A Hindu temple believed to have been built 1,300 years ago was discovered by Pakistani and Italian archaeologists on a mountain in northwest Pakistan’s Swat district.
The discovery was made during an excavation at Barikot Ghundai.
Fazle Khaliq of the Department of Archeology in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced the discovery Thursday, saying the temple discovered was of Lord Vishnu.
It was built by the Hindus 1,300 years ago during the Hindu Shahi period, he said.
The Hindu Shahis or Kabul Shahis (850 AD 1026) were a Hindu dynasty that ruled the Kabul Valley (eastern Afghanistan), Gandhara (present-day Pakistan-Afghanistan) and present-day northwest India.
During their excavation, the archaeologists also found traces of cantons and watchtowers in the vicinity of the temple grounds.
The experts also found a water tank near the temple grounds that they believe was used for bathing before the service.
Fazle Khaliq said the Swat district is home to archaeological sites that are thousands of years old and traces of the Hindu Shahi period were first found in the area.
Dr. Luka, the head of the Italian Archaeological Mission, said this was the first temple of the Ghandhara civilization to be discovered in the Swat district.
There are also several places of worship of Buddhism in the Swat district.
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