A Buddhist monastery, at Balokaley in Kandak valley, Barikot, is attracting a large number of tourists, architecture students and archaeology researches.
Located 8.1km from Barikot, the archaeological site, a masterpiece of ancient architecture, is located high on the mountain and is visible from a long distance. The site was first visited by a Hungarian-British archeologist, Sir Aurel Stein, in 1926 and then hastily excavated by Burger and Wright in 1938.
The site is featured by the landmark monument of the Great Shrine, the oldest example of double-dome Gandharan architecture. Chronology of the site is supported by radiocarbon dating one wooden beam of the shrine (palosa wood or acacia modesta) back to the end of first century or the middle of second century CE). The shrine with its cella, corridor and double dome is astonishingly well preserved for the standards of Gandharan architecture,” said Dr Luca Maria Olivieri, head of the visiting Italian Archaeological Mission.