Pakistan declares Hindu temple “Panj Tirath“ as heritage site
Islamabad : The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government in Pakistan declared the ancient Hindu religious site of ‘Panj Tirath’ in Peshawar as a national heritage site on Wednesday. Social media users praised the move as one towards tolerance and unity.
‘Panj Tirath’ is named for the five pools of water present at the site, as stated in a report by The News International, the largest English newspaper in Pakistan. It also houses a Hindu temple and a lawn with date palm trees.
The announcement was made under the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Antiquities Act of 2016 by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, according to Pakistani media outlet Tribal News Network. Additionally, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has announced a fine of 2 million Pakistani rupees and five years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of damaging the historic site.
The site holds religious significance to local Hindus who believe that King Pandu from the Mahabharata, a Hindu mythological epic, bathed in the pools and worshipped under the date palm trees for two days, as stated in a report by The Hindu, an Indian daily newspaper.
The temple has faced deterioration according to Pakistani news reports, and parts of the Panj Tirath site were cleared in the 1970s to make area for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chacha Yunus Park.