, non-profit and non-government association with the following objectives:

  • Preservation and conservation of Gandhara sites

  • Survey and full documentation of sites in Gandhara and adjacent territory

  • Setting up of an Institution for the study of Gandhara Civilization

  • To arrange seminars, symposia and conferences to promote public awareness and research on the subject

  • To train manpower to handle this gigantic project and to help the Government in identifying new sites and assist them in their excavation

  • To publish guide books, periodicals, brochures, research articles and books on Gandhara and other related academic activities

  • To promote spiritual tourism and inter-faith dialogue

Our targets are no doubt very high but our resolve and spirits are high too. We know that such an effort will not only promote tourism but will also bring foreign investment. It will create jobs at many different levels and requisite skill to guide foreign tourists.

Our founder members consist of eminent people from all walks of life who all share the above stated idea. We invite people to share the same vision with us to join us and also ask for their support in donations for transforming our vision into a reality.

Aims and Objectives

Taxila to be made popular tourist site for the Buddhists

To revive the oldest university in the world in Taxila, to establish one of the best research Institute on Gandhara. Since the western scholars have a lot of knowledge about Gandhara as they did most of the excavations here and have done a lot of research, but they still lack in knowledge of Buddhism on the other hand eastern scholars possess first hand knowledge of Buddhism, hence we want to combine the two and develop a world research center on Gandhara in Gandhara Pakistan. For this reason we will recruit professors from east and west

To teach Buddhism for the first time in Pakistan in order to understand Gandhara art fully

To teach comparative religions for initiating a global peace process(as it was when Buddhism flourished in Gandhara presently Peshawar, Swat and Taxila)

To make a Buddhist center in Pakistan for the first time since the Buddhism disappeared from here around 1500 years back. This will be a great attraction for all the Buddhists around the world and help improve the image of Pakistan, which will automatically generate religious and other tourism in Pakistan

During the golden period of Gandhara it excelled in every walk of life including peace and interfaith harmony. We want to revive all that in the 21st century

Gradually with the projects initiated by our Institute we will develop Taxila and rest of the Gandhara region. We will use Kyung ju city in Korea as a model for the development of Taxila

Promotion of Gandhara Art

  • Publish catalog of the important Gandhara monuments and objects in English, Korean, Japanese and Chinese languages.

  • Organize mobile exhibitions in all the major cities of Pakistan also initially in Korea, Japan and China and later in other important countries.

    The idea is that instead of waiting for the people to come to us, we go and knock at their doors.

    At these exhibition we should take replicas of the Gandhara artifacts and we should create their images in the form of paintings , embroideries and carpets and sell them to raise funds for the development of Gandhara.

  • We should invite local and foreign influential and well known poets,painters, critics, writers and photographers and let them make poems, paintings, photographs and arrange a critical analysis about Gandhara objects and monuments.
    All this work can then be published and exhibited.

    This published catalog can be sent to all relevant places in the world.

    We should specially focus on the ‘fasting Buddha’ statue in the Lahore National Museum which is one of the greatest master pieces but unfortunately has not been recognized by general public in the world.

    On the other hand if we look at another master piece 'Mona Lisa' which is lying at Louvre museum in France was relatively unknown until critic Walter Pater in 1867 wrote an essay and described Mona Lisa as a kind of 'mystic embodiment of eternal femininity'. This was the beginning after which many writers and artists started appreciating the Mona Lisa and have been praising the 'eternal beautiful smile' again and again.

    Now is the time we must strongly advertise and promote the ‘fasting Buddha’ statue in every way to lift it to it’s true worth.

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