After Sikhs, can Pakistan be the next big attraction for Buddhist community?
Some of the most significant Buddhist sites in Pakistan, particularly in Taxila are Dharmarajika Stupa, Bhir Mound, Sirkap, Jandial Temple and Julian Monastery.
A delegation of Buddhist monks, which was headed by Most Venerable Won Haeng, President Jogye Order, is currently visiting Pakistan to explore the country’s religious tourism potential. With the revival of tourism, the visit is also expected to improve cultural ties between Pakistan and Korea.
As part of their visit, the delegation reviewed the safety measures of Korean Buddhist pilgrims. They also evaluated security at Buddhist sites in Pakistan. The delegation will also discuss the measures to preserve Buddhist cultural heritage in the country. With this, the delegation is also expected to meet prominent scholars belonging to Islam, in a bid to promote inter-faith and cultural harmony.
Monk Maranantha Schoool likely to be established:
During their visit organized by Pakistan Embassy in Seoul in collaboration with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Korean Embassy in Islamabad, the delegation will discuss if KP government can make it possible to establish a school in the name of Monk Maranantha in Chota Lahore, Swabi, which happens to be his birthplace.
How is Pakistan significant for the Buddhist community?
Some of the most significant Buddhist sites in Pakistan, particularly in Taxila are Dharmarajika Stupa, Bhir Mound, Sirkap, Jandial Temple and Julian Monastery. The kingdom of Gandhara, particularly near Taxila, holds historical significance in spreading Buddhism in the region.
The great Indian emperor of the Maurya Dynasty, Asoka, mobilized his people to preach Buddhism. Maranatha, a Buddhist monk from the Gandhara in modern Pakistan, played his role in spreading the religion in Korean Peninsula, up to Northwest Pakistan and China back in the fourth century.
The Gandhara kingdom later split, with rich Buddhist heritage falling into present-day Pakistan and Afganistan. Among these attractive Buddhist spots in Pakistan, are the Dharmarajika Stupa in Takht-i-Bahi, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Votive Stupa, Shingardar Stupa, the Amluk Dara Stupa situated in Taxila (previously Takshashila), and an iconic Buddha statue in Swat.
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