MINGORA: A 15-member delegation of Buddhist Monks from Sri Lankan Saturday visited Swat valley here. The Buddhist monks visited different Buddhist archeological sites and Swat Museum during their visit to the district. President Dharmavijaya Buddhist Vihara, Dr Walpole Piyananda was heading the delegation during the visit.
The monks are on an eight-day visit to Pakistan on the invitation of PM Imran Khan who had invited them during his recent visit to Sri Lanka.
The members of the delegation visited various Buddhist sites including Shringardar Stupa, Ghalegay Stupa, Butkara-I, Butkara-2,Saidu Sharif Stupa, Jehanabad Buddha in Manglawar, Swat Museum and other places in Barikot Tehsil and offered their religious practices. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa archeological department officials briefed the visiting monks about the history, preservation efforts, and future plans with regard to new excavation work on the new Buddhist sites.
Talking with media, Dr Walpole Piyananda said that Swat valley is home to the ancient Buddhist Civilizations. Many lankan’s pilgrims, monks and other people love to visit this beautiful valley and see some of the most beautiful ancient Buddhist sites.
The visit was organized by the High Commission of Pakistan in Colombo, Sri Lanka with a view to promote religious tourism in Pakistan by showcasing the historical importance besides warm hospitality to the visitors from different countries.
The Second Secretary, High Commission of Pakistan Colombo Ms Ayesha Abu Bakar told media that Pakistan is the main hub of ancient Buddhist Civilization which has remained hidden from the entire world. The main purpose of this visit is to promote religious tourism in the country. The monks also wrote their views in the visitors’ book at Swat Museum and appreciated the arrangements made by Pakistani government to promote religious tourism in the country.