U.S., Pakistan complete restoration at Takht Bhai Buddhist Monastery
Sher Alam Shinwari
PESHAWAR: The U.S. Consul General Gregory Macris participated via video in the closing ceremony of a $230,000 cultural preservation project at the Takht Bhai Buddhist Monastery in Mardan. “The U.S. Mission in Pakistan is committed to working with local partners to support conservation and preservation of the sites of great cultural significance across Pakistan,” said Macris.
The Humanitarian and Facilitation Organization (HAFO) received a U.S. grant to execute the two-phase project at Takht Bhai. Working in close collaboration with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the HAFO completed preservation of the Buddhist priests’ living quarters (Block-C) over the past year. During phase one; HAFO received a $400,000 grant to preserve Block-B of the monastery from 2017 to 2019.
The preservation project provided training and employment to dozens of skilled and unskilled laborers. It also encouraged and increased local and international religious tourism, with hundreds of visitors coming to the monastery each week. The HAFO provided guided tours to hundreds of students from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the course of the project, educating them about the history of the site and the importance of conservation efforts.
The U.S. Mission in Pakistan supports cultural preservation efforts across the country and has previously funded restoration work at Masjid Mohabat Khan and Gorkhatri in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In his video address, the U.S. Consul General Gregory Macris said, “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is home to numerous sites that reflect Pakistan’s rich cultural and religious diversity and the U.S Mission to Pakistan is proud to partner with Pakistan to preserve them for future generations.”