Capacity building talk

Capacity Building Talk on Gandhara Civilization

Date: October 11, 2022

On October 11, 2022, Head of BTTN, Brig Agha Ahmad Gul (R) gave a talk on the Gandhara Civilization. Gandhara Civilization is one of the four civilizations that Pakistan has inherited, the other three being; Mehrgarh (7000 BC-2000 BC), located to the west of River Indus near the Bolan Pass 100 miles south of Quetta. It was succeeded by Indus Valley Civilization which comprises two ancient civilizations of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. Gandhara was the name given to the land and its associated civilization that existed in what is now northern Pakistan and Afghanistan from about 500 BC to 900 AD. It was ruled by many dynasties but nearly all were linked by their adoption of Buddhism as a religion for the most part. The Buddhism and the Indo-Greek artistic tradition became its cultural identity.

Brig Gul, in his talk, enlightened the Faculty Members about the Ghandhara Civilizations’ role in producing epic pieces of arts and architecture which were mostly centered around Buddhist culture. This is the region where Pakistanis live today. The civilization commencing approximately from 800 BCE lasted about up to 600 CE. During this time many powerful dynasties such as the Achaemenids, the Macedonians under Alexander the Great and several hordes from Central Asia invaded this area. The White Huns also called Hepthalites, invaded this area in the 6th Century CE. Their leader adopted Shaivism to become friendly with followers of this religion in north India. This being an intolerant religion, Buddhist civilization was persecuted and gradually it ceased to exist under their rule. Much of the Buddhist works of art in the region have lasted through are the relics of the Great Ghandhara Civilization, most prominent among being the Buddha of Bamyan, present day Afghanistan. 

The Faculty of Research took keen interest in this historic overview of Gandhara Civilization, as the talk ended with an interactive questions and answers session.