Takhti Bahi


Takhti Bahi:

The World Heritage Site of Takht-i-Bahi is an Indo-Parthian archaeological site of an ancient Buddhist monastery in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The site is considered among the most important relics of Buddhism in all of what was once Gandhara, and has been "exceptionally well-preserved."

The complex is regarded by archaeologists as being particularly representative of the architecture of Buddhist monastic centers from its era. Takht-i-Bahi was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.

The ruins are located about 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) from Mardan in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province. A small fortified city, dating from the same era, sits nearby. The ruins also sit near a modern village known by the same name. It is located around 150 meters (500 ft) atop the small hill and around 2 km (1.2 mi) from the village bazar.

There are four main areas of the Takht i Bahi complex:

  • The Stupa Court, a cluster of stupas located in a central courtyard.
  • The monastic chambers, consisting of individual cells arranged around a courtyard, assembly halls, and a dining area.
  • A temple complex, consisting of stupas and similar to the Stupa Court, but of later construction.
  • The Tantric monastic complex, which consists of small, dark cells with low openings, which may have been used for certain forms of Tantric meditation.

Additional structures on the site may have served as residences or meeting halls, or for secular purposes. All of the buildings on the site are constructed from local stone, and are mortared with lime and mud.